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What is curry puff pastry made of?

Curry puffs are a popular snack and appetizer in many parts of Asia and beyond. They consist of a deep-fried or baked pastry shell filled with a spiced potato, meat or vegetable filling. But what are curry puffs made of exactly?

The magic of a perfect curry puff lies in its crispy, flaky pastry shell. This shell is formed using a type of dough called puff pastry. Puff pastry dough has a delicate, layered structure that results in the signature light, flaky and buttery texture of a good curry puff.

But puff pastry dough on its own does not make a curry puff – the filling is equally important. Curry puff fillings are rich, spicy and flavorful, often containing ingredients like curried potatoes, chicken, beef, fish, onions, carrots and peas. The filling brings moisture, flavor and substance that perfectly complements the pastry shell.

Together, the pastry and filling create the delightful experience of biting into a curry puff – a shattering crisp shell giving way to a vibrant, savory interior.

So to summarize, the two main components that go into curry puff pastry are:

– Puff pastry dough – creates the flaky outer shell
– Curry-flavored fillings – provides moisture, flavor and texture

In the rest of this article, we’ll explore exactly how puff pastry and curry puff fillings are made and why the specific ingredients and techniques used result in such tasty curry puffs.

Puff Pastry Dough

Puff pastry dough lies at the heart of a perfect curry puff. This dough creates the pastry’s characteristic light, flaky, buttery shell. But what exactly goes into making puff pastry dough?

Here is a breakdown of the main ingredients and method:


– All-purpose flour – The base of the dough. Gluten in the flour provides structure.

– Butter – Usually added in chunks or thin slices. Creates flaky layers in the pastry. Needs to be cold.

– Water – Hydrates the dough to bring it together. Amount varies based on flour.

– Salt – For flavor and also helps structure.

– Sugar – A small amount is sometimes added for flavor.

– Acid like lemon juice or vinegar – Can help tenderize the dough. Optional.


There are a few steps to making puff pastry dough:

1. Mix the flour and salt. Add water and mix to form a regular dough. Allow to rest.

2. Roll out the dough into a rectangle. Dot chunks of cold butter over 2/3 of the dough.

3. Fold the unbuttered 1/3 of dough over the middle buttered section. Fold the remaining buttered section over so the dough forms a letter fold.

4. Roll out the dough again to flatten, then fold into thirds like a letter again. Chill dough.

5. Repeat the rolling, folding and chilling steps multiple times to create paper-thin layers of butter between sheets of dough.

6. Roll out the final time, chill and use as needed.

This folding technique creates layers of butter between dough layers. When baked, water in the butter turns to steam, puffing up the pastry and separating it into flaky sheets. The result is the distinctive light, flaky, layered texture of puff pastry.


There are some variations on puff pastry dough:

– **Rough puff pastry** – Rather than folding, the butter is cut into chunks and mixed directly into the dough. Less flaky but still layered.

– **Blitz puff pastry** – The butter is chilled and grated before mixing into the dough. Makes it easier to incorporate.

– **Store-bought puff pastry** – Widely available frozen and helps speed up prep time substantially.

While homemade puff pastry has the best flavor and texture, store-bought or time-saving variations work well for curry puffs too. The key is keeping the butter cold when making the dough.

Curry Puff Fillings

Now that we have explored how the pastry shell is made, let’s look at the equally important curry puff fillings. Here are some common curry flavors and ingredients used:

Potato Filling

A classic! Some key components:

– Potatoes – Cubed or mashed. Provides substance and soaks up flavors.

– Onion – Frequently used. Provides aromatic flavors.

– Spices – Curry powder, cumin, coriander etc. Adds signature curry taste.

– Fresh herbs – Cilantro, chives etc. Brightens up the filling.

– Stock – For moisture. Chicken or vegetable stock works well.

– Coconut milk – Adds rich creaminess.

Chicken Filling

Chicken makes a tasty and protein-packed curry puff filling:

– Chicken – Cubed or minced chicken thigh works best.

– Onions, garlic, ginger – Aromatic flavors.

– Spices – Cumin, turmeric, curry powder, five-spice powder.

– Curry paste – Red, green or massaman curry pastes add complexity.

– Coconut milk – For moisture and richness.

– Fresh herbs – Cilantro, basil, mint brighten the filling.

Beef or Lamb Filling

Hearty beef and lamb also work deliciously:

– Beef or lamb – Cubed or minced. Shoulder or leg cuts tend to work best.

– Onions, garlic, ginger

– Curry powder, cumin, coriander, pepper

– Spicy chili peppers – Add heat and flavor

– Tomatoes – For tangy flavor and moisture

– Coconut milk or yogurt – For moisture and fat

– Fresh herbs

Seafood Filling

Don’t forget seafood! Try shrimp, fish or squid:

– Shrimp, white fish or squid – Minced or chopped into small pieces.

– Onion, garlic, ginger, lemongrass – Aromatic flavors

– Fish sauce, lime – For a Thai style flavor

– Curry powder, cumin, turmeric

– Chili peppers – For heat

– Coconut milk

– Thai basil, cilantro

Vegetable Filling

For vegetarian and vegan curry puffs:

– Potatoes, carrots, peas – The base

– Onions, garlic, ginger

– Curry powder, garam masala, cumin

– Turmeric, coriander – Warm spice flavors

– Vegetable stock

– Coconut milk or yogurt

– Herbs – cilantro, mint, basil

As you can see, the fillings often share common aromatics like onions and garlic, use spices like cumin and curry powder for flavor and coconut milk adds a creamy richness. But you can mix and match different main ingredients like chicken, potatoes or shrimp depending on your preferences. The options are endless!

Assembling Curry Puffs

Once you have your puff pastry dough and filling ready, it’s time to assemble the curry puffs:

1. Roll out the puff pastry dough to about 1/8 inch thick. Cut into squares. Add a spoonful of filling to each square.

2. Wet the edges of the dough with water or egg wash. Fold the dough over the filling and press to seal. You can form triangles, half moons or little pouches.

3. Optionally, decorate the puffs with fork tines or cut small slits on top to allow steam to escape.

4. Chill stuffed puffs for 30 minutes to firm up the dough. Then bake in a hot oven until golden brown, about 15-20 minutes.

5. You can also fry the puffs for an extra crisp exterior. Carefully drop into hot oil and fry for 2-3 minutes per side until golden.

That’s it! With ready-made puff pastry dough, curry puffs are easy to assemble. Customize them with different fillings to suit your taste.


To sum up, classic curry puff pastry contains two main components:

Puff Pastry Dough

– Made by layering butter between sheets of dough and folding repeatedly.

– Butter between the layers creates steam and flakiness when baked.

– Main ingredients are flour, butter, water and salt. Sugar or acid sometimes added.

Savory Filling

– Usually contains meat, potatoes, vegetables or fish.

– Onions, garlic, ginger are common aromatics.

– Spices like cumin, coriander and curry powder add flavor.

– Includes coconut milk for richness.

– Herbs like cilantro brighten up the filling.

Bringing together a flaky puff pastry shell and rich, spicy filling results in the satisfying experience of biting into a perfect curry puff! Adjust the dough or filling to suit your taste – the options are endless.