Curry puffs are easily available in Malaysia and Singapore, but not so common in Australia when I was growing up, so we always looked forward to my mum's homemade version, which she would make using puff pastry (rather than the traditional flour pastry which is deep fried). My sister and I would help her measure and cut out the pieces of puff pastry, then fill it with a spicy mince beef and potato filling. Although I do like the more traditional curry puff pastry, if I make it myself, I will use ready-rolled puff pastry like my mother did - it's easier to make as it is is baked rather than deep fried.
If you don't want your curry puffs so spicy, just reduce the amount of chilli and curry powder, or you can omit it altogether and just make a non-spicy beef and potato puff, if you like. For a vegetarian version, omit the beef.
Continue reading for the recipe...
Beef & Potato Curry Puffs
(makes around 72 small triangular curry puffs)
1 medium onion, finely chopped
olive oil (or other cooking oil)
600g lean mince beef
3 large potatoes (or 4-5 medium potatoes)
chilli powder (or cayenne powder)
salt and pepper
9 sheets frozen ready rolled puff pastry (1.5kg puff pastry)
1 egg, beaten
(chilli oil and chilli flakes - optional)
1. Peel and cut the potatoes into small cubes. Cook the potatoes until soft, either in boiling water, or in the microwave.
2. In a medium sized saucepan, heat 1 Tbsp oil and lightly fry the onions until soft. Add the mince beef and stir well until cooked. Begin to season the meat by adding 1-2 Tbsp of curry powder and a good shake of chilli powder (or cayenne powder). Stir well.
3. Over low heat, add the cooked potatoes to the meat, and mix well. It is fine if the potato cubes get a little mashed. Season with salt and pepper.
4. Taste the beef and potato filling, then add more curry powder and chilli powder if you wish. I like my curry puffs very spicy, so I go a bit wild with the curry and chilli here. I also add some chilli oil and chilli flakes at this stage for added spice. The filling should be a little on the salty side, as the flavour will dissipate once it's wrapped in the pastry. Set the filling aside to cool.
5. If you are using frozen ready rolled puff pastry, separate and defrost the square sheets of pastry. Cut the pastry into small squares or triangles. You may use a knife to do this, but I find it is easier to cut the pastry using a clean pair of kitchen scissors. Cut the large square of pastry into half, then half again to form 4 squares. Then cut each square into half diagonally to form 2 triangles. You will then have 8 triangles of pastry.
If you want to make larger puffs, or square puffs, just cut the pastry accordingly. (If you live in a hot environment, keep the remainder of the pastry in the fridge/freezer until you are ready to use it, or the pastry will soften and will be hard to handle)
6. Line a baking tray with some foil, and lightly grease the foil with some cooking oil. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C.
7. Take a piece of the cut pastry in one hand, and add a heaped teaspoon (or more) of cooled curry puff filling. Fold the pastry over in half and squeeze the edges together to seal the filling inside. I like to squeeze together one edge of the pastry first to form a little "cup", add the filling, then seal the remaining edge. Place the curry puff on the lined baking tray.(Making up the curry puffs whilst watching TV helps pass time more quickly.)
8. Crack an egg into a small bowl and beat it. Brush a little beaten egg on top of the curry puffs, then bake them in the oven for 20 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove and place on a wire rack until cooled. Continue baking the rest of the curry puffs in batches.
Keep them covered in the fridge, or pack them into airtight freezer bags and freeze them. Reheat them in the oven before serving.