Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Curry Puffs

Having been inspired by the tasty baked curry puffs I now purchase frequently from Satay Garden (a small Malay Cafe by my house), I decided that I would try my hand at baking my new favorite snack. I'd seen a lot of recipes on the web, and familiarized myself enough with the complex method of forming, rolling and shaping the pastry for the curry puff that I felt ready to try my hand at making the flaky, layered dough. Needless to say, that this small snack takes a lot of work to prepare. If you want to make the pastry nice and layered, you have to mold each piece of dough individually. This means you have to have a lot of time on your hands... luckily I did :)

Curry Puffs
Yields 20-24 puffs

- 1 recipe of potato and chicken curry filling
- 1 recipe of water dough
- 1 recipe of oil dough
- 1 recipe of egg wash
(all recipes are found below)

1. Make the filling
2. Prepare the dough and fill each piece of puff dough with your curry-potato-chicken filling
3. Brush on egg wash
4. Bake at 350F for about 25mins, or until the curry puffs are a golden color.

Potato and Chicken Filling

- 2 chicken breasts, grilled and diced into hashed brown sized pieces
- 3 potatos, skinned, boiled and diced into hashed brown sized pieces
- 1/2 cup frozen vegetables, boiled and drained
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 3 tbsp oil
- 2 tbsp curry powder mixed with 2 tbsp of water
- 5 tbsp canned coconut cream (the thick portion)
- 2 tsp sugar
- Salt and white pepper, to taste

1. In the wok, pour in oil and fry the onions and garlic until fragrant. Add in the curry powder mixture and the coconut cream.
2. Add in the cooked potatoes, vegetables and chicken pieces. Continue to fry until heated through.
3. Add in the sugar, salt and pepper as desired.
4. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Chill in the fridge until ready to fill the pastry.

Layered Pastry

Water Dough Ingredients:
- 3 cups flour + some extra
- 225 ml water
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp oil (or melted butter)

1. Combine ingredients for water dough together. Add more flour as necessary to create a dough that is soft and does not stick to the bowl or your hands. Set aside while preparing the oil dough.

Oil Dough Ingredients:
- 1 1/2 cup flour
- 2/3 cup lard (you can substitute butter, but lard makes the pastry flakier)

1. Combine ingredients for oil dough together. Kneading the dough until you gain a soft, non-crumbly dough.

Method For Making Flaky Pastry

1. Take out a portion of the water dough. Roll it into a ball and flatten into a circular shape, like a pancake. Place a portion of the oil dough, rolled into a ball, in the center of the water dough. Wrap the water dough around the oil dough, to enclose it.
2. Use a rolling pin to flatten the pastry dough into an oblong shape.

3. Roll up this oblong shape from one end, all the way to the other (like a swiss roll).
4. Use a rolling pin and flatten this "swiss roll" length-wise, until you have a very thing and long piece of pastry dough.

5. Once again, roll up the pastry dough like a swiss roll.
6. Cut this "swiss roll" into two equal pieces, and voila! You have 2 pieces of pastry, ready to be used in making 2 curry puffs.

7. Roll out the dough into flat circles, and fill them as you would a pierogie.

Egg Wash
Combine 1 egg white + 1 tsp milk. Use a pastry brush to brush this egg wash onto the surface of the curry puffs, just before baking.

Sadly, these puffs weren't as flaky as I would have like them to be; it was probably because I ran out of lard/shortening and had to use butter instead. But, next time I will definitely use lard.... mmm, animal fat :P Aside from the disappointing non-flakiness, I was pleased with lovely curry flavor. They did not compare to the puffs at Satay Garden, but I think that if I wanted to I could charge a pretty penny. My parents loved the puffs, and my sisters ate them up for lunch at school... hmm, I think I will be charging them $1.50 per piece :P Nah, they're family and anyways, I love to bake!


Jude said...

Love the filling.. So that's how you get the circles in pastry dough!

Sophie said...

I really like the step by step instructions and the heary filling. These would make a great on the go snack! I would love to feature your recipe on our blog and the Demy, the first and only digital recipe reader. Please email sophiekiblogger@gmail.com if you're interested :)! Thanks.