Cook: Curry Puffs
I’m surprised I haven’t posted this recipe earlier. It’s one of my most popular dishes and most requested recipes by my friends, my sister’s friends, my mum’s friends and my extended family. It started as something my nana came up with a long time ago to feed her ginormous legion of children (my mum is one of seven) and mum used to make it on Sunday nights as a treat, Now I make it and everyone goes nuts when they come out of the oven.
These are not in any way authenic or traditional curry puffs from any known region of the world. These are just really delicious little curry-flavoured mince pies that my nana called curry puffs, so then my mum called them curry puffs and now I call them curry puffs. Goddammit, they’re curry puffs!
But they don’t need to be authentic, you know? Not when they taste this good. Plus, they’re cheap and easy to make and freeze beautifully – I like to freeze them wrapped in pairs for quick dinners throughout the week IF any of them survive after the first bake.
They don’t need anything fancy, just a squirt of tomato sauce and you’re good to go.
Here’s the thing though: buy real butter puff pastry. The low-fat stuff doesn’t puff in the same way and hey, these are a treat, not for every day! You can usually pick up real butter puff pastry on special at the supermarket and it keeps forever in the freezer.
I’ve done this exact recipe with finely-diced mushrooms in place of beef, as a vegetarian-friendly version and they are just as tasty. Add a little flour to thicken the vegetarian mix if it seems sloppy.
Now a photographc representation of how to fold the curry puffs:
Cut the pastry into four squares (try not to spill red wine on the corner like I did on mine)
Put a heaped spoon of mince on each square of pastry
Fold in the opposite corners and pinch together
Fold over the other corners and then pinch the edges together to seal before brushing with an egg wash
And a photograph of the brands of curry powder and tomato chutney I like best (yes, I splurged on the tomato chutney. The cheaper stuff works fine, but Beerenberg is from South Australia, so it’s the one I grew up with).
- Olive oil
- 500g beef mince
- 1 onion, diced
- 3-4 garlic cloves, crushed
- 2 tablespoons curry powder
- 1 jar tomato chutney
- Salt & pepper
- 1 egg, whisked with a tablespoon of milk
- 1 packet puff pastry (you’ll probably use just over half of it, keep the rest for next time!)
- Splash in a tablespoon of olive oil to a hot frying pan and add the onion and garlic. Sautee until soft and transluscent and add the curry powder
- Add the mince and brown off entirely, mixing to distribute the curry powder and onion throughout
- Add the entire jar of tomato chutney, then fill the jar with an inch of water, shake it up and pour in to get ALL the chutney remenants into the pan
- Cook for a few minutes until it thickens slightly, then lower the heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes, season with salt and pepper
- Turn off the stove and leave the mince mixture to cool – it doesn’t need to be cold, but if you CAN leave it overnight, all the better! However, 20-30 minutes is more than enough time
- Place heaped spoonfuls of the mixture onto each square of puff pastry, being careful not to over fill them (they burst easily, although this doesn’t matter cos they still taste amazing)
- Fold according to my photographic instructions above, then brush with the egg/milk mix and place on a baking sheet lined with baking paper
- Bake in an oven at 180-200C for about 15-20 minutes, or until they’re puffy and golden
Note: If they’re not browning on the bottom, remove the baking paper for the last 10 minutes for a crispy bottom