Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Spiral Chicken Curry Puffs Epok-Epok / Karipap Pusing

Sometimes, I wonder if curry puffs or karipap is a typical Singaporean or Malaysian thingy... because I know many Singaporeans including me have craving for curry puffs at times. or maybe it is just me???

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.

spiral chicken curry puffs epok-epok karipap pusing
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.

Happy Cooking
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  1. How come I've never heard of epok-epok? Hehe... I like curry puffs too but I think I love the sardine ones even more.. I can eat 8 for breakfast at one go! There is a lady seller selling karipap sardin for RM2 for 3 pieces here but I can only buy from her when I'm on leave or something.. She opens at 8am, too late for me..

  2. Hi Zoe, curry puff, my favourite but lazy to make the pastry. Can share some? BTW about the flour event does it include tapioca flour, rice flour and wheat starch flour?

  3. Oh Zoe, this are made perfectly, I love the layers of these pastries...I have not had this for a long time...but cannot imagine myself going through all the work...great job!
    Have a beautiful week :D

  4. Im just drooling looking at your beautiful, golden brown, delicious curry puffs!!

  5. This looks so authentic and delicious! My grandmother and mom used to make curry puffs years ago and sold it to neighbors! I haven't tried making this flaky type at home but I really should as I helped a friend make baked char sui buns with two doughs before!

  6. Wow! Zoe. I'm drooling already. It looks so delicious.
    Curry puff is my favourite!

  7. Hi Zoe! I love curry puffs! Wah, your last photo really had me drooling hah..hah...I think I can compete with Louiz. I can also eat 8 in one go hah..hah...

  8. wow!!! Zoe...these spirals are so pretty!!!! I'm sure that they are also delicious!!!! Nice recipe!!

  9. Zoe, your curry puffs turn out nice!
    Made it once, don't have kung fu to produce a cantik one~
    Now fasting month, my sisters crazed for the curry puffs!

  10. The effort is worth it! It looks like a piece of beautiful art, Zoe. Thanks for sharing :D

  11. ha,.. yes i remember buying the puffs with red dots during secondary school days... was it 50 cents? gosh... i love it.. but my butt already looks like a puff.. hahaha.... you crimp your puffs so nicely! i can never master the skill of it! how did you do it so perfectly? mine always end up tearing at the bottom... very sexy puffs you've got

  12. yummy puffs dear:)love the filling and love the swirls there

  13. Haven't tried out the puff pastry dough myself since the last bake-along with my Master & baking kakis. Yours really delicious. I missed the Ang Mo Kio Tip-Top curry puffs. Had alot when I was in my teen.

  14. Hi Zoe, Your curry puffs look perfect but I've never heard of the name 'epok-epok' before except cuff puff :D

  15. These are so beautiful, Zoe! I'm not sure I have the skill to make them, but I sure will try. xo

  16. Zoe, you are not alone, I have cravings for curry puff at times and will head for my favourite famous curry-pok stall in Ang Mo Kio Central. Your homemade ones look so enticing and delicious, wish I can try it!

  17. Hi Zoe , wish I could grab a few , bookmarked this to make when the kids go back to school , that will be a surprise for them , thanks for sharing :)

  18. LOVE good curry puff; Pinning to make later!

  19. Hi Zoe, I love eating curry puffs but lazy to make them lol! Buying from the market is much easier:P Can get very good ones here for reasonable price but if my boys want to eat more and I have the time,I'll prepare for them:D Pinning this for reference!

  20. Oh goodness, Zoe, they look so good. I'm sure I could never make these curry puffs but I sure would like to try:)

    I got such a kick out of reading about your Hello Kitty lunch box. So cute:) It's so nice that you have such lovely memories. I have a feeling those memories added to the flavor of these delightful bites:) Not to worry about your son, tastes changes you know:) Thanks for sharing, Zoe...

  21. I must say your curry puffs are nicely done and they look very delicious.

  22. Mummy Zoe, I liked mine curry puffs with LOTS of filling, lesser crusts please ^^

  23. Hi Zoe,

    The curry puffs look absolutely beautiful and delicious. Can't wait to try it. :)

  24. oh my goodness !! so thats how you get the spiral shape on the kari pap !!! My favorite is the sardine ones :).

  25. Epok epok! My boy's fav snack and he like it spicy! Time to roll up my sleeves and make some!

  26. Hi Zoe,
    Delicious karipap! My absolute favourite, I would happily have a few of this for my lunch, with a cup of tea. I prefer the plain curry ones over the sardine ones. Have you tried the ones with the sweet potato curry filling, it is really delicious too. Got to get myself some karipap tomorrow!

  27. We love curry puffs.... so grateful that we can buy them easily here! Your curry puffs look great.

  28. Curry for me, please -- I love the stuff. But this looks awfully good too. So I'll have some of both. ;-) Thanks for this.

  29. I miss curry puffs too! Not that it is my favorite local food but once in a while, I do have cravings to be satisfied, and curry puffs is one of those sudden cravings. :P

  30. Zoe, beautiful spiral curry puffs you have here, I can see you have skills to crimp the curry puff edges! Love the nice golden brown on them too! Yummylicious!

  31. i seldom take curry puffs..once in a while when i have a crave for it...but i hv tell you that yours were beautifully made and i'm admiring them ...

  32. I've also lost my mother, and recently my grandmother. Reading this reminds me of my grandmother's puffs. Also made using planta. Her curry/kaya puffs are best! Sadly also thru guesstimate. No measurements, all by feel. Sigh...all i know is folding the sides!

  33. I would like to bake as opposed to frying... Possible?

    1. Hi Jo,

      I'm sorry that I have not tried baking these curry puffs without frying them and so I can't tell you if you can bake them without any frying. Cheers!


  34. Instead of frying can I bake it .

    1. Hi,

      As mentioned in my earlier comment, I'm sorry that I have not tried baking these curry puffs without frying them and so I can't tell you if you can bake them without any frying. Cheers!


  35. I don't like deep fry it. I baked it it turn out very good.

    1. Hi Siew,

      Thanks for telling me this... Good to know that I can bake these curry puffs too :)