Curry Puff

I have been wanting to learn how to make this for many, many years. Since when I was in non-foodie stage on my life. I have had my share of bad curry puff, or karipok, as we call it in our local slang. But even the bad ones taste so good! Imagine how heavenly will be the good ones.

We always stop by this big grocery store on our way home from work. I can also tell you it is not good to go there when you are hungry. It is where I pick up my cooking ingredients (okay, I admit, the “ingredients” are chocolate bars and chips). There are some stalls right in front of the store selling fried snacks. My brother picked up a couple of curry puffs from one of the stall, and we all agree they are not the most delicious puffs in the world. But everytime we go, we continue steering our foot to the same stall.

I am happy to share that I have stumbled across a great recipe, that works for me really well for more than a month now. And also very forgiving! Don’t you just love forgiving recipes? But I took pleasure in following every word of it.

Our version of curry puff is almost similar with the ones in Malaysia or Singapore. I don’t know the difference yet though. The puff is made from butter and flour, very flaky when fried. The fillings are some meat, potatoes and carrots cooked with generous curry paste. A lot of patience is needed, but they can be prepared in advance, fried half way done and frozen.

The dish called for a lot of prep work to be done in advance. Potatoes need to be cubed and browned in advance. Carrot needs to be cubed too, boiled and drained. Chicken needs to be cubed.

Living in South East Asia does have its perks. One of which is you can always buy freshly ground spice paste. You can go to any traditional morning (and wet) market and you can find spice stall. Come up to one and just let the seller know what you are going to cook. Be it curry, soup, soto. She will scoop up each of shallot, garlic, turmeric, galangal, or whatever supposed to be in each dish, already in form of paste, into plastic bags. Dried spices are given too. It really is much more exciting to grind spice paste myself, like what I have been doing in the blog posts so far. It does save a lot of time to buy. This 20 g (about 4 tbsp) curry paste cost about 10 cent and the curry leaves came along with it. Any medium-to-large grocery also carry their own fresh spice paste section, like Carrefour. The spices are so fragrant, they’d make you want to buy everything! But since they are fresh paste, with no preservatives (hopefully), they don’t really keep well. So you should just get as much as you need. Substitute this with ready-to-use instant / jar curry paste. Any kind would do. I’d go with red curry paste.

First, start preparing the filling. Stir-fry chopped onion with a little bit of oil in a wok till fragrant over medium heat.

Add the spice paste into the wok. Cook till it changes color and smells really, really great.

Add cubed chicken meat. Or beef. If you opt for vegetarian version, omit the whole thing.

Add some sugar and salt. Sugar will bring out the flavor. If you are using instant curry paste, check the packaging if any sugar / salt is needed.

Toss in pan-fried potato cubes.

And cooked carrot cubes.

As well as peas.

Stir everything well for a couple of minutes before adding coconut milk.

And some flour to thicken the sauce without cooking out the liquid. Make sure to cook for a while so that the flour combined well with the rest of the filling without leaving the nasty floury taste.

Don’t worry when the filling looks a bit wet. It will dry out on standing while waiting for the pastry skin.

If you like, add a handful of shallot flakes into the curried filling. They marry well.

You don’t really need a mixer to work on the puff skin. But I just love my mixer too much to leave it out of the action. Combine flour, butter and water in a mixer bowl or kitchen counter.

Mix using paddle attachment for less than a minute, medium speed. If using hand, knead till all ingredients are nicely distributed. The dough will be on a very sticky side.

Sprinkle your hand generously with flour and form a ball. Place the dough on your kitchen counter and cover with clean kitchen towel. Let rest for 10 minutes.

Combine the second set of ingredients for butter dough in the same bowl.

Use paddle attachment to process it into crumbly dough. If you use your hand, crumble the butter and flour together.

Press the crumble together to form a ball. Flatten it and form into a square block.

On a floured surface, roll out water dough to a 30 x 30 cm square. Place the butter dough block in the middle.

Fold the sides of the dough to the middle of the smaller dough. Flip the packet.

Slowly roll the packet into a larger rectangle.

Fold the dough by taking both ends to the middle part.

