Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Curry puffs - a.k.a. Cornish Pasties

Curry-puffsI'm surprised to find that curry puffs are quite popular in London. Only it's known by a different name - cornish pasty. For the uninitiated, curry puff is a traditional Malay pastry that comprises of fillings made of diced potatoes mixed with curry paste (thus the name) wrapped in deep fried pastry. Some varieties include egg fillings with bits of chicken and sardines.

Cornish pasty, on the other hand, comes with all sorts of fillings. Mushrooms, diced beef, cheese, chicken, beer (oh, you saw that right.), onions, turnips, ham, turkey and even apples and vegetables!

While the more expensive ones in Singapore goes for just over S$1, a cornish pasty is priced between £2.50-£3.50. Then again, the cornish pasty is much larger and can easily serve as a meal for the light eater.

After spending a small fortune on cornish pasty to satisfy my craving for curry puffs, we finally got down to baking some of our own. Instead of deep frying, we tried baking instead. Hmmm, I must say that the curry puffs turned out much better than expected.

In fact, they'll probably give Old Chang Kee a run for their money.

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SheR. said...

Wow... that's a lot of Curry Puffs!!!!

Wendy Lopez-Redaon said...

looks yummy! from where I'm from that's called "empanada" =)

lina said...

just the two of you finishing all that curry puffs?

Would you make one if you're back in Singapore? The last time I ate a homemade by my own hands curry puff was 12 years ago! Yes, that long!

BK said...

Curry Puff is my all time favorite. I still remember the curry puff which I ate when I was 10 years old which cost only 50 cents. Old Chang Kee was not even in the picture yet. Although Old Chang Kee produces pretty good curry puff, I still miss the authentic 50 cents curry puff which I had near my primary school.

capybara said...

You better send some of those up to Lincolnshire, I love curry and they look tasty! I think you made far too many.

Dutchie said...

One of my malay neighbour in Sg sells home-made curry puffs on saturday afternoons. 10 for S$2,00 with sweet potato/curry fillings - strange combo but it was fragrant n yum for us.

Hubby n I once stopped by Liverpool station n had our first cornish pie which was good. Instead of a triangle pie, I made them with puff pastry on a 20cm round baking tin for dinner. Hubby simply loved this to bits !

Wished I could try out all those different fillings u mentioned. They sound absolutely yum ! Esp. the sardines bec I cant get them here like the oval tin (rooster brand) in Sg.

Hubby asked if baked puffs r crispy n can u store them for later ? I want to avoid deep frying bec the greasy smell in our open kitchen annex living room gives me headaches. I usually make 50 pieces in 1 go, store them in the freezer n fry them whenever the mood takes us.

Just curious, did u share this chore 50-50 with Mrs. W ? My hubby only helps with peeling the potatoes n stirring the fillings while it cooks ! Oh, did u use puff pastry or a recipe with shortenings n flour ?

jakill said...

You can't really call a pasty with all all those ingredients Cornish. The genuine Cornish pasty only has beef, potato and swede, and perhaps a bit of onion. They originated in the time of the now defunct tin mines in Cornwall, where the miners' wives would make them for their husbands' lunch. The scrunched up edge of the pasty was just for them to hold with their dirty hand while they ate the rest. Nowadays there are lots of different kinds of pasty made in the UK, but only those are Cornish.

Anonymous said...

I love Old Chang Kee's curry puff. Cornish pastry with beer filling? Taste good?

Janet Campbell said...

Oh Yum!!!!

xiaocangshu said...

How do you put beer in a puff? Cheese sounds interesting.

Martin Miller-Yianni said...

Like all good tasting food in the UK, it's not healthy. Corhish pasties uesed to be the a poor man's food that was made up in the mornig for him to take to work. Now it seems it is an expensive snack. Who can resist the look of these curry puffs though?

jennykoo said...

My first fleeting glance at the Cornish Pasties deceived me. I fancied I saw a tray of dead mice. Anyway, I'm glad. :)

I suppose I'm not used to seeing curry puffs with slight dark lines on them.

