Chicken Curry Puffs

11 June 2012

Post image for Chicken Curry Puffs

A visit to most Chinese restaurants will reveal curry puffs on the appetiser menu and I am always a sucker for anything wrapped in pastry. I could sometimes quite happily forego the main dish and just sit down to a huge serving of curry puffs, but afraid of any negative reaction this could elicit in public, I’ve never quite gone that far. So making curry puffs at home, and eating them by the plateful in private, is the far better and more ladylike option.

Chinese curry puffs can be wrapped in a variety of different pastries, such as filo pastry, wonton wrappers, spring roll wrappers or puff pastry. The restaurants typically serve them deep-fried, but baking them is also an option, especially if you are using puff pastry.

I’ve toyed with various different recipes over the year and this one comes from Bill Granger’s Everyday Asian. It’s a relatively simple recipe with subtle flavours, but it hits the spot if you are craving a bit of Chinese take-away at home. The only change I’ve made to Granger’s recipe is to omit the ginger (1.5 tablespoons finely grated ginger, in case you were wondering), simply because I didn’t have any at home and didn’t want to make a special trip to the supermarket.

These chicken curry puffs were fairly quick and easy to put together. But in terms of taste, I found that it lacked somewhat in flavour. I had seasoned the chicken filling with salt and pepper but still found that a savoury element was missing, perhaps a dash of soy sauce. Granger describes in his book that these curry puffs are his toddler daughter’s favourite, which should have been a glaring warning sign to me that perhaps this is more kiddie food than punchy grown-up fare. Oh well. Good to know if I ever have to cater for kids one day.

Do you have a favourite recipe for curry puffs which you can recommend? I’m still on the lookout for the perfect recipe, particularly one for deep-frying …

 

{ 33 comments… read them below or add one }

Anna Tran-Nguyen 11 June 2012 at 1:42 pm

Big mistake when I’m starving and decide to click through your amazing site. Great work Thanh!! x

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eat, little bird 11 June 2012 at 2:59 pm

Thanks, Anna! Hope you have a good appetite ;-) xxx

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TheSpicySaffron 11 June 2012 at 2:25 pm

Hi Thanh, These are so much like ‘Indian samosas’ ( minus the minced chicken). The samosas are also deadly when fried. These days health conscious lot bake their samosa, though. I am sure you must have dig into a fried samosa, its yummy,isn’t it?? loving your intricate measuring cups!!

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eat, little bird 11 June 2012 at 3:03 pm

Ooh yes, I LOVE Indian samosas!! We always, always order a serving whenever we go to an Indian restaurant. I’m pretty sure that the Chinese copied their curry puffs from the Indians ;-) I have never made samosas at home, though, which is something I should rectify very soon. Off to look up recipes now …

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Paula 11 June 2012 at 5:14 pm

Hey!!

I’m saving ideas to cook on Eurocup days, and this is one of those wich seems perfect!!

Easy to make, easy to share :P and delicious to eat.
And, even if in restaurants I also eat them deep-fried, I think that I’ll choose the opction of using puff pastry and oven, easier for making a big batch ;) With ginger and a little soy sauce, as you suggest ;)
It’s funny because in Spain, you go to a Chinese restaurant, and they serve these with the name of Samosas, and no difference (I don’t find it) with the Indian one…

Thanks for the recipe, it has come the perfect day! :P

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eat, little bird 11 June 2012 at 6:26 pm

Ah you’re welcome!

Snacks like these are definitely great for when you want to eat in front of the TV, especially with the football on this season :-)

That’s quite funny that the Chinese restaurants in Spain call these samosas … maybe it’s easier than finding a new name for the Chinese versions?

This particular recipe is quite mild, especially if it is for kids in mind, but it would also be nice for anyone who doesn’t like really spicy food. Once you have cooked the chicken filling, taste it and see if it needs anything extra. I’m wondering if I should have added more curry powder to mine to give it more flavour? So that’s an idea for you. Enjoy!

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Indigo Scones 11 June 2012 at 6:15 pm

Woah! This is amazing, do you have any recommended seasonings to do other than salt and pepper?

