Chicken Curry Puffs
January 12: National Curried Chicken Day
During our graduate school days, Islander’s “Singapore Sister” AAW introduced her to her country’s quintessential street food—curry puffs. These snacks satisfied her study-buddy when working together on projects late into the night at AAW’s apartment. Islander liked that her classmate had a small but private cooking area, unlike the inconvenience of the shared community kitchen in our dorm.
Curry puffs are delicious dumplings reminiscent of European pasties, Latin empanadas and Indian samosas. Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines and China have various versions as well, with different fillings inside a doughy shell.
AAW makes her curry puffs with potatoes, chicken, onions and spices and deep-fries the half circle-shaped parcels. We have adapted her recipe by using store-bought puff pastry, shaping them into triangles and baking them in the oven (although they can be fried, too).
Fried or baked, try cooking a Singaporean snack, chicken curry puffs, on National Curried Chicken Day.
(Adapted from AAW)
- 1 medium potato
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 1 cup uncooked chicken breast meat, finely diced
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon korma curry powder
- 1 teaspoon curry powder
- ¼ teaspoon chili powder (or to taste)
- ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 package frozen puff pastry, thawed (we used Pepperidge Farm brand)
Wash the potato and place in a pot of water. Cover and boil for 20-25 minutes; the potato does not have to be cooked all the way through as it will be sautéed and then baked/fried later in the process. Remove the potato from the pot, cool, peel and dice into small squares. Set aside.
Finely chop the onion and chicken. Set aside. In a skillet or wok, heat the oil. Sauté the onions until they are translucent. Add the curry, chili and turmeric powders and stir well, being careful not to burn the onions.
Mix in the chicken, sugar and salt and pepper and sauté for about five minutes. Stir in the potatoes and blend well. Transfer to a plate and let cool.
Remove the thawed puff pastry from the package and unfold them on a lightly floured surface. Cut each sheet into nine squares for a total of 18 pieces. Place a tablespoonful of filling in the middle of one square. Moisten two adjacent edges of the puff pastry with water. Fold into a triangle and press down on the edges. Use the tines of a fork to mark and seal. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Continue making the rest of the curry puffs.
The curry puffs may be frozen and cooked at a later time. To bake them, line a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F, then bake the curry puffs for 25 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and serve hot. To deep-fry them, heat the oil until hot. Carefully place the frozen parcels into the oil and fry for about five minutes or until golden brown. Drain on paper towels. Transfer to a platter and serve hot.
- We are still in touch with our “Singapore Sister”. Like us, AAW is in an intermarriage; her husband, Lars, is from Germany. We look forward to seeing them at Islander’s conferences and hope that she and AAW will continue working on special research projects about intermarriage.
- Korma curry powder may be found in Indian or Asian grocers or in the international foods section of the local supermarket. If this is unavailable, omit it and double up on the regular curry powder.
- Optional: If baking the curry puffs, brush the tops of the pastry with an egg wash (1 beaten egg with 1 teaspoon water) before baking. This will give a nice, golden brown sheen to the dumplings.
- We made our curry puffs into triangles to avoid wasting scraps of dough. But they can be made into the traditional half-circle shapes by using a 3-inch round cookie cutter on the puff pastry dough.
- Check out our other international curried chicken recipes from Sri Lanka and Hawaii by searching our blog.