Instinctively, curry puffs is always one of the local food that I love to eat when I'm in Singapore. Being a Singaporean, I have also tried to convince and educate my chili-resisting child the beauty of curry puff eating but sadly, my boy is still not trying. Maybe, my boy is just not Singaporean enough... Or maybe, it is just me that is too nuts about curry puffs??? Being mum, I can't enjoy anything delicious without feeding my child. Maybe I can make non-spicy-non-curry chicken puffs for my boy. Non-spicy-non-curry puffs!!!??? Sounds ridiculous, isn't it? ... but I hope that my boy will like his non-curry puffs as much I love my curry ones! For this reason, I like to compromise...
Years ago, the little fatty me love eating curry puffs. I remember making curry puffs with my grandmother, mum and auntie Lita. Auntie Lita was like part of our family when we were young... She is our helper that lived with us for more than 10 years and had to returned to Philippines reluctantly to fulfill a marriage obligation. You know... words can say how much we missed auntie Lita.
I remember watching how my grandmother giving instructions to my mum and Lita. Like usual, our curry puffs were made with grandmother's agak agak (estimation in Malay) instructions which leaves me minimal amount of information to make mine. Back in those days, we often made two versions of puffs. The chicken curry potatoes ones and the tomato-chilli sardine ones and they are mostly wrapped with an oily pastry containing Planta margarine. Unlike my boy, I love love love my curry and sardine puffs! I often had more than three puffs in a go and packed another few subsequently for school in my Hello Kitty lunch boxes.
Over the years, I have lost grandmother, mum, auntie Lita and my Hello Kitty lunch boxes. I know that it is sad but the least that I possess now is the rest of my family and my memory. A memory that can help me to cook my own curry puffs according to the most traditional way that I like... A memory that also remind me to love and cherish all that I have...
Based on my memory and knowledge, these are the curry puffs with flaky spiral pastry that I have made... Hope that you like them as much I do.
|My spiral chicken curry puffs|
|The puffs that I made are mostly filled with these potatoes ...|
|... cooked with non-curry vs curry seasoning.|
|This is how I cooked the filling ...|
|This half was cooked with curry seasoning and the other was cooked with soy sauce and 5-spice powder.|
|To make a spiral dough, I need to prepare 2 types of dough.|
|Then, I had to roll and "roll"...|
|At this stage, I can clearly see the spiral design on each portion of dough.|
|I used the mould to shape my first puff initially ...|
|... and decided to crimp the rest using the traditional method because this is the way I like the most.|
|My mum said that the addition of shortening in the frying oil can make crisper puffs and I did what she said.|
|I'm happy to see the defined spiral designs on these puffs ...|
|... and enjoying them like I always do :)|
When these puffs were gone, my boy kept telling me... "Mum! Can you make more curry puffs with no curry for my school lunch?" ... and I said "yes" instantly.
This is how I made my chicken curry and chicken non-curry spiral puffs.
To cook enough chicken curry (or non curry) filling to make 10-12 decent sized curry puffs:
1 tbsp cooking oil, preferably rice bran oil
1/2 of a large onions, finely diced
150g chicken thigh fillet, skinless, boneless, cut into large chunks
2 potatoes, peeled and finely diced
80 ml water or more if required
a pinch of ground white pepper
To season this amount of non-curry filling, add:
3/4 tsp five-spice powder
1/2 tsp chicken stock powder, optional
1/4 tsp salt or any extra to taste
1 1/2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp dark soy sauce
To season this amount of curry filling, add:
1/2 tsp chicken stock powder, optional
1/4 tsp salt or any extra to taste
1 1/2 tbsp sugar
1 1/2 tbsp curry powder or extra according to taste*
1 sprig of curry leaves
* I have used mild curry powder which is good enough for me but not hot enough for my husband. You can use hot curry powder if you like your curry to be spicier.
2 eggs, boiled, shelled and cut each into 8 - you will get a half egg as leftover.
To prepare filling:
In a large frying pan, heat oil with medium-high heat. Cook chicken for 3 mins until slightly browned. Remove chicken from frying pan and set aside. Cook onions for 3 mins until slightly browned. Add potatoes and cook for another 2-3 mins. Return browned chicken into the frying pan. Add water, pepper and seasonings required for either non-curry and curry fillings. Lower the heat to medium-low. Cook filling (with no cover) with occasional stirring until potatoes are tender with a semi-dry texture. If the potatoes are not cooked thoroughly and the mixture is drying up, add gradual amount of water to continue cooking. When the filling is cooked, remove the pan from heat and set aside to cool completely.
