I'm glad the school term is over. The last three weeks of the term had been hectic...... the daily challenges to meet datelines while keeping up with the ever active eight-year-olds had left me feeling tired & sleepy everyday. I'm so thankful I'm healthy..... so managed to complete the tasks with no major hiccups. There wasn't much time to update this blog although I managed to squeeze some time during the weekends to prepare some simple desserts.
Hard to believe it's already almost the end of the first week of the holidays! It's been a good one so far...... besides doing the routine, managed to watch the tele a lot, do some window shopping & bake, of course!
I baked these Indian Curry Puffs, or what we usually call Karipap Bai, twice this week. Karipap Bai is one of the iconic snack in Singapore, especially among the Muslims. I started eating them when I was very young. Back then, my family often bought them from the Bai Roti who peddles on his motorcycle everyday.
I learnt to make them in 2001 during one of the weekend baking classes with Kak Wannah. Love the flaky pastry of these puffs, unlike the ones sold outside which sometimes can be hard & crunchy, depending on where you purchase them. I must say, this is one unhealthy snack... just look at the layers of fat & more fat on top of the puffs used in the preparation! Having said that, I would still buy & eat them occasionally because I just love them! Btw, I like eating them with hot green tea as it helps to clear the fat that tends to stick to the tongue.
Ok, enough of the ramblings... I should get started with the recipe. This is going to be one very long post, in fact, my longest so far! I've included a lot of details in the method followed by many pictures to illustrate the folding of the puffs. If you have not made these puffs before, there's no way you would understand just by reading the method. So I've included the pictures for the step-by-step tutorial. My advice is, read the instructions carefully & read them several times before you start doing it. It's really not very difficult...
Some notes when making these puffs:
- I followed Kak Wannah's recipe very closely except for the rest periods which she did not emphasise. During my pastry-making course, I learnt that resting the dough after each folding is very important as this will prevent the dough from becoming tough. It's also an important step to produce flaky, not hard, puffs.
- I made 16 big puffs from this recipe. Although they look small in the pictures, they are actually quite big. The side for each square pastry (refer picture for step 18) is about 10cm. So if you want to make smaller ones, cut into smaller squares in step 13.
- Like any layered puffs, these puffs must be baked on very high heat (200 deg C) to produce nicely-layered puffs. It's good to use a thermometer to ensure the correct temperature. (I had to put mine at 220 deg.)
Recipe by Wannah Alshatrie (with more details in the method).
600g plain flour
1 egg (beaten)
250ml warm water (not hot)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp yellow colouring (reduce if use the powder form)
200g pastry margarine
flour for dusting
egg white or water for sealing (I used water.)
vegetable oil of topping
- Combine warm water, salt & colouring in a bowl & mix until salt dissolves.
- Combine flour, egg & water in another bowl & mix just until the mixture forms a dough. Do not overmix. Don't worry if there're still specks of flour in the dough as they will 'disappear' after the rolling & folding process. Cover dough with plastic & leave to rest for at least 20 minutes.
- In the meantime, place the pastry margarine on a plastic & place another piece of plastic on the margarine. Roll out the margarine evenly into a rectangle. Leave aside.
- Roll out the dough into a rectangle about 1cm thick, as carefully & evenly as possible. Then place the rolled-out pastry margarine on one side of the dough.
- Fold dough into 2, just like you would close a book. Press the edges to seal. Cover dough with plastic & leave to rest for at least 20 minutes.
- Turn dough at 90 deg. Then roll dough into a rectangle.
- Divide the rectangle crosswise into thirds by sight alone or mark the dough lightly with the edge of your hand. Fold one-third of the dough over the middle section.
- Then fold the remaining one-third over both of them, brushing away the excess flour from the inside as you fold.
- Next, fold into thirds again, this time from top & bottom, to form a square. Cover dough with plastic & leave to rest for at least 20 minutes.
- Roll out the dough into a rectangle, about the same size as in step 6. Repeat Step 7 & 8.
- Now cut the dough into thirds.
- Place the bottom third onto the middle third & followed by the top third. You'll end up with a very tall dough. (This step is just like step 9 except that this time the thirds are cut.) Cover dough with plastic & leave to rest for at least 20 minutes.
- Using a knife & a ruler, divide the dough into small squares & make markings on the dough. (I divided it into 16 squares.) Then carefully cut the small squares. (You may also place the dough in the refrigerator for a while so it's easier to cut it.)
- Using your fingers, press each square gently & coat it with flour.
- Starting from the middle, roll out each piece upwards & then downwards, turning it at 90 deg after every set of upward- & downward-rolling. This is to ensure that the square shape is maintained throughout the rolling process.
- Then, turn the dough such that you are facing a diamond shape dough. Starting from the middle, roll out upwards & then downwards, once only.
- Place the side of each square with lesser veins facing upwards. So the side with more veins will be the outer part of the puff.
- Spoon the filling on the square. Brush egg white or water on the edges.
- Fold into a triangle & seal.
- Then dip the puff into a bowl of water, & using your other hand, rub off any flour that is stuck to the pastry. Lift up the puff & drain as much water as possible & place it on a baking tray which has been lined with baking paper.
- Just before putting the tray of puffs in the oven, pour a tsp of oil onto each puff & spread it evenly using a brush.
- Bake in a preheated oven at 200 deg C for about 25 minutes.
Illustration for Steps 4 - 9.
|Step 4: Place rolled-out pastry margarine on one side of rolled-out dough.|
|Step 6: Turn dough at 90 deg. Then roll out dough into a rectangle.|
|Step 7: Fold one-third of the dough over the middle section.|
|Step 8: Then fold the remaining one-third over the other thirds.|
|Step 9: Next, fold into thirds again, this time from bottom & then top, to form a square. Leave to rest for 20 mins.|
Illustration for Steps 11 - 21.
|Step 12: Place the bottom third onto the middle third & followed by the top third. Leave to rest.|
|Step 13: Divide & cut dough into small squares.|
|Step 14: Using your fingers, press each square gently & coat it with flour|
|Step 15: Starting from the middle, roll out each piece upwards & then downwards.|
|Step 16: Roll out upwards & then downwards.|
|Step 17: Let the side of pastry with lots of veins be the outer part of puff.....|
|.....while the side with lesser veins be the inside part.|
|Step 18: Spoon filling onto the dough.|
|Step 19: Fold into a triangle & seal.|
|Step 20: Dip puff into water to wash off the flour.|
|Step 21: Pour oil & spread it evenly using a brush.|
500g potato (peeled & cut into small pieces)
200g ground meat (I used chicken breast which I cut into small pieces.)
4 tbsp meat curry powder (mix with some water to form a paste) - you may adjust the amount of curry powder to your preference.
1 tbsp ginger & garlic paste
3 cloves, 3 cardamom, 1 inch cinnamon stick
2 tbsp cooking oil
3 cloves, 3 cardamom, 1 inch cinnamon stick
2 tbsp cooking oil
chinese parsley & spring onion (I replaced these with mint leaves.)
salt to taste
- Heat up oil in a frying pan.
- Fry cloves, cardamon & cinnamon stick until fragrant. Add garlic & ginger paste & continue frying until fragrant.
- Add curry paste & continue frying. Add meat & cook for about 3 minutes & add in potato & cook until potato is soft. Add water when necessary. Finally add in onion, mint leaves & salt.
- Once cooked, remove from stove set aside to cool completely.