Corner Café

September 15, 2009

Beef Curry Puffs (fried flaky version)

Filed under: Kuih-Muih,Pies, Tarts & other Pastries — SeaDragon @ 12:00 am
Tags: , ,


I actually did these curry puffs quite a few weeks ago, but did not have time to type up and post the recipe. Hopefully I remembered correctly what I did and wrote accordingly.
Since a lot of readers did not like using lard to make the dough for the flaky pastry, I did this batch using butter instead, the result was quite good, though not as good as using lard. I also reduced the butter used in the pastry significantly since they were to be deep-fried.

Makes approx. 12 curry puffs

Beef Curry Filling:
300g (about 2) potatoes
120g (about 1) carrot
100g (about 3/4 cup) frozen or fresh peas
250g minced beef
250g (1 large) onion
2 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons curry powder mixed with 2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons coconut milk powder mixed with 3 tablespoons water
2 teaspoons salt, or to taste
2 teaspoons sugar, or to taste
dash of ground white pepeer, or to taste
4 tablespoons canola oil

Chinese Flaky Pastry:
Water Dough:
85g bread flour
85g cake flour
15g caster sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
40g butter, softened
70ml water, adjust as necessary

Butter Dough:
85g cake flour
55g butter, softened
Beef Curry Filling:
1. Peel and boil the potatoes until soft and let cool, then dice into almost pea-size pieces.
2. Peel and steam the carrot, let cool then also dice into almost pea-size pieces.
3. Heat the canola oil in a wok. Add chopped onion and sauté for about 5 minutes, or until the edges start to brown. Add chopped garlic and cook for another minute. Add curry paste and stir-fry for another 1 to 2 minutes until fragrant. Add minced beef and cook until colour changes. Add peas and cook another minute. Season with salt, sugar and white pepper. Add coconut milk paste and stir to combine. Cook until the mixture is almost dry. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Dish up to a large plate to cool. This amount will make approximately 900g filling, of which you only need about 300g to make the 12 curry puffs in this recipe. Leftover filling can be used to add to fried rice.


Chinese Flaky Pastry:
1. For the Water Dough: Put both types of flour, sugar, salt and butter in a mixing bowl. Slowly add just enough water to form a soft but non-sticky dough. Knead until smooth, form into a ball, wrap in cling film and set aside (or put in the refrigerator in hot weather) for about 20 minutes before using.
2. For the Butter Dough: Rub butter into the flour until a soft dough formed. If it is too soft, chill in the refrigerator to harden a bit. If it is too hard, knead it a bit more until you get soft dough about the same pliability as the water dough. It is important that the malleability of the butter dough should be about the same as the water dough when making the Chinese flaky pastry.
3. Divide the water dough and the butter dough respectively into 6 equal portions each and round them all into small balls.
4. Follow the preparation of the Visible Layering – Spiral (Escargot) Flaky Pastry as shown in Huaiyang Flaky Pastry up to step 7 with about 25g (about a heaped 1/2 tablespoon) of the filling in the centre of the rolled-out pastry.
5. Fold the pastry over to half-moon shape to enclose the filling and seal by crimping the edges into rope shape. Arrange the pastry on a plate.


6. Heat oil in a wok or saucepan to 180°C, reduce heat and deep-fry the pastry until golden brown in colour.

This photo was taken with the curry puff still hot, see the inner ring of pastry was still moist and you cannot see the layers.

Taste: Light, crispy and flaky pastry with mild beef curry filling
Consume: Best served hot or warm, but may also be served at room temperature
Storage: Unfried curry puffs may be frozen and deep-fry only when needed
Recipe Reference(s):


  1. Thank you for sharing your recipe and especially the Chinese Flaky pastry method! You are thorough! I enjoy your blog!

    Comment by Claire — October 10, 2009 @ 9:59 am | Reply

  2. Is that “moist” inner layer of pastry supposed to be that way? I did a batch and while the outer layers were nicely browned with that kind of spirals, the inner layers were not yet done (to me, that “moist” inner layer is undercooked dough).
    I would like my dough done all the way. Any tips on how to do this?

    Comment by Manang — October 30, 2009 @ 2:54 pm | Reply

    • Yes, the inner layer is there when it is hot, but after cooling down, the inner layer should dry up and have layers (see the second pic above which is taken when at room temperature, you cannot see the inner layer anymore). The layer is due to the moist filling keeping the inner part of dough moist while they are still hot. If it is undercooked, the inner layer will still be there and taste doughy when cooled down. If you taste uncooked dough, just fry a bit longer with a lower heat.

      Comment by SeaDragon — October 31, 2009 @ 7:41 am | Reply

  3. Thanks for your reply, SeaDragon! 🙂

    Comment by Manang — November 5, 2009 @ 2:35 am | Reply

  4. Is it fine to bake them instead of deep-frying?

    Comment by Dee — January 3, 2010 @ 12:00 am | Reply

    • Yes, it should be fine to bake it, but it will not be as light in texture.

      Comment by SeaDragon — January 3, 2010 @ 4:56 pm | Reply

  5. Hmm butter is actually a greater sin in terms of health vs lard =) It has twice the saturated fat of Lard. Lard has a special place in the baking of pastries due to the coarser texture of the fat in its solid form. It makes a crustier or crumblier texture than other fats/oils when used in pastries. So those readers who object to it should really give it a go, as unhealthy as it is it should be noted that use of fat/oil is pretty much one degree of bad vs another and in this case it’s better than butter. Anyone really concerned should really skip making any flaky or crumbly pastries that rely on the effect of fats.

    Comment by Ran — April 15, 2011 @ 7:40 am | Reply

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