Baked Curry PuffBy Mable Tan • Oct 29th, 2009 • Category: Baking Projects
For those who have been following my blog, you would have read about my Japan adventures. I cannot get over how impressed I am with home-cooked Japanese food.
Through the Japanese I have realized that the simplest home-cook food is oftentimes the tastiest. It’s made me quite sentimental about my mother’s cooking. Perhaps it’s age. Perhaps it’s distance. Who knows? The smell of pork trotters with black vinegar may gag some poor soul, but it will always make my tummy rumble.
Authentic Malaysian dishes are not from instant packet mixes. They were not made by just adding meat, water and vegetables. And they definitely don’t come in boxes. Real food requires time, patience, effort, preparation and relentless shopping for the freshest ingredients. So I’ve decided to preserve my mother’s recipes. This is for my future-children – so they will always know what true Malaysian food tastes like. It is also for Malaysians who are living away from home; homesick, heartsick and foodsick. There’s nothing like a bite of home-cook Malaysian meal to put the colours back on your cheeks. This is also my way of bringing the sexy back to home-cook Malaysian meals.
So I’m going to start a project. I plan to make a Malaysian dish from scratch, the way our mothers and mothers’ mothers used to with the same or similar ingredients. It’s obviously not the most original of ideas but it’s an idea I hold firmly to my heart. Please also note that this is not a contest, I have no interest in competing with bloggers like Bee from Rasa Malaysia who I have recently appeared as a guest blogger. They are the pioneers and true ambassador of Malaysian cuisines.
If you have a Malaysian recipe you’d like to share, please email me the recipe at mable (dot) tan (at) gmail (d0t) com. Or, if you have a certain dish in mind you like me to test, let me know and I’ll try to research the best Malaysian recipe available.
If all this fuss makes you want to cook more Malaysian dishes, regardless if you are Malaysian or not, then I am happy.
Like all good projects, this one should have a name. And I name it: From My Mother’s Kitchen. And to commemorate this project, I’m starting it with a relatively simple Malaysian snack – the modest but incredibly tasty – curry puff.
Curry puffs are usually fried not baked but I had wanted to try a healthier version. I have been frying so much recently (see: here and here) I can feel the grease seeping out from my pores. I was quite disappointed with the puff pastry recipe I had initially planned to use. When I followed instructions, the texture of the dough was all squishy and gooey. I didn’t think it was right so I’d improvised. The result, it wasn’t bad, just that it wasn’t crispy or puffy. It was more doughy. For now, I would recommend store-bought puff pastry if you’re looking for a crispy texture. But if you like to try my version, feel free to do so.
I’ve also added sweet potatoes and pumpkin to give the curry puffs some extra sweetness. If not, you can always leave it out and stick to potatoes.
Baked Curry Puff ( makes 20 – 22 )
- 200g sweet potato, peeled & cubed
- 100g purple sweet potato, peeled & cubed,
- 250g pumpkin, peeled & cubed
- 400g potato (or 4 average size potatoes), peeled & cubed
- 250gm pork or chicken
- 1 cup of frozen green peas
- 2 tbsp curry paste
- 2-3 tbsp of oil (I’d used olive)
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 1 small onion, peeled & chopped
- 1 clove garlic, peeled & chopped
- 1 teaspoon grounded cumin
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce, or to taste
- 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- a pinch of ground white pepper
- Heat wok, add oil and sauté chopped onion until translucent.
- Add chopped garlic and stir-fry briefly until fragrant.
- Add curry powder paste and stir-fry until fragrant.
- Add pork or chicken and stir-fry until brown.
- Add diced vegetables and peas then season to taste with sugar, salt, cumin, soy sauce and pepper. Cook until vegetables are soft.
- Pour in coconut milk. Stir to combine then, let cook for 3-4 minutes on low flame then set aside to cool until ready to be used.
- 4 cups plain flour
- 50gm cold butter
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1 cup cold water
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Sift plain flour and salt into a big mixing bowl and mix together.
- Add butter. Rub into the flour mixture using your fingertips until the mixture resemble breadcrumbs.
- Add water gradually into the flour mixture.
- Once the mixture starts to cling together, use your hand to press together into a dough. Try not to knead too much if you can. If the mixture is still crumbly and does not form into a dough, add a little bit more water to bind. Shape the dough into a ball then flatten. Wrap the dough with cling film and chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
- Remove dough from the refrigerator and let it become pliable again before rolling out.
- Preheat oven to 180°C then divide dough into 20 portions.
- Roll the dough portions into balls with your hands.
- With floured rolling pin, flatten the dough balls to about 2mm thick on lightly floured surface.
- Spoon about 1 tablespoon of filling into the centre of each pastry round. Fold the pastry over to half-moon shape to enclose the filling and seal by crimping the edges into rope shape. Arrange the pastry on a lined baking sheet.
- Eggwash the top of each pastry. Bake for about 25 minutes, or until the pastry is golden brown.