One of the things I really miss about Katanning, apart from all the good friends I had there, is the excellent Malay Cuisine that Moh and his relatives prepare. On every occasion that warranted sharing food at the Shire, there was always some really delicious curries, I have already shared the recipe for Moh’s nasi minyak, which I consider one of the very best ways to serve rice.
One of the tastiest and most comforting snacks that folk brought along to work and gatherings, were vegetarian curry puffs. I have tried versions of these treats in many places around the world and it is my considered opinion that Katanning is the curry puff capital of Australia. There were some subtle differences in the various curry puff offerings, depending who made them, but they were all delicious.
I never managed to extract the exact recipe from anyone but I have set about trying my best to reproduce the flavour.
How hard could it be?
This effort seems pretty close. Maybe not QUITE as good as Moh’s or Aina’s. Theirs are, as I said, superb. Mine tasted fine but, possibly due to my hasty preparation, they are definitely not as pretty looking. Mine are also spicier, because I tend to be generous with the curry.
I was quite pleased with the pastry, as making that has never been my forte.
I borrowed a pastry recipe from the Internet and made it with the food processor. It seems to be the right way to do it. However, see my confession appended below. This second time round, I cheated, and bought the pastry ready made.
I now have a fan forced electric oven instead of the old gas oven. I think it does a far better job baking, though I do miss my gas hob for the control it gives when using pots and woks. Now I am using my electric wok again. I may use the other one for panning gold.
Curry Puff Ingredients
- 2 Tbsp peanut oil
- a slice of trasi (optional)
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 2 cups diced pumpkin
- 2 cups diced potato
- 1 cup frozen peas and/or frozen sweet corn kernels and/or chopped capsicum
- 1 can coconut cream
- 1/4 can water
- 1 Tbsp palm sugar (or brown sugar)
- 2 Tbsp chopped coriander leaves, or parsley
- 1 tsp curry powder
- 1 Tbsp red curry paste
- 1 tsp cumin seed
- 1 tsp mustard seeds
- A few dashes of fish sauce
– either buy it or make it thus:
- 3 cups plain flour
- 200g chilled butter, chopped
- 2 egg yolks (the whites can be beaten and used as glaze)
- 1/4 cup chilled water
- pinch of salt
- Heat oil in a wok and fry the trasi, add the onion and potato, mustard and cumin seeds
- Cook for 3 minutes, stirring
- Add the pumpkin, red curry paste, curry powder, sugar, fish sauce, water and coconut cream and bring to a simmer.
- Keep cooking at a simmer, stirring periodically until the sauce is thickened and the vegetables are cooked
- Mix in the chopped coriander leaves and peas
- Remove from the heat to cool down
- Mix butter, flour and salt in a food processor until it looks like breadcrumbs.
- Add egg yolks and 1/4 cup water.
- Mix just until a ball of dough is formed
- Put dough onto a lightly floured board and knead until smooth
- Wrap in Gladwrap and refrigerate for at least half an hour
Curry Puff Assembly and Baking
- Preheat oven to 190C or 180C on fan bake
- Divide the pastry dough into about 20 – 24 approximately equal sized balls
- On the lightly floured board, roll each into a round approximately 3 mm thick and dampen the edges
- Place a tablespoon of filling onto each round and fold up the pastry, sealing the edge with a crimp ( I am still trying to work out how to make them as pretty as the Katanning ones)
- Glaze with beaten egg white (optional)
- place them on baking paper on a baking tray, well spaced out
- Bake for about 25 minutes, in the middle of the oven until golden brown.
the recipe makes much more filling than needed for the Two dozen curry puffs. It can be frozen to use later, or eaten with rice for lunch later on.
The first batch I made some time ago really were delicious, but so unphotogenic that I decided at the time I could not publish a picture of them. I decided to wait until I made another batch, before publishing this recipe on my blog. The pastry tasted fine, the recipe is good, but my rolling and folding skills were an embarrassment. I decided to wait until I had a product that looked good as well as tasted good. This time I cheated and bought pre-rolled pastry. As it happens, they did actually not come out any prettier. Much easier to prepare, and they taste fine, but in retrospect perhaps the homemade pastry did taste a little better.