I recall trying to explain what curry puffs (or specifically the Malay epok epok we were eating) were to the members of MUTEMATH less than a year ago. When I said they were savoury Southeast Asian empanadas, Roy Mitchell, their bassist immediately got it. He said they were very similar to what he makes at home. Paul Meany, their lead vocalist though, got a little shock when he bit into one because he was expecting them to be sweet, not savoury. Those ones we ate had a dry curried potato filling AND this is exactly what I am sharing today – Malay-style epok epok. The crispy, blistered crust… oh my gawd! I am salivating as I write this.
I have to qualify and say that the crust recipe is not mine. I’d like to thank my friend Syahan for sharing it with me. I failed once before using her recipe to success! My recipe for the filling however, is mine, and super simple as always with my style.
Vegetarian Curry Potato Filling for Epok Epok
Makes filling for 24. Prep time: 5 minutes. Cooking time: 20 minutes.
1 big onion diced (you should get about 1 1/2 cups worth)
4 big potatoes (you should get about 5 – 6 cups worth after dicing)
1 tin of Carrot & Sweet Peas (Or you can dice 1 1/2 cups worth from scratch)
3 hard boiled eggs (slivered into 24 pieces)
2 tablespoon cooking oil
2 tablespoon curry powder
1/2 tablespoon salt
1/2 tablespoon sugar
1. Boil potatoes until they are soft, then peel and dice into as small as you can get them.
2. Fry onions in cooking oil until slightly translucent, add carrots, peas and potatoes into the pan and continue stirring for about 2 minutes.
3. Add curry powder, salt and sugar into the frying pan.
4. Cook till the mixture is slightly mushy. (see the before and after effect in the photo above.
5. Scoop 1 tablespoon of the filling into each flattened dough then add a sliver of egg. Do this 24 times till all your dough is used up. You might have some filling left. Eat it on its own. OMG yum!
See the recipe below for dough and cooking each epok epok.
This is copied directly from Syahan and I didn’t alter a word:
Epok Epok Dough
500 gm plain flour
3 tablespoon butter / margarine
40 ml cooking oil
200 ml warm water
1/2 tsp salt to taste
1. Melt butter / margarine in cooking oil. Till all melt and combined. Set aside to cool slightly only.
2. Add hot oil and melted butter into flour and stir using wooden spoon. Be careful oil mixture can be hot here.
3. Slowly add water bit by bit to knead dough till non sticky consistency and soft dough. Do not have to add all the water if you have reached the consistency.
4. Leave dough to rest for 20minutes.
5. Weigh each dough to 20 gm and shape into balls.
6. When ready, flatten dough will rolling pin (to thickness of your preference. Not too thin nor thick.)
7. Add filling and fold the sides. Or use the back of a fork to close the sides.
8. Deep fry into hot oil.
I have no weighing scale so instead, I used 4 cups of all purpose flour and 3 tablespoons of cooking oil. It worked for me! Also, instead of weighing each dough to 20gm, I spilt them into 24 equal (sorta) balls. How I ended up with 24 was divide the entire ball into 3 equally big ones, then split each big ball into 2 and then the 2 medium balls into 4 each. So, try my method if you don’t have a kitchen scale.
Instead of using a fork to close the package, I folded the circular pastry in half and then tried to crimp it by pinching/folding. Try it either way! As you can see, I’m not very good at it either. But it does the job of sealing the puff and keeping the filling in.
Mmmmm… Sometimes I dip it in sweet Thai chili sauce and it’s such a perfect match!
Do you like epok epok or the Old Chang Kee type of curry puffs?