My first taste of curry puffs was when I was in Telok Kurau Primary School (incidently, the same school which our late founding father Mr Lee Kuan Yew attended) in Singapore and it was my first day in Primary 1. During recess, my brother took me to the stall vendor and got me a big curry puff for just 10 cents! I remember how I loved that taste with my first bite. I still remember devouring it in the school field while my brother played soccer with his school mates. My brother, Faizal, took care of me pretty much in school while I was still trying to find my way around and making friends.
Over the years as I grew up in Singapore, I came across different variations - with shrimp paste, with sardines but I only try to eat those which were vegetarian. Sometimes, a little shrimp could be tasted here and there, even though the stall owners vouch it is vegetarian!
Homemade version is always the best - because you know what you are eating. You don't want full fat butter in your dough, no palm oil while cooking the filling or when frying the puffs in palm oil. Palm oil is high in saturated fat. It is so alarming so many people don't know about the badness of palm oil. Because it is a cheap source of oil. palm oil is found in many types of food - cereals, chips, cookies, breads....Watch out for it in the ingredients of the food you purchase.
I attempted baking curry puffs because I get awfully guilty eating fried food. I am hardly exercising here in Bluebell, PA because of the cold weather even though it is supposed to be Spring! I simply wanted to eat my curry puffs guilt free. These baked curry puffs turned out rather well - even my fussy 11 year old Riya agreed!
Ingredients (12 curry puffs)
2 cups all purpose flour or whole wheat flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
2 pinches salt
1 inch cube light butter (50% fat)
water needed to knead to a smooth dough
Method for Dough
Take a medium sized mixing bowl and place all the dry ingredients. Mix and then add the light butter and water and knead. Set aside for half an hour.
3 large potatoes, scrubbed, boiled or steamed in salted water, skinned and then cut into small cubes. (See Note)
2 tbsp. canola oil
1 big onion, chopped finely
1 green chilli, sliced
2 stalks of Chinese celery, chopped fine.
2 tsp curry powder
1 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 cup peas
salt to taste per preference
Method for Filling
Preheat oven to 375 deg F or 200 deg C and pray cooking spray over two baking trays. Set aside.
Heat a pot with canola oil and then fry the onion till translucent.
Add in the green chilli, chopped celery stalks and fry further.
Stir in the spice powders, salt and peas and cook for 2-3 mins.
Finally add in the cubed potatoes and combine well.
Let the filling cook on low heat for 2-3 minutes on medium heat.
Remove from stove and cool.
Roll out the dough on a floured surface and cut 4 inch circles using a small bowl.
Place the filling on one side of the circle dough and fold over.
Press the edges down with a fork to seal the curry puffs.
Brush a little canola oil over the curry puffs.
Bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, turning over and pressing down slightly midway.
Enjoy warm with any dipping sauce.