The curry puffs that ROCK THE MOST are those with an egg inside, and are about the shape of a fair sized head. :) Mmmm...

kyh said...

Cheese? Onions? OMG these fillings sound so yum! And it's dinner time here... ;)

C K said...

Eh... you want some? :)

They taste better than they look. Just curious, what fillings does empanada comes with?

Not within a day definitely. After having two for breakfast and two for lunch for a couple of days, we're halfway through them already. :P

Come on, I've sure you can make it much better than I do. I'm sure Raimie would be glad to help out as well!

50 cents when you're a kid? Gosh, I feel so antique now... it cost merely 20cents when I was a kid. There's this Malay man peddling near my school. How much does Old Chang Kee's curry puff cost now?

Haha, I wouldn't think they'll survive the journey up Lincolnshire. I am determined to finish all those before the end of the week!

Sweet potatoes? Hmm... sounds interesting. Perhaps we'll try that out for the next batch. My Malay neighbour used to make us loads when I was a kid. Loved them, especially the crispy edges!

Curiously, I'm not quite fond of sardines. There used to be a stall opposite my school that sells curry puffs (shaped like samosas) filled with chicken, potatos and egg slices for S$1.50, a small fortune in those days. We used to rush out the moment the school bell rang, just so that we might get a piece. I guess we all have our favorites.

One conclusion. You have a big fridge. 50 pieces?? lol

Anyway, baked puffs are not crispy. They're more like pastries. But that's definitely a healthier option (and less messy too).

LOL, we split the work right in the middle. Wife will make the puffs and I will eat them. Simple as that. Wife doesn't want me to mess around with her 'way of doing things'. :)

Oh, this batch is made from scratch with flour. We tried another batch with puff pastry and they taste much better.

Like I mentioned at your blog, the 'scunched up edge' is my favorite bit. I recall biting that off before finishing up the curry puffs as a kid. :)

Just wondering whether there's any cultural linkage to the Cornish Pasty and the Malay's curry puffs.

@My Bug Life,
Well, you get drunk after awhile... just kidding.

Old Chang Kee's puffs are getting a bit inconsistent. Some of them taste being deep fried in reused oil taste really bad.

Welcome to the club!

I think the beer is mixed with the fillings and all. Can't very well pour the beer in, can they? :)

Considering that it cost as much as a Pret sandwich, I think the pasty is more filling. I, for one, go for quantity over quality so no prizes for guessing my preference.

Are you kidding me? LOL. I don't supposed you ventured in for a closer look, did you?

I love those with eggs in them as well. Funnily, you can't find eggs in Cornish Pasty.... they would probably make them much tastier.

Hey, you know what? Come to think of it, these stuff goes well with roti canai/roti prata as well!

SheR. said...

I would. But the colour seems a little strange??

Dutchie said...

U mentioned egg slices in some of the fillngs - it reminds me of tua-pau (those succulent fragrant minced meat fillings !). Anyway, u hv given me new ideas to try different kinds of fillings. Am making cornish pie for dinner tonite.

Having a separate freezer is a new concept for me too. Learnt from hubby to buy veg in the summer when it's cheaper n freeze them (after cleaning n blanching first) for use in the winter. We always hv stock of long beans, carrots, cauliflower, cabbage, leeks, celery as well as meat bought when there is a sale. It's convenient when the weather is bad n we couldnt go out to shop. Should we need to leave NL urgently, we could cook up the perishables n store it in the freezer. The supermarts here sells lots of frozen foods as well, so u will need a freezer anyway.

Potatoes r sold in bags of 5kg - thus the 50 pcs of curry puffs. Haha .. we did hv the same experience in the past of eating the puffs for b/fast n lunch for 2 weeks ! After testing n succeeding in the frozen process, we could enjoy it over a longer period of time :-D

EastCoastLife said...

The Curry Puffs look yummy & satisfying.

So they are called Cornish Pastries in London:)