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eat, little bird 11 June 2012 at 6:29 pm

If you follow Bill Granger’s recipe closely, he doesn’t even mention salt and pepper! But I think you should always taste for seasoning to see if the flavour is right for you. As I mentioned in the comment above, I possibly should have added more curry powder for extra flavour – perhaps the brand I used was not very spicy or flavoursome. But a tablespoon of soy sauce would have probably lifted the dish for me, so that is definitely one suggestion.

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At Anna's Kitchen Table 11 June 2012 at 8:04 pm

They look so good Thanh, shame you thought there was something missing….

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eat, little bird 11 June 2012 at 8:09 pm

Oh it happens :-) Sometimes a recipe can work out really well, at other times you’re left wondering how that recipe got published in the first place! These curry puffs weren’t so bad – they just didn’t have the wow factor and were quite far off what I was hoping to recreate at home. There have been some other recipes from Bill’s Everyday Asian which I have really enjoyed, though.

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Caroline 11 June 2012 at 10:44 pm

Yum, looks delicious! I’ve never made puffs somehow but I saved this recipe that I find interesting because she uses roti parathas instead of puff pastry. I absolutely adore those roti parathas (roti canais) so I am sure that I would love the result:
http://www.mykitchensnippets.com/2007/10/paratha-puff.html
I need to try your puffs one of these days, they look so pretty!

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eat, little bird 12 June 2012 at 11:45 am

I have also tried Indian samosas which were wrapped in something like a roti and then fried – absolutely delicious!! Probably much more authentic than using puff pastry too ;-) These samosas are much more filling with such a thicker pastry, but they work really well with the filling. Thanks for sharing this link – I will definitely look into it!

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Anna @ The Littlest Anchovy 12 June 2012 at 1:32 am

These look beautiful, I like to think of recipes that lack in the flavour department as an open invitation to add whatever you please to suit your taste. I would love to hear what you come up with! I have also nominated you for an excellence in storytelling award over at my blog (as per the email I sent you!) Have a good week!

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eat, little bird 12 June 2012 at 11:46 am

Hi Anna,

Thank you so much for this award! I’m very flattered and humbled that you have nominated me :-) Off to see what I have to do …

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Pritika 12 June 2012 at 7:36 am

I am a sucker for pastry puffs too :) These look delicious, Thanh! FYI – when I do an Indian version of this, I usually add 2 tsp garam masala to 1 tsp tumeric and 1/2 tsp ground coriander powder instead of using plain curry powder …that definitely gives it more flavour!

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eat, little bird 12 June 2012 at 11:50 am

Hoi Prits! Yeah, I think maybe the curry powder I used didn’t have much kick in it. I like the sound of your spice blend :-) Someone above mentioned samosas made with roti parathas … I’m wondering if this is how your mum makes them? I’m pretty sure it was you and your family who introduced me to samosas :-)

P.S. It was me who ate most of the curry puffs at your farewell drinks … *blush*

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Liz Headon 12 June 2012 at 12:28 pm

This sounds like my kind of curry ! I’ve come across these in a book by someone with British Indian heritage too, though you won’t be surprised to hear I have never eaten them. I’m always surprised to see curry on a Chinese menu – I wonder whether the Chinese themselves actually eat curry, or whether it’s just the restaurants catering to all tastes to maximise profit ?

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eat, little bird 12 June 2012 at 12:55 pm

LOL!! Liz, curry puffs or samosas are usually not too spicy so you should give them a try next time. Most restaurants make them quite mild but serve a range of condiments alongside.

I think curry is quite authentic to Chinese cuisine, as it is to other south-east Asian cuisines (such as Thai and Vietnamese), though the tastes and spice blends vary greatly. I think the Chinese predominantly use curry spices to for satay-type dishes; they don’t exactly make curries in the same vein as the Indians and Thais, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Chinese restaurants offer a version to cater to all tastes!