Fold it into two so that the inside seam of the first folding is invisible. Turn the dough 90degree to the left. Leave for 10 minutes, covered.

Roll the dough out to a bigger rectangle.

Fold it three parts

Again, turn the dough 90 degree to the left. Cover and let rest for 10 more minutes.

If you wish, you can go back to the first step, folding the dough to four parts. Or just go to this part. Roll it out to bigger rectangle and thinner.

Use your pastry cutter to divide the rectangle into two, right in the middle. Roll each one tightly, but not too tight.

Now you will have two rolls of puff pastry.

Divide each roll into 10 blocks. About 20 g each block. Cover and let rest for 10 minutes.

Dip each block into flour and place the cut side up. Roll it out to thin circle. Not too thin, about 2mm thickness is suffice. Can you see the spiral? Do the same to the rest of the dough. Cover and let rest for 10 minutes.

Place a couple of spoonfuls of filling right in the middle of pastry skin.

Close the sides into small moon-shaped. Squeeze the sides together firmly.

Pleat the side nicely. I wish I grow two more sets of hands so I can take better shots of how to pleat!

Heat some oil in a wok over low heat. Drop the puff into the warm oil.

As the temperature increased, the puff that was at the bottom of the wok will float up. It is important not to start frying with high heat since the skin in the middle part will cook far too quickly before the pleated part is.

Cook for 5 minutes each side. Remove from heat and drain on paper towel.

All nicely puffed and fried.

Print

Curry Puff, Karipok

Ingredients:

Water Dough
210 g flour
60 g unsalted butter
110 g water, cold

Butter Dough
120 g flour
75 g unsalted butter

Filling
200 g chicken breast, cubed
300 g potatoes, cubed and pan-fried
10 shallots
1/2 cup coconut milk
10 g curry paste
1 carrot, cubed and boiled
50 g peas
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp flour
2 tbsp cooking oil

Directions:

For filling
Heat cooking oil in a wok. Stir-fry chopped onion till fragrant for 30 seconds.
Add curry paste into the wok. Cook till it changes color, a shade darker.
Combine the rest of the ingredients into the wok. Chicken pieces, potato cubes, carrot cubes, peas.
Cook for a couple of minutes over low heat.
Add coconut milk. Mix well with other ingredients.
Lastly, add flour. Let cook for a minute longer and remove from heat. Set aside.

For puff pastry
Mix all ingredients for water dough to a ball shape. Knead by hands or machine. Let rest, covered with kitchen towel.
Do the same with butter dough ingredients.
Roll water dough into a 30x 30 rectangle. Place butter dough right in the middle and fold water dough on top of it.
Flip the dough packet over and slowly roll the dough into long rectangle.
Fold the rectangle into three and lightly press the dough. Turn the dough to the left, 90 degree. Cover and let rest for 10 minutes.
Continue the folding and turning two more times with 10 minutes resting period.
Roll the dough into thin rectangle. Divide the sheet into two smaller sheets.
Grab one end and start rolling towards you. You will end up with two rolls. Let rest for 10 minutes, covered.
Cut each roll into 10 equal pieces. Rest for 10 minutes, covered.
Generously sprinkle flour on each piece and place them on counter, cut side up.
Use a rolling pin to roll the dough into round disk, about 2mm thick. Do this with the rest of the dough.
Let rest and covered for 10 minutes.
Fill each skin with 2 tbsp of curry filling. Fold the pastry into half moon shaped and pleat the sides neatly.
Do the same with the rest of the skin.

For frying
Heat cooking oil in a wok, enough to simmer the pastry, over low heat.
Fry the pastries, two or three at a time, without crowding the wok.
When the pastries float to the top of the oil, increase the heat to medium.
Cook for 3-5 minutes each side, till golden brown.
Drain on paper towel. Serve warm.

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34 Responses to “Curry Puff”

  1. 1

    Miriam/The Winter Guest — June 5, 2011 @ 4:26 am

    Great post!! The puff pastry looks heavenly. And the filling too! Funnily enough there are very similar patties in Spanish cuisine, although the flavors of the filling are completely different of course. I’m bookmarking this.

