Baked Malaysian-Style Curry Puff Recipe

hand holding filled puff pastry
hand holding filled puff pastry - Tess Le Moing/Tasting Table

Malaysian curry puffs, AKA karipap, can be quite time-consuming if you make them entirely from scratch. Here, recipe developer Tess Le Moing simplifies things by substituting frozen puff pastry for homemade dough and using ground chicken instead of cutting up whole chicken pieces for the filling. Best of all, she adds tomato paste and coconut milk to create "pockets filled with a rich, saucy filling," ensuring the chicken, potatoes, and spices inside the puff pastry are anything but dry.

As for the flavor of these puffs, Le Moing says they owe much of their depth to Malaysian curry powder. "It's very different from the standard jars you'll find at the store," she explains. "It's spicier and contains cardamom and fennel, which gives a very subtle licorice flavor." Le Moing's recipe creates 18 snack-size puffs, but she says you can easily cut the pastry into larger puffs instead. And in case you don't need such a large batch, these karipap can be assembled and frozen prior to baking. That way, Le Moing says, you can pop them in the oven "whenever you crave a deliciously flaky and piping-hot snack or meal."

Read more: 30 Tools Aspiring Home Bakers Need To Have

Gather The Ingredients For These Baked Malaysian-Style Curry Puffs

ingredients for chicken curry puffs
ingredients for chicken curry puffs - Tess Le Moing/Tasting Table

The filling for these curry puffs is made with ground chicken, an onion, and a potato and seasoned with garlic, ginger, curry powder, brown sugar, salt, and lime juice. Other ingredients you'll need for cooking include oil, tomato puree, and coconut milk. Le Moing notes that even though you won't be using the whole cans of those last two ingredients, the leftovers can easily be repurposed. "Save leftover coconut milk for adding to coffee, tea, smoothies, oatmeal, or cooking rice," she suggests, adding that leftover tomato puree can be used "for making pasta sauce, pizza sauce, tomato soup, or sloppy joes."

For the puff part of these appetizers, you'll be using a box of frozen puff pastry — only the pastry will, of course, need to be thawed. (Le Moing suggests doing so in the refrigerator.) You'll also need an egg and some milk to make an egg wash.

Make The Chicken Filling

chicken potato curry
chicken potato curry - Tess Le Moing/Tasting Table

To make the filling, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high, then fry the onions just until they start to turn brown. Stir in the garlic, ginger, and curry powder, and cook the mixture for about 1 minute. The ground chicken goes into the pan at this point. As you cook the meat, stir it to break up any chunks. Once it is no longer pink inside, which should take about 3 minutes, add the potatoes, tomato puree, coconut milk, water, brown sugar, and salt. Cover the pan and simmer everything for about 10 minutes.

When you can easily stick a fork into the potato pieces and the pan contents look less liquidy, it's time to turn off the heat and stir in the lime juice. Add as much salt as you like, then let the filling cool completely. If you won't be making the puffs right away, you can refrigerate the filling for up to 3 days, but don't let it sit any longer, as it might start to go a bit "off."

Fold The Curry Puffs

chicken filling in puff pastry
chicken filling in puff pastry - Tess Le Moing/Tasting Table

When you're almost ready to start baking, turn on the oven and set it to 350 F so it can preheat, then line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Roll out the puff pastry (you should have 2 sheets) into a pair of 12x12-inch squares. Cut both squares into tic-tac-toe grids, each with 9 equal pieces.

Beat the egg with the milk and use this egg wash to brush the sides of each of the 18 squares. Plop 2-3 tablespoons of filling into the middle of each piece of pastry, then fold over the corners to create triangles with the filling inside. Crimp the edges with a fork or your fingers to seal.

Bake The Curry Puffs, Then Enjoy

baked puff pastry appetizers
baked puff pastry appetizers - Tess Le Moing/Tasting Table

Spread out the curry puffs evenly on the baking sheets, making sure that they're not crowded or they might not bake correctly. (If you plan to freeze your puffs, you may do so at this point, removing them from the trays once they are solid so you can store them in a plastic bag. When you bake the frozen puffs, Le Moing says they do not need to be thawed.)

Use the rest of the egg wash to brush over the exposed tops and sides of the puffs, then sprinkle them with salt. Bake for 30 minutes, at which point they should be puffy, browned, and very hot — so Le Moing says to let them cool for at least 10 minutes before you bite into them. These curry puffs can be eaten either warm or at room temperature, and while Le Moing notes that "traditionally, you don't eat Malaysian curry puffs with sauce," she likes to dollop on some plain yogurt. Not only will this cut down on the spiciness, but it also makes for what she calls "a nice cold contrast to the hot filling."

Le Moing typically serves these as an appetizer, or she plates up 2-3 per person to make a full meal with a side salad or blanched veggies. Leftovers, she tells us, will keep for 5 days in the fridge and can be reheated in the oven at 350 F for 5 minutes.

Baked Malaysian-Style Curry Puff Recipe

puff pastry appetizers on plate
puff pastry appetizers on plate - Tess Le Moing/Tasting Table

Prep Time: 30mCook Time: 35mYield: 18 puffsIngredients

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped

  • 3 garlic cloves, minced

  • 1-inch piece ginger, peeled and grated

  • 2 tablespoons Malaysian curry powder

  • 1 pound ground chicken

  • 1 medium potato, peeled and finely diced

  • ½ cup tomato puree

  • ½ cup coconut milk

  • 2 tablespoons water

  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

  • Juice of 1 lime

  • 2 sheets (1 package) frozen puff pastry, thawed in the refrigerator

  • 1 egg

  • 1 tablespoon milk


  1. In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until beginning to brown.

  2. Add the garlic, ginger, and Malaysian curry powder and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.

  3. Add the ground chicken and cook, breaking it up into small pieces with a wooden spoon, until no longer pink, about 3 minutes.

  4. Stir in the potatoes, tomato puree, coconut milk, water, brown sugar, and salt. Cover and let the mixture simmer until the potatoes are fork-tender and the mixture has thickened, about 10 minutes.

  5. Stir in the lime juice, season with more salt to taste, and transfer the filling to a bowl to let it cool completely. (If making ahead of time, refrigerate for up to 3 days.)

  6. Preheat oven to 350 F and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

  7. Unfold the thawed puff pastry on a lightly floured work surface. Using a rolling pin, roll out both sheets of puff pastry into 12-inch squares. Use the tip of a knife or pizza cutter to cut each square into 9 equal pieces, creating 18 squares.

  8. Beat the egg with the milk, and brush the edges of each pastry square with egg wash.

  9. Spoon 2-3 tablespoons of the chicken filling into the center of each pastry square.

  10. Pick up and fold one corner of a pastry over the filling to make a triangle, and use a fork to crimp the edges sealed. Repeat with the remaining pastries.

  11. Arrange the curry puffs evenly on the prepared baking sheet, leaving space between each. Brush the tops and edges with the prepared egg wash, and sprinkle with salt.

  12. Bake for 30 minutes or until the curry puffs are golden brown and puffy. The puffs will be very hot when done — let rest for at least 10 minutes before eating.

Read the original article on Tasting Table.