Curry puffs: A Malaysian favourite

Curry puffs can be regarded as Asian pies, with credit given to the Portuguese empanada for the original idea of a stuffed pastry.
Curry puffs can be regarded as Asian pies, with credit given to the Portuguese empanada for the original idea of a stuffed pastry.

KUALA LUMPUR, March 1 — It’s hard to come across a person who actually makes curry puffs from scratch in Malaysia. After all, there are so many stalls selling these little parcels of delight, freshly fried in all their piping hot, golden brown glory. 

So why would you want to make them yourself? Well, for one, you can add your favourite ingredients into the curry puffs to suit the demands of your palate, besides ensuring the pastry is adequately filled with the right amount of filling instead of settling for the sometimes pitiful amount in the curry puffs you buy.

Curry puffs can be regarded as Asian pies, with credit given to the Portuguese empanada for the original idea of a stuffed pastry. 

The thick, flaky pastry envelopes piping hot filling, giving you satisfying bites of serious deliciousness. 

The filling is usually cooked separately before being stuffed into the rolled dough, and what makes up the filling is usually up to a person’s imagination and preference. 

Though curried potatoes and chicken are usually the most common filling, there are now many other varieties such as sardines, minced meat, hard-boiled eggs and some more imaginative ones such as yam and custard! 

After filling them the pastry is usually crimped on both sides before being deep fried.

For my recipe today, I’m choosing to add an enticing trio of main ingredients for the fillings; eggs, chicken and onions, all made even more irresistible by cooking them with curry paste. 

If you belong to the club of curry puff lovers who simply have to ensure they’re readily available to satisfy urgent hunger pangs, I suggest you keep them in the freezer. When the urge presents itself, all you have to do is defrost them before popping them into the oven. 

Not only is this a healthier alternative to the frozen versions available in the supermarkets, baking the puffs is also a healthier option as it removes the excess oils and fats (read: butter!) from the pastry.

Making the curry puffs just right may be quite tricky but why not resort to store bought puff pastries if time is the limiting factor. The idea is to keep them crispy on the outside, while ensuring they’re soft and moist inside. 

Just stick to my guidelines, and you’ll be whipping them up like a pro in no time at all! 

Curry Puffs

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 20-25 minutes

Serves 12

4 store bought puff pastries

1 cup vegetable oil, for brushing the pastry

For the filling:

2 chicken breasts, diced

1 large Bombay onion, skin removed and finely diced

2 large boiled potatoes, skin removed and diced

2 large hard boiled eggs, diced

2 tablespoons A1 curry paste

1 tablespoon curry leaves

1 cinnamon stick 

½ chicken bouillon

1 teaspoon Lee Kum Kee oyster sauce

1 tablespoon vegetable oil  

1 cup boiled water

dash of pepper

1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C.

2. For the filling, heat vegetable oil in a large wok over high heat. Add onions and saute until fragrant. Add chicken, curry paste, curry leaves, cinnamon stick, oyster sauce, chicken bouillon and water. Simmer ingredients over low heat for 15 minutes, until water is reduced. Remove cinnamon stick and add in boiled potatoes and eggs. Mix thoroughly and set aside and leave to cool.

3. Cut pastry with a 5cm diameter pastry cutter.

4. Put a spoonful of filling in the centre of the pastry. Fold two ends of the pastry and seal with the back of a fork. Set aside. Repeat this step for the remaining of the filling and pastry.

5. Place curry puffs on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Brush puffs with vegetable oil before putting in the oven.

6. Bake for 15 minutes, until puffs are golden brown and cooked.

7. Serve immediately.

For more recipes, go to www.chopstickdiner.com.