  2. 2

    erinwyso — June 5, 2011 @ 7:12 am

    Wow! Thanks for the very thorough step-by-step. This post so makes me want to visit a South East Asia market so I can have the experience purchasing these ingredients—I wish I could smell these fabulous aromas right now!

  3. 3

    Mika — June 5, 2011 @ 8:08 am

    They look so crispy!!
    That dough is very similar to that of chinese mooncakes…at least it seems to me… ^_^
    Great recipe, I can even make it with soya chunks…wonderful…At first I though this were samosas or something like that, but the coconut milk and the dough make a huge difference…
    I love your blog…stunning pictures too… ^_^

    • Jun replied: — June 22nd, 2011 @ 6:35 am

      Making Chinese mooncake is one of my obsessions. I hope it could be realized soon.

  4. 4

    Lyndsey ~The Tiny Skillet~ — June 5, 2011 @ 8:47 am

    They look so good and flaky, and the perfect filling. It reminds me of the empanadas that we can get around here. That same reason is why I like to try to make things myself…I know what good ingredients go in and can make them the way I like them (so they are better) and you can have them anytime you want them. You are very lucky to get the fresh spice mix and have the spice ingredients all at one place. I have a couple of health food stores close to me so I can get organic dried spices in any quantity, and a few fresh, but nothing like you have. Spices are the thing that really got me interested in cooking. Now I want to find unique spices from all over the world. I enjoyed your info and your post.

  5. 5

    pigpigscorner — June 5, 2011 @ 1:08 pm

    Your pastry looks really good! I have a curry puff recipe bookmarked too, time to give it a go!

  6. 6

    Mrs Ergül — June 5, 2011 @ 9:27 pm

    Oh my god!!! I so wanna make this too!!! Great job!

  7. 7

    febee — June 6, 2011 @ 3:59 am

    wooooooow…look very tasty. .thanks for sharing this recipes..very detail…

  8. 8

    Beth Michelle — June 6, 2011 @ 8:09 am

    Jun, I am so happy that you found my blog and in so allowed me to find yours! I have really enjoyed my stay here and look forward to many more visits.
    I totally get where you are coming from about how lovely it is being able to go to spice stalls and buy fresh pastes and spices, that is a perk for me too living in Israel. These curry puffs look amazing!!!

  9. 9

    Tuty — June 6, 2011 @ 11:57 pm

    Definitely drool worthy. Gotta try your version. I like everything I see :)

  10. 10

    Reese@SeasonwithSpice — June 7, 2011 @ 7:36 am

    Hi Jun, 

    Your curry puffs look quite similar to the ones we have in Malaysia. Equally yummy and equally addictive!

    The only difference I can think of is the use of coconut milk. We don’t really use coconut milk to cook the curry puff filling, although it looks like a really nice touch. The fun part of making curry puffs at home is we can throw in anything we like.

    You are right about the perks of living in Southeast Asia – freshly ground spice paste. It’s almost an everyday ingredient in our cuisine. 

    Reese

  11. 11

    mycookinghut — June 9, 2011 @ 3:55 pm

    wow!! this is making me really hungry! I am a big big fan of curry puff!!

  12. 12

    Sabrina — June 14, 2011 @ 2:58 pm

    You are such a great cook! love everything you make and great photos too! I have tried many of your dishes.

  13. 13

    Me — June 19, 2011 @ 9:57 am

    hi
    lovely recipe
    i wonder if it will give the same lovely result it i freeze the stuffed puffs for few days ?

    • Jun replied: — June 22nd, 2011 @ 6:34 am

      I have never frozen the puffs, but I am sure it would be just fine to freeze and re-baked or re-fried.

  14. 14

    Yadi I. @ShopCookMake — June 21, 2011 @ 2:16 pm

    Oh, no! What have you done! I’m craving these so hard right now!

  15. 15

    Kevin (Closet Cooking) — July 2, 2011 @ 3:58 am

    Those look so perfectly crispy and good!

  16. 16

    Danielle — July 8, 2011 @ 5:40 pm

    I miss curry puffs so much! In Singapore my favorite curry puff stall was Old Chang Kee, I believe your recipe gives a lighter crust than theirs – I will have to try this!

