Curry Puffs or Pasties
My fondest foodie memories come largely from many moons ago on my gap year in Kuching, Sarawak, to which I have referred before. Here is another – curry puffs. The same pastry recipe which is used for the vegetable pie, can be used for making pasties – large, small, sweet, savoury. It is a delicious way of using up left over curry or stews. Traditionally pasties were made for men working in the mines. I learned only the other day that one half would be filled with savoury, and the other with sweet, so lunch and pudding were in one package.
Makes about 30 small curry puffs
250g plain flour
250g unsalted butter, cold but not straight from the fridge. As you work the dough, it will soften.
pinch of salt
very cold water
1. Combine the ingredients so that you have lumps of butter, like a very coarse crumble topping.
2. Add water, just enough to bring the pastry together. The less water, the more delicious.
3. Roll it out into a long rectangle. You will see lumps of butter in it. By the last roll and fold the aim is not to see the butter but if you see a tiny bit at the end it doesn’t matter. The more folds you do, the more layers there will be in the pastry.
4. Fold it like a letter – see the picture below – turn it 90 degrees, and roll again into the same long rectangle.
5. Fold and repeat. As soon as it looks as if it is softening and has potential to become greasy, put it in the fridge for half an hour wrapped in clingfilm and folded as in the picture below. If you can manage one more roll and fold, do.
6. Repeat the roll and fold process 3 or 4 more times and refrigerate for half an hour or until you need it, cling filmed. It should be nearer room temperature when you roll it, for ease.
3 tbsp plain oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
half a clove of garlic, finely chopped
300g waxy potatoes such as Charlotte finely chopped into little 5mm cubes
70g frozen peas
1 tsp curry powder
1 tbsp sun-blushed tomatoes
1. Put the oil in a pan and when hot, add the onion and fry until glassy.
2. Add the garlic and fry for 1 minute.
3. Add the potatoes and mix.
4. When they are fully coated, add the curry powder and stir in.
5. If the mixture is dry and catches at the bottom of the pan, add more oil. Keep it over a low heat with the lid on, stirring occasionally, until the potato is cooked through.
6. Season to taste. If the curry tastes a little strong, keep in mind that it will be dilluted by the pastry when you bite into it.
7. Roll out the pastry to about 3mm thick.
8. Take a pastry cutter and cut out circles, adding the filling to the centre.
9. Bring the sides up and press the pastry together.
10. Bake at 200 degrees C for about 10 minutes or until cooked. It helps to turn the pasty or puff over and check that there are no raw looking parts. You may find they are a little crumbly but the texture is worth a bit of crumble. They are delicious dipped in a sweet chilli sauce.
We had a drinks party during which canapes were aimed at providing dinner, so curry puffs are a good substantial addition on such a night.