CURRY PUFFS: A MALAYSIAN THING?

Speaking of a Malaysian thing – Tan Sri Dato Seri Michelle Yeoh is the ooos and aahhs of news in Malaysia, possibly in South East Asia; even more in Hollywood. Yes, even in Hollywood. A girl / lass / lady from Perak (2); she has just won the Oscar for best actress at Hollywood’s Oscars’ 95th annual awards, recognizing actors, actresses and film etc. Congratulations to Michelle are in order for winning this and several other awards regarding film / movies, recently. She has acted in many great movies (I hear) alongside with star-studded actresses and actors.

Why “I hear” is because I have only watched two of her movies. One is with Pierce Brosnan in a James Bond movie driving around in a BMW 750i and riding a BMW 1200 Harley Davidson-styled bike. The other movie was Crazy Rich Asians. Both were excellent movies.

So, what’s this got to do with curry puffs? Nothing really. I guess it’s a Malaysian thing to get side-tracked.

The currypuff or “karipap hairstyle.This guy looks familiar.

In the 1960s and 70s; “currypuff” was popular with schoolboys. All wanted to have a currypuff (also known as “karipap”) hairstyle. With the help of a large amount of Brylcreem haircream to keep hair in place; the hair in front is combed back or curved to the side creating a puff shape in front. It looked cool then. Brylcreem made a killing in hair-cream sales. There are some guys still stuck in a time warp. You will know them by their “karipap hairstyles.

Oops! side-tracked again. Let’s just say this essay is the “un-cut” version.😉

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Of late, something like (Not to worry. I am not about to get carried away with the use of this word) about a year ago, we (my wife, who is Jeannie; and I) have been buying curry puffs which are generally larger than their normal size. By this I mean. probably 2 or 3 times the normal size. All Malaysians and those in South East Asia will know what I am talking about.

Jeannie first started buying these curry puffs from a little shop located at the lower Ground Floor in Mid-Valley Shopping Centre (3). Those curry puffs are yummy. The quality of the product is always maintained – you are always assured of getting good stuff.

These fairly large curry puffs are sold in Aeon Big. Sold for US$0.78 in a packet of two, this is definitely value for money.

In these big curry puffs, you are assured of a generous slice of a hard boiled egg, together with chicken and curried potato in dried curry form. The pastry or crust that is the “body” of the curry puff is firm. Not like those very flaky type, pastries with very little filling inside (After a couple of bites, you can be forgiven if you ask, “Where’s the filling in this here curry puff?”). (Question mark?, quotation mark”, close bracket) full stop . – that’s a lot of punctuation marks)!! I think these curry puffs from the shop in Mid-Valley are / were selling for about US0.60 or RM2.75.

If I put these two words, “curry puff” together – “currypuff”, a red line underlines the word on my screen because it does not recognize the 2 words as 1. But, you, the reader; can’t see the red line, can you?

Curry puffs could be likened as a staple food in Malaysia, just like rice. You can have it to go with your coffee, tea, lunch, break, relief stress, add stress (for those weight watchers), dinner, midnight snack, anytime, anywhere food. You can find curry puffs in most bakeries, local and fine dine restaurants, supermarkets, shops, etc. Some of the best curry puffs are sold in little stalls by the roadside. They are usually made on the spot or are homemade.

One amongst the many that comes to mind was the one in SS15, Subang Jaya (4). This semi-permanent, makeshift stall was one in a row of stalls by SS15. Their hottest selling items were the kacang vaadai and donut (shaped like donuts with the hole in the middle) vaadai. There were long queues of people everyday, waiting in line to purchase these yummies. The guy would pack these two types of vaadai in brown paper bags. He would also include a generous amount of green chili padi and curry leaves to give the food a hot and spicy, flavored effect. After being in that location for well over 10 years, they are no longer there; hence the meaning of “semi-permanent, makeshift”. The good news is that they have moved into a shop of their own nearby. This same shop houses the famous SS15 rojak seller. I am not sure why but when there is an Indian rojak seller, there is a cendol (5) seller within the vicinity. The cendol does compliment the very spicy, peanut sauce rojak. Their rojak and cendol are bestsellers, too.

Home made. Made this during one of the many MCO’s in KL. Was craving for curry puffs and I had some puff pastries in the freezer. They were pretty darn yummy! ~ Sharon Ehler

Next on my list of must try are curry puffs with red and yellow sweet potato fillings; dried, spicy beef and chicken rendang fillings; and dried, spicy mutton veruval (6) with roasted cashew nut fillings. If you guys know where to get these, touch base with me to let me know.

More about curry puffs will be left for another essay / write-up. Let me know what types of curry puffs you like. What do you think about the more commercial flaky, pastry type or the hard, clam-shell type curry puffs. Are you in just for the fillings or does the pastry enclosure matter, too? Are you captivated or attracted to curry puffs by sight, meaning does looks set off your appetizer taste buds?

Till the next one.

NOTES:
1. Curry puff (MalayKaripap, Epok-epokChinese: 咖哩角,咖哩餃; pinyingālí jiǎoThai: กะหรี่ปั๊บ, RTGSkaripappronounced [kā.rìː.páp]) is a snack of Maritime Southeast Asian origin. It is a small pie consisting of curry with chicken and potatoes in a deep-fried or baked pastry shell. The consistency of the curry is quite thick to prevent it from oozing out of the snack. The pap or puff reflects the Fujian Chinese dialect 泡 (pop), which means bubble, blister and puffed. It is a truly Southeast Asian snack as it has Indian, Chinese or Malay elements.
In Malaysia, curry puffs are commonly known as karipap and sold freshly fried at many Malay, Chinese and Indian food stalls and even at trendy cafes.
In Singapore, curry puffs are commonly seen in pasar malams, bakeries and food stalls in shopping centres. Wikipedia

Ingredients for the general type curry puff


2. Perak is one of the 13 states in Malaysia.
3. Located in Kuala Lumpur.
4. Subang Jaya is a city in the state of Selangor, Malaysia.
5. Vaadai, rojak and cendol are local snacks and drinks.
6. Veruval is an Indian styled food usually a chicken or mutton styled dish and potently spicy hot.

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