Any leftover filling can be kept frozen for 1-2 weeks.
Note: I have cooked 4 times the amount of filling to make extra non-curry and curry fillings. I have cooked the leftover a little saucier and we ate them with plain rice for our weekday dinners.
To make spiral curry puff pastry (mostly adapted from Sam Tan's Kitchen):
Makes 10-12 puffs with decent amount of fillings
For the water dough:
300g all purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup lukewarm water
1 egg, small and beaten
1 tbsp of oil, preferably rice bran oil
In a mixing bowl, combine all ingredients and knead into a soft and pliable dough by hand. Alternatively, you can use a breadmaker or an electric mixer with hook attachment for kneading the dough.
Divide dough into two portions and cover them. Allow them to rest for 30 mins in room temperature.
For the butter dough:
75g cold butter, roughly diced
150g all purpose flour
Using a pastry blender or by hand, incorporate butter into flour until crumbly. Combine all by hand to form a smooth buttery dough. Divide dough into two portions.
Place one portion of butter dough on roughly rolled out water dough. Seal the butter dough inside the water dough.
On a lightly floured surface, roll dough into thin oval shape with a rolling pin. Then, roll it tightly from the bottom end toward the other end like a Swiss roll.
Turn the dough with the spiral side facing you. Roll the dough to form a thin oval shape and then roll it tightly like a Swiss roll.
Using a knife, slice into dough into 2 cm discs starting from its spiral side. The cross section of the dough will clearly show the spiral layers that you have just made.
Repeat the same shaping method with the other portion of water and butter dough.
To assemble the puffs:
Flatten each disc into a thin circle with a rolling pin.
Place the pastry on a curry puff mould (or use your palm if you don't have one). Place 2 tbsp of filling (or just enough fillings) in the middle and fold the mould or pastry to enclose, peeling off any excess pastry if required
To crimp the pastry manually (like the traditional way), pinch the edges flat and fold in at a 45° angle to form a plait .
Note: At this stage, the assembled puffs can be be kept frozen for 1-2 weeks. As hard boiled eggs don't freeze very well, please do not incorporate any hard boiled eggs into your puffs if you are planning to freeze them. Fry frozen puff directly if they are required to be consumed.
Heat sufficient frying oil (preferably canola oil with the addition of 2 tbsp shortening in every 400ml for extra crisper texture) in a deep saucepan over medium-high heat. Deep fry the puffs, tossing continuously until golden brown.
Remove with a pair of wooden chopsticks or a slotted spoon, shake off excess oil and drain on kitchen towels before serving.
This post is linked to the event, Little Thumbs up organised by Doreen from my little favourite DIY and me, Bake for Happy Kids, hosted by Jasline from Foodie Baker at this post.
Our Little Thumbs Up event starts on the first Tuesday until the last day of the month. Please join us! To join, simply cook or bake any recipe with the theme of the month which is POTATO for July 2014 and link with us at this post anytime until 31st July 2014.
Don't forget your thumbs up or display this badge! And make sure that: (1) Your post must be a current post preferably within this month. (2) Please mention Little Thumbs Up in your post and link back to Bake for Happy Kids, my little favourite DIY or/and Jasline from Foodie Baker. For more details, please see this.
What after July 2014? Diana from Domestic Goddess Wannabe will be the next hostess of August 2014 and her theme is FLOUR! Her Little Thumbs Up event starts on the first Tuesday of August 2014 (5th Aug) until the last day of the month. If you are wondering what kind of flour you can use to participate this event, please check out this message from Diana...
"Flour is an essential ingredient in my (and I am sure, many of your) kitchen. It is the base of pastas and noodles, cakes and biscuits, or even as thickening agents in the making of a roux. The list of food items made using flour is endless. As such, we will be limiting the theme to mainly Wheat Flour, namely:
- All-Purpose (also known as Plain) Flour
- Bread Flour
- Cake Flour
- Self-raising Flour
- Pastry Flour
- Wholemeal Flour
- Hong Kong (also known as Waterlily) Flour
- Superlite Flour
- Top Flour
Sorry for being a nag but I like to mention this again...
Yen from Eat your heart out and Mich from Piece of Cake and I (Zoe) from Bake for Happy Kids will be cooking and baking lots of Gordon Ramsay's recipes for the whole month of August 2014.
GORDON RAMSAY!!! Yeah... Love him or hate him! I have to say that I don't exactly adore Gordon Ramsay like crazy but I really like his humour and the food that he cooks.
Sadly, this will be our second last Cook like a Star event. Whether you love Gordon Ramsay or not, I hope that you won't miss this event and enjoy cooking with us.