Savoury Curry Pillow Pastries

Curry pillows – Sort of curry puff, sort of samosa but I’m sticking to curry ‘pillows’ based on their shapely resemblance. Besides, original Malaysian curry puffs are made with a different pastry (with shortening or ghee) and the ‘fat’ pastry is rolled with a ‘water’ pastry which contributes to its layers and flakiness. They are then deep-fried like samosas. For my curry pillows, I used short-crust pastry instead and opted to bake them in place of deep-frying. As my colleague requested a vegetarian number, I left out the chicken in this recipe but it’s still tasty! And the short-crust pastry is very buttery and melts in the mouth so that works for me.
Next time, I shall make the real deal, curry puffs, fried and with the lot including hard boiled eggs (Think of the RM 1 IKEA karipap..SUPER DUPER YUM – my favourite). Anyway, Kel, this one’s for you. Feel free to adjust the seasoning (salt, sugar and soy sauce) according to taste. I reduced the curry powder because mine is extremely spicy. If you haven’t got time to make the short-crust pastry, you can substitute it with frozen puff pastry. 
Short Crust Pastry
400g  plain flour
200 g butter – chilled
1 egg – lightly beaten
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon cold water (or enough to form dough)
pinch of salt
extra egg – beaten for egg wash.
  1. In a large bowl, sift the flour, salt and sugar. Cut the butter into cubes and place in the flour
  2. Rub the butter into the flour with your fingertips until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
  3. Make a well in the middle and add in the beaten egg and water.  With a butter knife, work the mixture together until it forms a rough ball or the dried ingredients have absorbed the moisture. 
  4. If mixture is too sticky, add a little more flour.
  5. Turn out onto lightly floured surface and with your hands, gather the dough into a smooth ball.
  6. Wrap pastry in cling wrap and chill for 20 minutes before using.
Potato Filling
5 potatoes – washed and peeled
1 cup frozen peas
1 – 2 onions – finely chopped
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
1 1/2 teaspoon curry powder
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons oil
1 teaspoon of salt OR to taste
1/2 cup coriander leaves – chopped
  1. Boil the whole potatoes till tender.
  2. Drain the water and mash the potatoes.
  3. In a pan or wok, dry roast the cumin and coriander seeds until fragrant. Be careful not to burn them. The idea is to keep tossing them over the heat for about 1 minute or till the aroma’s released.
  4. With a pestle and mortar or a spice grinder, grind the seeds to powder.
  5. Heat oil in a wok or pan.
  6. Toss in the mustard seeds ( Alert~! the seeds tend to pop so don’t stand too close)
  7. Add in chopped onions and fry until translucent (approximately 1.5 to 2 minutes)
  8. Add in the mashed potatoes, peas, grinded spices, curry powder, turmeric powder, soy sauce, sugar and salt and incorporate them well into the potato, in a cut and mash motion. Adjust seasoning to taste.
  9. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring continuously, so the potatoes don’t stick to the wok/pan.
  10. Stir in the chopped coriander leaves
  11. Leave to cool.
  12. Preheat oven to 200C and line 2 baking trays with greaseproof paper
  13. Split pastry into 2.
  14. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pastry with a rolling pin until about 3mm thick
  15. Score straight lines on the pastry and cut out 8 cm x 6 cm rectangles.
  16. Place a big tablespoonful of potato filling at the top edge of the rectangle, fold in the sides and roll to the end.
  17. Pinch sides to seal and neaten the ‘pillow’ by squaring it up with your finger tips.
  18. Place on lined baking tray.
  19. With a fork, make patterns by pressing the sealed edges down and then turning the fork, use the back of it to press it back into the main body. Make a few holes at the top of each ‘pillow’
  20. Repeat until all pastry (including the offcuts) is used up.
  21. Brush each ‘pillow’ with eggwash
  22. Bake in oven for about 30 minutes until ‘pillow’ is golden brown.
  23. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
Makes 20-25 pieces
  • You can substitute the short-crust pastry with store-bought puff pastry.
  • Use ice cold water and try not to handle the pastry too much as this might cause pastry to toughen instead of a buttery short texture.
  • You must chill the dough for at least 20 minutes to relax the dough and make it easier to roll-out.
  • Add curry leaves, chicken or beef mince to the filling for added flavour.
  • You can use cumin and coriander powder readily available from stores, but dry-roasting and grinding the seeds just before adding to cooking is much more aromatic. 

2 people like this post.

1 comment to Savoury Curry Pillow Pastries