  17. 17

    paranoia — July 18, 2011 @ 3:40 pm

    i tried your recipe today , the result is impeccable !
    am soooo happy
    i tried it with two kinds of stuffing
    my father loved it a lot
    thank you thank you thank you
    i tried to freeze the stuffed dough , i will see it it will work or not
    some times i don’t have time to do such recipes for my family and it will be great if it has the same result after freezing

    • Jun replied: — July 20th, 2011 @ 9:16 am

      Please let me know how it goes with the freezing the dough. Would be nice to be able to pop them out of fridge right into frying pan.

  18. 18

    Henny — August 3, 2011 @ 11:24 pm

    Tried your recipe and it’s delicious! Thanks for sharing. But i was too lazy to make the dough so i used the prepacked pastry sheets instead, and it still turned out wonderful. I love your blogs, it has so many familiar dishes that my family has eaten for generations. Now with your helpful and detailed instructions, i can make delicious homecooked food for my family too.

  19. 19

    asianfoodophile — August 5, 2011 @ 2:01 pm

    There is another type of curry puff pastry. The puffs are made in square shapes and is whitish in color without any pleats. The dough is rolled in layers unlike yours where you lay it cut side up to get the half circle appearance.

    I love chicken curry puffs but mutton curry puffs are also so divine. Some hawkers put green peas in the filling instead of carrots.while most do not use carrots in the filling in Malaysia.

  20. 20

    Natasha — February 13, 2012 @ 5:27 am

    Great recipe! They are very similar to the ones in India. Can’t wait to try!

  21. 21

    Chef Bitch — July 25, 2012 @ 6:36 pm

    You measure water on a scale?????????? You dump ass.

    • Jun replied: — September 26th, 2012 @ 11:09 pm

      Do read the about and FAQ page. I am a real freak on scales.

  22. 22

    Chef Bitch — July 25, 2012 @ 6:40 pm

    Just kidding…. This recipe really kick ass!! CHEERS!

  23. 23

    Nala — August 3, 2012 @ 2:27 am

    Hello Jun,
    Thanks for the recipe. I was craving for some curry puffs and tried your pastry recipe. I halfed the ingredients and managed to make a mistake for the ‘water dough’ compensated by adding more flour till it looked like proper dough.
    The rest was simply perfect except was now I had just too much dough. I made lots of the round pastry skin and some with filling and froze it.
    Just by slight thawing in room temperature, the pastry skin comes of beautifully. The one with filling tends to stick to each other – better to put some greased paper in between them.
    The pasty simple crumbles and melts in your mouth at a bite. Beautiful! Thank you very much.

    • Jun replied: — September 26th, 2012 @ 11:08 pm

      I am so happy you are successful in making it! I am not sure if I word the recipe correctly.

  24. 24

    Sylvia — August 19, 2012 @ 7:31 am

    In the 1940/50′s my grandmother used to make curry puffs, but the pastry was soft, not crunchy or crispy. I have a feeling the pastry was made with mashed potatoes, flour and eggs. Is there such a recipe?

    • Jun replied: — September 26th, 2012 @ 11:00 pm

      I have never tried such puffs. Is it chai pao? The steamed vegetable dumpling?

  25. 25

    Joyce Kiew — February 27, 2013 @ 9:23 pm

    Thank you Jun for this great recipe, was feeling homesick and craving curry puff and make this today, it came out pretty good on a first attemp,once again terima kasih, :) JQ

  26. 26

    Helien — June 1, 2013 @ 1:29 am

    I just wondering are you the owner of Waroeng Montreal? Caus your curry puff photo is in they menu
    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=109929442508879&set=pb.100004754712858.-2207520000.1370071617.&type=3&theater

  27. 27

    Noririn and Curry Puff (Karipap) | Effectively Noririn — December 7, 2013 @ 12:04 am

    [...] you could make your own curry puff base but I am lazy and I have work the next day. Here’s a link to a good website for curry puff skin with step by step instruction for the non cheaters out [...]

  28. 28

    October Menu Plan | VeggieConverter — February 6, 2014 @ 12:14 pm

    [...] Date Oct. 29/·Day 302 Curry Puffs, [...]

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