Saturday, March 15, 2008

Lunchbox Chow

Bunny ChowTired of turkey sandwiches and PB&J? Open your mouth and mind to something new from across the globe. Try making this portable and delicious sandwich (with an adorable name!) from South Africa—Bunny Chow.

Geography: Point out Africa on a world map. As you’ll see, South Africa is the southernmost country on the continent. About 20 languages are spoken there. It has three capital cities— Cape Town, Bloemfontein and Pretoria—but it’s the city of Johannesburg that is the largest and most populated.

Science: How does weather affects the South Africa’s produce? Its subtropical climate allows many different types of agriculture to grow. Crops include potatoes, sugarcane, nuts, corn, green beans, coconuts, pumpkins, wheat, and fruits such as bananas, mangoes, pineapples and oranges.

Music & Art: Traditional dancing, music and crafts play an important role in Africa’s cultures. Listen to songstress Miriam Makeba (a.k.a. “Mama of Africa”) for a sample of legendary South African music.

Social Studies & History: How has history influenced South Africa’s cuisine? Because it’s located at the southern tip of Africa, the cape was used as a trading post for shippers in the 1600s. With all the comings and goings of people from faraway lands, South Africa became incredibly diverse. The food of South Africa reflects that of India, England, Holland, Portugal and, of course, other African countries.

Bunny Chow

A popular sandwich eaten everywhere in South Africa, Bunny Chow is made of hollowed-out bread filled with a curry mixture. Immigrants from India introduced South Africa to curry dishes in the 1800s. The original sandwich was stuffed with vegetables, but today’s versions are also made with chicken or lamb.

1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped
1 lb. chicken breast, cubed
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. coriander
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. garam masala
1 cup chicken stock
2 tomatoes, diced
Salt, to taste
4 small bread rolls

CHILD: Help measure vegetable oil. Using a plastic knife, chop onion, garlic and tomatoes.
PARENT: In medium frying pan, heat oil over low heat, add onion and cook until softened, about 10 minutes. Add chicken and raise heat to medium-high. Cook for 10-15 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.
CHILD: Help measure coriander, cumin, garam masala and stock, and set aside.
PARENT: Add garlic, spices and stock, and simmer for 10 minutes.
PARENT: Add tomatoes and cook until softened, 7 minutes. Add salt to taste.
PARENT: Cut off one end of each loaf of bread.
CHILD: Use fingers to hollow out center of loaves.
PARENT and CHILD: Fill bread with chicken mixture and serve.

Serves 4

Per serving: calories 303, fat 14g, protein 23g, carbohydrate 20g, dietary fiber 2g

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