“Nonya” Curry Puff ?–Flaky or Spiral Curry Puffs(脆皮咖喱卜)



This is a recipe for flaky crust curry puffs and it was commonly known as “Nonya curry puffs”. However, when I posted in a Peranakan Facebook Group, members are saying that there is no such thing as flaky nonya curry puffs..


Hmmm, I am also rather unsure how this type of curry puff is being associated with Nonya cuisines… The type of flaky skin is very common in traditional Chinese biscuits. Such way of preparing the puff pastry is nothing to shout about, from wife biscuits, to Teochew moon cake to tau sa pia to char siu puff etc., all are using the same technique of preparation. The only difference is that this recipes uses margarine instead of lard..


The shape of curry puff is possibly influenced by the Portuguese Empanadas.. As for the filling, it is very much similar with the Indian samosa with the filling of curry potatoes.


All this while, when one talk about curry puff or karipap or epok epok, most will associate this dish with our Malay brothers. Could it be the combination of the dough preparation using Chinese method and the filling using Malay recipe that resulted the term “Nonya curry puff”.. I have no answer and I do not think i have any resources to find out how this name arises.


If you are interested in the preparation of traditional epok epok or karipap, you can refer to this post: Simple Epok Epok or Curry Puffs


It is common in Singapore that curry puffs sold have eggs included. It was relatively much bigger in size and it can be sold as high as S$1.50 per piece.  As my kids like to have eggs in the curry puffs, I have therefore decided to include eggs in this recipe.



Recipe adapted from: Petite Nyonya’s Kitchen…for all seasons: Spiral Curry Puff

Servings: About 8-10 big spiral curry puffs


Oil Dough

  • 200 grams of plain flour
  • 120 grams of vegetable shortening
  • Pinches of salt

Water Dough

  • 3oo grams of plain flour
  • 120 grams of margarine
  • 150 grams of ice water


For fillings:

  • 2 onions – diced into small pieces
  • 3 potatoes – diced into small pieces
  • Some curry leaves (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons of curry powder or Garam Masala
  • 2-3 hardboiled eggs – cut into quarter (not in picture)
  • 1 tablespoon of chilli powder (not in picture)
  • 2 tablespoons of cooking oil (not in picture)
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • Sugar and salt to taste
  • Seasonings to taste

*This recipe is the simplest recipe and full of variations and feel free to increase or decrease the quantity stated here. You can also add chicken meat too.



PicMonkey Collage4

  • In a sauce pan under medium heat, put some cooking oil and stir fry the diced onion, curry leaves, chilli powder and curry powder until fragrant and onion are soft. Add in diced potatoes, stir fry until well combined. Add 1/2 cup of water.


  • Let it simmer until the potatoes are soft and water dries up , add chicken meat (if any) and seasonings to taste (e.g sugar, pinches of salt, pepper). Set aside for later use.

PicMonkey Collage1

  • Put all the ingredients for the water skin and use hand to knead until smooth. Note that this is rather fast and may took 2-3 minutes.  Take out the water skin, set aside and perform the same for the oil skin. If it is too sticky, add plain flour one tablespoon by tablespoon until a pliable dough is formed. Let the two types of dough rest at room temperature for at least 15 minutes before proceeding to the next step.

PicMonkey Collage2

  • Flatten the water dough and place the oil dough on top, Wrap the oil dough with the water dough. Seal all edges and flatten to a square shape. Use the rolling pin to roll it is thin as possible (about 1/2 cm thick). Roll up from one end and cut into 8-10 equal pieces. In the cross section of the cut dough, you shall see some circular pattern formed between oil and water dough’s.

PicMonkey Collage3

  • Take a cut dough, with the circular pattern facing you, use a rolling pin to roll it into flat circular piece of about 10 cm diameter. Transfer the dough to your hand, put a slice of egg and some curry potatoes. Seal the edges.

PicMonkey Collage4

  • Pleat the sides with your favourite patterns. Deep fried in a pot of hot oil (medium heat and oil must adequate to cover the puffs) until golden brown. Drain and place in an airy area and let it cool completely before serving.



I felt uneasy to use the word “nonya”. May be it is more appropriately be termed as spiral or flaky curry puffs. The puff have a very crispy skin for hours. In the event that it soften after half a day, you can deep fry it again or bake in the oven at 130 degree Celsius. The curry puff will become crispy again.


Hope you like the post today. Cheers and have a nice day.



5 thoughts on ““Nonya” Curry Puff ?–Flaky or Spiral Curry Puffs(脆皮咖喱卜)

  1. Namaste Kenneth,

    Yes, there is such a thing as ‘Nonya Curry Puff’.

    Back in the 1960s (till it got torn down and evacuated) We used to live with my Grandmother in an 8 bedroom zinc rooftop house at 61/2 mile Upper Serangoon Road (Bah Kiah Hng) – now known as Hougang housing estate. We are Teochew Pernakan families and back in those days, my family used to make Nonya Curry Puffs with this kind of dough and also CNY snacks – teeny weeny crispy dough with ground peanut, sugar and sesame seeds. This kind of dough is the only dough we used in our family. The only difference for the curry puff fillings is that we used coconut milk instead of water. The rings on the dough are thinner .. that means we keep on folding it (much like croissant) and rolling it a few times (at least 3 times) before the final roll to slice it to make the puffs.

    My Mother was always the one to do these kind of snacks every year and we used to make our own Poong Kueh for CNY every year. A ‘Lor Ark’ and ‘Curry Chicken’ is a must to go with the Poong kueh. All the recipes was forgotten but I do remember very vividly on how it was made ‘cos I was the only one to help my Mother out every single CNY and we usually start at least 3 weeks in advance for the snacks and 2 days in advance for the Poong kueh.

    Hope that my family’s history helps to clear the ‘unknown’. My Grandmother/Mother’s kueh kueh and snacks were famous only within the Teochew Peranakan circle in Hougang.

  2. In Singapore ,Blk 274 Bukit Batok East Ave 4 #01-106 , there is a new 24hrs Peranakan Café in the neighbourhood near the market , brand: Nyonya Curry Puff Café . Their nyonya curry puff skin is very crispy and inside the curry taste is the best in SG .

    Their Curry Puff are freshly handmade daily by the malay auntie ,the recipe is pass down from their generations, is already become SG local delicacy . Curry chicken Puff , black Pepper and chicken cheese the taste is nice and the skin is very crispy .They also have 24 hrs Catering Delivery Service !
    98813552 is their hotline…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s