The Curry Puff has a storied history, and the snack is so far-reaching that it’s impossible to tell where it actually came from. The closest things to the Curry Puff in other parts of the world are the Portuguese empanadas and the British Cornish pasty, but the food has even reached the shores of India -- the samosa is sometimes considered an offshoot of the pasty. But the Malaysian curry puff is a mix of both the Indian and British versions: the shape is similar to the Cornish pasty, but the ingredients are similar to the Indian variety, but adapted to the Malaysian style. Although the base is savoury, it can easily be made fruity and sweet, a perfect snack for the summer months.
But what is a Curry Puff? The ingredients change depending on region, but one thing you’ll always find in them is curry powder, which is what gives them their delicious savoury flavour, but here at Mak Tok we love the karipap - the Malaysian version - which usually contains potato, chicken, and onion. You can even put in a little turmeric to give it that authentic Southeast Asian colour or try mixing the ingredients with Mak Tok’s signature chilli paste - its traditional fruity flavour will complement the curry notes perfectly.
For an English tongue, the best way to think of a Curry Puff is that it’s similar to a Cornish pasty, just Malaysian, with a whole host of other delicious, exciting flavors. This fiery little snack was my go to when I would attend the bazaar ramadans (street food festivals) when I was little.
These days, the curry puff is a very popular dish in Malaysia, and is often paired with a strong cup of tea or coffee - though you can also get it with a whole range of other drinks. But you don’t need to travel halfway across the world to experience the authentic flavours - to bring that vibe to your own home, all you need is the ingredients, an oven, and the simple method for folding them: just place the ingredients in the centre of a puff pastry sheet, fold it in half, and pinch the edges until the pastry is completely sealed and enjoy hot.
When they’re done, you can either eat them straight away, or store them in the fridge for two to three weeks. Just make sure to reheat them before eating them.
Karipap tastes great on its own, but we recommend trying them with Mak Tok’s very own mango flavoured chilli sauce. But if you don’t have much of a sweet tooth, our garlic chilli sauce tastes just as delicious. The Curry Puff also goes great alongside the popular Malaysian dish beef Rendang.