Vegan Bunny Chow in Sourdough

sugar-free | dairy-free | vegan

A vegan bunny chow in sourdough? I say, can one be more hippie? Or is it hipster? I forget. I’m not one for labels, but I am one for delightful food which can be translated to cater for different tastes and food preferences, especially if it’s nutritious.

And speaking of delightful, the adventure of teaming up with Nondumiso Phenyane* to create something wholesome to eat was just that. I often marvel at how food can simultaneously be fuel for our bodies and a wonderful way to connect with lovely humans and gain insight into different cultures.

I asked Nondu if we could have a food ‘play date’ (can you tell I have a pre-schooler?) and she agreed. She suggested we make a vegan bunny chow, and I grinned. My husband suggested a round sourdough loaf with the middle cut out to make a bowl and to use the excess bread for dunking, and Nondu and I got excited. I thought the dunking-bread might be nice brushed with turmeric and cumin coconut oil and then toasted, and we all clapped our hands in glee. What fun.

And this was before we’d even met! Nondu and I, that is. I had already met my husband.

Now, before the meat-eaters get down in the mouth about this dish, let me tell you that my husband – not a vegetarian by any stretch of the imagination, let alone a vegan – enjoyed this without the usual “it’s lovely, but it could do with some “[insert type of animal protein here]”, and remarked that it was satisfying just as it was. Whoa! And, do you know, even I was surprised at how ‘meaty’ this dish was. I think the secret was making it early in the day and letting it sit in the pot so the flavours could meet (haha) and greet, and the edges of the vegetables could blur and smoosh.

When you make it, feel free to follow the recipe or use it as a guideline. Either way, we’d love to hear about your bunny chow adventures. Or ‘bunny’ adventures, to those in the know.

Candice

* Nondumiso – or Nondu – shares personal, honest, and often humorous insights into her relationship with food on her Instagram page: @vegan_attempts.

VEGAN BUNNY CHOW IN SOURDOUGH

sugar-free | dairy-free | vegan
Serves 4-6

Make about 2 hours ahead of time, or early in the day to give the flavours time to mingle.

INGREDIENTS

For the curry…

  • 4 large tomatoes, diced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and squashed with the broad side of a big knife
  • 3 leeks, thickly sliced
  • 3 carrots, cut into big chunks
  • 2 large potatoes, cut into big cubes
  • 1 large cauliflower head, broken into florets
  • 2 chillies, sliced (optional, for heat)
  • 2 tsp Drasanvi Coconut Sugar
  • 2-3 tsp curry spice – recipe below for a heady homemade Cape Malay mix, or use one that’s ready-made
  • generous glug of olive oil (a good one, like Rio Largo Olive Estate)
  • 2-4 tsp coarse smoked salt, to taste (have you smelled this particular salt by Oryx Desert Salt yet?)

For the bunny…

  • 1 round sourdough loaf (or your choice of bread loaf)
  • Mixture of ¼ cup coconut oil + ½ tsp turmeric powder + ½ tsp ground cumin
  • fresh coriander and sliced spring onions as garnish

For the Cape Malay Spice mix…
Note about the spices:
I consciously chose to use Good Life Organic products because they are grown without pesticides and are not irradiated, keeping the health benefits intact instead of posing a health risk.

  • 1 Tbsp whole cumin
  • 2 tsp whole coriander
  • 1 Tbsp whole cardamom
  • 2 tsp black pepper
  • ½ tsp whole cloves
  • ½ tsp ground nutmeg (or whole nutmeg, shaved)
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon

DIRECTIONS

Make your spice mixture…

  1. After measuring out the whole cardamom, bash it in a pestle and mortar or with the handle of a big knife to release the little black seeds. Discard the shells.
  2. Toast the spices gently in a dry pan on medium heat for 5 minutes, constantly swirling them in the pan.
  3. Blend everything in a blender and breathe in the aromas! (From afar, or beware the spicy sneezes.)

Prepare the bread…

  1. Cut out the middle from the round loaf to make a bowl shape, keeping the ‘floor’ of the loaf intact.
  2. The piece of bread that you’ve removed: cut into chunks and brush with the turmeric-coconut oil mixture and toast in the oven until lightly browned.

Make the curry…

  1. Pour a generous glug of good extra virgin olive oil into a very big pot, and chuck all the curry ingredients in! Place it on a medium-high heat on the stove and put the lid on, lifting it only to stir everything around every few minutes.
  2. After about 10 minutes, or when it looks as if the food will start sticking to the bottom of the pot, add some water; about 1 cm deep. Give it a stir.
  3. Drop heat to medium, replace the lid and simmer for an hour or more, keeping an eye on it now and then and adding water if it looks as if the bottom is drying out and the curry might start to burn.
  4. Once it’s cooked and has gently simmered for a while, you can either serve right away by scooping the curry into the prepared bread loaf ‘bowl’ and topping with fresh coriander and spring onion, and the turmeric and cumin toast chunks. Or you might like to leave it on the stove for a few hours with the heat on the lowest setting and enjoy it once all the flavours know each other better.

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