Saturday, May 22, 2010

Homemade Thai snack: Curry Puffs

When I was in Thailand, my favourite nanny was gracious and patient enough to teach us her infamous curry puff recipe.  Curry puff is a traditional, yet fusion, thai pastry.  The filling is made of ground pork fried with diced carrots, onions, potatoes, seasoning, and curry.  I guess it is a Thai version of samosa.
The curry puffs my nanny makes are amazing in so many ways.  First, the pastry has many layers of crispy and is very flaky.  Next, the filling is a burst of flavours.  It is an intense blend of sweet and savoury with a perfect caramelized texture.

The first two tries were challenging even with her coaching me.  I also discovered that I am handicapped at folding the dough to make the twists at the end.  Now that I am back to Canada, I decided to give it a try and do everything on my own.  It turns out that making curry puffs is a 2 day process for me.  The filling is the easiest part, while the pastry is the hardest, and let me tell you why.  There are two types of dough you have to make in the process.  Eventually you wrap one type of dough which is more dry, over the more moist one.  Then, you flatten the dough and roll it together like you are making a croissant.  Afterwards, you flatten that rolled up dough again then repeat.  

After chopping up the rolled up dough, this is what it looks like.

Then, you flatten that slice of dough again and put in the filling, close up the end by twisting around the edges.  That is something I learned I can never do correctly or perfectly.  I almost feel somewhat handicapped when everyone else around me has no problem doing it.  Also, another problem is my dough is too dry so the pastry keeps breaking apart when I try twisting the end together.  As a solution, I used a fork to press around the edges instead.  So some of them are half twisted, and some look like chinese dumplings.  You can probably also tell that they come in all shape and sizes.  

Finally, the finished products.  The pastry turned out crispy! Sure each looks different,  and could have been more seasoned with salt and sugar.  Same goes with the filling, no lustrous caramelization like my nanny's.  I guess you should never be afraid of over seasoning, especially in Thai cooking.  Anyways, they are not perfect but for the difficulty level and first trial, I'm pretty happy with the result.