"Cooking is an art and patience a virtue... Careful shopping, fresh ingredients and an unhurried approach are nearly all you need. There is one more thing - love. Love for food and love for those you invite to your table."
Keith Floyd, 'A Feast of Floyd'
Saturday, October 6, 2012
Curry Pastry Puffs
Homemade curry pastry puffs
Curry puffs filled with potatoes and eggs
I was craving for some spicy curry puffs over the weekend and decided to make some on my own. I would like to emphasise that this is not the traditional curry puffs that we have in Singapore and Malaysia. Rather, this is an improvised homemade version of those curry puffs. I call them “Curry Pastry Puffs” instead as I used the ready-to-be-baked puff pastry sheets (from the supermarket) in my recipe. While these puffs cannot be compared to the famous Old Chang Kee curry puffs (a popular curry puff chain in Singapore), they were nevertheless good enough to satisfy my craving for spicy food.
The potato curry paste (filling of the puffs) was a success and I was very happy with the outcome. The diced potatoes were pan fried over medium to high heat and later simmered over a low heat for about 15 minutes. Simmering the potatoes helped to retain their shape, soften and prevented them from breaking apart and forming into a mushy paste. Also, if you have a preference for less spicy food, you might like to omit the dried red chillies in the recipe, and use 2 tablespoons of the curry paste instead of 3.
For the more health conscious, this recipe might be suitable for you as the puffs were baked in the oven instead of deep fried in oil. This will save us from consuming a few extra calories!
Recipe for the Curry Pastry Puffs
3 – 4 tablespoons cooking oil
2 large brown onions (chopped)
1 to 2 strips dried red chillies, chopped finely (optional)
Ayam Malaysian Noya Curry Paste or a curry paste of your choice (2 - 3 tablespoons)
4 large potatoes (peeled and diced)
½ - 1 tablespoon salt (or season according to your preference)
½ - 1 tablespoon black pepper powder
1 tablespoon sugar
4 – 5 tablespoons of water (add more water if the potato mixture dries up)
6 puff pastry sheets (cut into circular sheets)
3 hard-boiled eggs (sliced into quarters)
1 egg lightly beaten
Black sesame seeds (optional)
Mint leaves (for garnish)
Tomato sauce (for garnish)
1. Heat a non-stick cooking pan and grease it well with the cooking oil.
2. Add the chopped onions and cook them over medium heat till they turn fragrant. Add the dried chillies and stir fry it with the onions. If you prefer your puffs to be less spicy, leave the chillies out. Take care that the onions do not get burnt at this stage.
3. Stir in the Ayam Nonya curry paste and mix well. Once the curry mixture has turned aromatic, add in the diced potatoes. Turn the heat up and pan fry the mixture for a few minutes.
4. Add in the salt, pepper, sugar and water, and mix well. Bring the potato mixture to a boil before simmering it for about 15 minutes over low heat. Add an additional 2 – 3 tablespoons of water if the potato mixture is too dry.
5. Check to see that the potato mixture is cooked. The diced potatoes should be soft but not mushy and that the mixture has hardly any liquid. Turn the heat off and let the potato mixture cool down to room temperature.
6. Preheat the oven to 230 degrees. Line a baking tray with baking paper.
7. Spoon about 2 to 3 tablespoons of the potato mixture and place the sliced hard-boiled eggs onto each of the cut out pastry sheets. Fold the sheets into half and seal them up gently with your fingers. Use a fork and press its tine onto the sealed edges to form a pattern.
8. Brush the puffs lightly with the beaten egg and sprinkle some sesame seeds on them before baking them in the oven. Bake them for about 30 - 35 minutes at 230 degrees or until golden brown.
9. Garnish the puffs with fresh mint leaves and tomato ketchup. Serve them hot.