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

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INTRODUCTION

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..

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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..

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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WHAT IS REQUIRED

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

Servings: About 8-10 big spiral curry puffs

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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

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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.

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STEPS OF PREPARATION

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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CONCLUSION

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.

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

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Money Bag For Your New Year–Simple Epok Epok or Curry Puffs

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UPDATED POST ON 15-10-2014

I have some leftover curry chicken left, so I decided to use these curry chicken and potatoes to prepare some curry puffs. To transform the curry gravy into the filling, you will need to cut the curried potatoes and meat into small pieces, cook over the stoves and thicken with some plain flour or corn starch. Fried until it dries up. Please scroll down for the proper shaping of the curry puff.

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IINTRODUCTION

Epok Epok or potatoes curry puff is one of the very common snacks in Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand. At times, it was called “karipap”.

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My kid is an Epok Epok fanatic. He had reminded me to buy him this for his breakfasts for the last few days. He is just like an old man, grumble and grumble. He will remind me once in the afternoon, once at night, suddenly during shopping, or just before going to bed. I knew he like it, so do my other family members and myself. Since everyone like it, why not I learn how to prepare this myself.

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I searched for the recipes on the net and I came across this recipe : Epok Epok kentang potatoes curry puffs. I wanted to prepare in the shape of curry puffs but acknowledging my poor shaping skills, I can’t create a nice shape like what is sold in the hawker stalls. I did not have the special mould for Epok Epok either. I told my wife that we should cover our “weaknesses” and shaped it into a money bag for Chinese New Year.  Ha-ha

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Malaysia and Singapore are multi racial countries. As a Malaysian and Singapore Permanent Resident, I am proud of our racial harmony especially when I travelled overseas. We have 3 major festivals each year, Chinese New Year for the Chinese, Hari Raya Aidilfiltri (Eid Mubarak) for the Muslims (predominantly Malays) and Diwali (Deepavali) for Indians. It is definitely not wrong that as a Chinese, we incorporate some Malay cuisines in our Chinese New Year delicacies.

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In fact, curry puff is so common and I was shocked that Wikipedia have a write up on this famous pastry that is of Portuguese influence. It is believed that curry puff originated from the Portuguese pastry, Empanadas. Per Wikipedia:

Curry puff (Malay: Karipap, Epok-Epok; Chinese: 咖哩角,咖哩饺; pinyin: gālí jiǎo; Thai: กะหรี่ปั๊บ, RTGS: karipap, IPA: [karìːpáp]) is a Malaysian, Singaporean, and Thai snack. It is a small pie consisting of specialised curry with chicken and potatoes in a deep-fried or baked pastry shell, and it looks like the Portuguese stuffed bread called Empanada. The curry is quite thick to prevent it from oozing out of the snack.A common snack in the region, the curry puff is one of several “puff” type pastries with different fillings, though now it is by far the most common. Other common varieties include sardines and onions or sweet fillings such as yam. Though differing in the type of pastry used, the shape and structure of the curry puff may suggest that it has its origins in the Cornish pasty. Curry Puffs are a very popular snack item in Indian Bakeries. Several variations of it are available based on the content of the puff, like Egg puff, chicken curry puff and paneer puff.Some varieties of the South Asian samosa are very similar to curry puffs.

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From the above definition, one would have a free hand to design the fillings you like. If you still want curry puff but afraid it to be spicy, you can use the Japanese curry roux to make it into a Japanese curry puff. You can refer to the post Japanese curry pies, a post that was once featured by Asian Food Channel on how to make turmeric curried potatoes that are not spicy.

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WHAT IS REQUIRED

Recipe adapted from: Epok Epok kentang potatoes curry puffs

Servings: Make 20-30 curry puffs depends on size

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For pastry:

  • 400 grams of self raising flour, sifted
  • 175 grams of butter or margarine
  • 160 ml of cold water
  • Pinches of salt

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For fillings:

This recipe is the simplest recipe and full of variations and feel free to increase or decrease the quantity stated here.

  • 2 onions – diced into small pieces
  • 2 potatoes – diced into small pieces
  • Some curry leaves (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons of curry powder or Garam Masala
  • 1 small cane of tuna (not in picture – optional)
  • 2 tablespoons of cooking oil (not in picture)
  • About 5 cups of cooking oil for deep frying
  • 1/2 cup of water (not in picture)
  • Seasonings to taste

Optional ingredients – Any spices that are used to cook curry such as chilli powder, cloves, anise, can be added. You can refer to the more authentic original recipes here.

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STEPS OF PREPARATION

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

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  • Let it simmer until the potatoes are soft and water dries up , add canned tuna (you can add earlier if you want) and seasonings to taste (e.g sugar, pinches of salt, pepper). Set aside for later use.

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  • In a mixing ball, beat your butter/margarine until light and pale. Add in sifted flour and cold water. Use the mixer’s slowest speed to stir until combined. Take out and lightly knead until smooth. Note that you can just rub the butter with flour with your hand, gradually add the water and knead until smooth. Stand mixer is optional.

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  • Roll the dough in a flat surface using a rolling pin. Cut a round shape out ( I used the cover from a Chinese New Year cookies container). Take out and stretch the sides. The sides should be thinner than the middle. Put 1-2 tablespoons of curry puff fillings. Pull the sides up and make it shape like a money bag. Remember to close the dough in the middle. Set aside for later use.

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  • In a sauce pan, have adequate cooking oil. Heat until when a wooden chopstick inserted, bubbles start to emit. To counter ensure the correct oil temperature, cut a small piece of dough and throw in the oil. If it turn brown too fast, the oil is too hot. Lower the heat to medium. Once the oil temperature is ascertained, put in all the money bags and deep fried until golden brown. If you are not speedy enough to handle the frying fitters, use medium heat. But when the colour is slightly golden, increased the heat to high and take out after one minute. This is to prevent the oil from absorbing back to the money bag so that you will have a crispy money bag. Drain and put on a piece of kitchen towel or oil absorbing paper before serving. Best served only when completely cooled but still crispy.

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Common shaping of curry puff

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  • Divide the dough into equally about 30-40 grams . Shape it into a ball and lightly flatten it. Use a rolling pin to roll it thin and of about 6-8 cm diameter. Place a tablespoon of two of the fillings on the centre of the dough. Fold half and seal the edges. Slightly press the fillings such that it conform to the shape we want. Pinch the edges in a regular pattern until all the edges are pleated.

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CONCLUSION

I honestly believed that this is definitely a good pastry to promote racial harmony. While this may not be able to keep for long, it will be an ideal party snack food for your Chinese New Year gatherings. Well, if you have good shaping skills, you can shape liked the traditional curry puffs as the recipe is essentially the same recipe.

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

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  • For more recipes, you can refer to my RECIPE INDEX (updated as at 8 June 2014)  here and you can follow me at PINTEREST or visit the blog’s FACEBOOK PAGE to keep abreast of my future posts.  

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