There are certainly many restaurants that serve a wide range of Asian dishes under the umbrella of one cuisine, which can be a bit confusing and misleading! There are not so many exotic restaurants in Switzerland and I once saw a Chinese-looking restaurant serving “Oriental” cuisine, and the menu revealed everything from Thai, Chinese, Vietnamese, Chinese, Indian, Korean, Japanese, etc! I’m always a bit suspicious of these places …

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The Food Sage 12 June 2012 at 1:30 pm

I share your adoration of curry puffs. But spice-packed samosas are my all-time favourite. I have a recipe that makes about 30 … and i must eat at least half myself (not in one sitting, of course). I feel a batch coming on!

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eat, little bird 12 June 2012 at 2:48 pm

Ooh, any chance you could share this recipe of yours?? Hint, hint ;-) ;-)

All of this talk about samosas has me feeling that I need to try my hand at making them … very soon!

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NYinRome 12 June 2012 at 2:41 pm

I was intrigued by this thinking immediately that these were going to be complicated and difficult. Instead after reading over the ingredient list and your attentive post I think this is something I can tackle and in occasion of all the soccer games lined up these may be a definite try now recipe. Thanks for being honest about your vote on them and indicating the most probable theory that it may be a good kiddie recipe, as you well know something I need to take into consideration ;)

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eat, little bird 12 June 2012 at 2:52 pm

Oh this recipe is pretty easy-peasy :-) Although I found Bill Granger’s recipe to be a little lacking for me, they still tasted good. I think I was just expecting and wanting something with more punch, like the curry puffs you find in Chinese and Indian restaurants.

These curry puffs would definitely be great for snacking during the soccer, for both kids and adults alike. For the adults, I would recommend some sweet chilli dipping sauce on the side :-)

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NYinRome 12 June 2012 at 8:36 pm

Lol, good idea the sweet chili dipping sauce. :D

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Denise 12 June 2012 at 10:12 pm

Great! I love little savoury pasties with a variety of fillings and chicken curry? Always good! What a great idea to combine the two, delicious:)

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eat, little bird 13 June 2012 at 1:16 pm

Yes, whoever came up with the great idea of wrapping some curry in a layer of pastry and then deep-frying or baking them was a genius! I’ve been looking up a few recipes for samosas lately so watch this space :-)

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Jennifer (Delicieux) 13 June 2012 at 12:51 pm

I love curry puffs, well anything wrapped in pastry too Thanh! What a shame you thought they lacked something though. I’m still looking for the perfect curry puff recipe too, although mine will be a vegetarian version :)

By the way, how do you get those gorgeous ruffles in the pastry so neat? I’m all thumbs when it comes to folding pastry.

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eat, little bird 13 June 2012 at 1:21 pm

I’ve had many delicious vegetarian curry puffs and I daresay they are probably better than the versions with meat :-)

I grew up in a bakery and watched my mother hand-crimp a variety of pastries, but my crimping is nowhere as neat as hers! And as you can see from the finished product, there is no evidence of ruffles of any kind, LOL! I think sealing the edges with a fork is perhaps better and neater when using puff pastry.

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Caroline 15 June 2012 at 6:12 pm

I have never heard or eaten of these (red face), and feel like I have totally missed out on something utterly gorgeous! Another to the already bulging list!!! Every food post of yours is mouthwateringly inviting. :-)

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eat, little bird 20 June 2012 at 10:52 pm

You haven’t tried curry puffs??? Well, I’m sure your Indian samosas are far superior but the Chinese versions are not bad ;-)

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Caroline 23 June 2012 at 8:39 pm

Hey, its a spiced meat mixture, wrapped in pastry of some description. Wherever they hail from in the world, you KNOW it’s going to be good :-)

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eat, little bird 3 July 2012 at 3:57 pm

Absolutely! :-)

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Alice Choi 20 June 2012 at 5:32 pm

Hi there! I tired this recipe last night and loved it. Thank you for sharing! I just posted it here to my blog and gave you credit and added your link. . wanted to share my chicken curry recipe, which I used for the chicken breast. Thank you again!

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eat, little bird 20 June 2012 at 11:06 pm

Thank you for trying this recipe and for leaving your feedback :-) That’s great that you enjoyed this recipe and your curry recipe sounds delicious!

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