Curry puffs are a staple teatime snack in Malaysia and Singapore, along with other tasty favourites such as banana fritters (with chili soy sauce!), sweet potato donuts (and many other deep-fried snacks!). Maybe it's just me, but whenever I'm in Malaysia, I'm constantly eating round the clock - breakfast, mid-morning snack, brunch, lunch, dessert, afternoon tea, evening snack, dinner, snack again followed by supper. Fortunately, there's a wide variety of food to choose from across different cuisines, plus there are different food stalls that operate from early morning till past midnight, and some even over 24 hours. Curry puffs are also known as epok-epok or karipap in Malaysia. I've made various types which you can find here, here and here. The recipe below is another version that uses oil and margarine, which gives it a firmer yet crispy texture, and equally delicious.
According to my mum, the "makcik" (auntie in Malay) selling curry puff in Malaysia told her that in order to get a flaky pastry, you need to "canai" the dough (meaning to flatten out and knead the dough) for about 5 minutes or long enough to incorporate air into the dough. I tried it and it turned out well, though next time, I'll need to test and see if it makes any difference if I didn't "canai" the dough.
Crispy deep-fried curry puffs
Click here for recipe.
220g plain flour
25g rice flour
25g tapioca starch
60ml (1/4 cup) vegetable oil
30ml (2 tbsp) margarine
110ml cold water
1/4 tsp salt
Prepare the curry puff filling first (click here for recipe).
After filling is cooked and cooled, prepare the pastry. Combine all the flours in a mixing bowl. Place margarine in a small saucepan and heat until melted and bubbling. Add vegetable oil and heat again until hot. Drizzle the hot oils into the flour and use a spatula to mix through until crumbly and soft. Mix 1/4 teaspoon salt to the cold water and drizzle over the flour mixture. Mix together with hands and start kneading until it forms a soft dough. Place on a flat surface like a wooden board, and knead well Stretch out and flatten the dough and fold over repeatedly, incorporating air into the dough. Do this for about 5 minutes.
Roll out little balls of dough and flatten into a disc. Place the cooked curry filling in the centre of the disc and fold over into a half moon, and pleat the edges with your fingers. If using a curry puff mould, make sure to seal the edges with tapioca starch solution so that the seal doesn't open up when frying.
Heat oil in a wok, pan or deep-fryer, enough for deep frying. When oil is hot (on high heat), add the curry puffs one at a time, fry for a minute and then turn the heat down to medium. Fry in batches, for about 5-7 minutes until golden brown. Then remove and drain on a wire rack or some absorbent kitchen paper. Serve, enjoy!