My mother was a housewife and so, as children me and my siblings were always treated to home made teatime treats. From marble cakes to kuih bengkang; butter cookies to onde onde; swiss rolls to kuih wajik, there was always something delicious waiting for us come 4.30 pm.
We never thought twice about how lucky we were then. We’d probably wished we had store bought chocolate chip cookies or sponge cakes. Kids! What can you do?
Though she never thought herself a good cook, I have yet to find a kuih bengkang that could beat the one made by my mother; or a marble cake as fascinating. I am reluctant to try making them because I know I can never make them as well.
But today, I craved my mother’s curry puffs. They were small and delicately-shaped-to-perfection little morsels. The also delicious puffs that I usually buy from a roadside vendor in Bangsar just wouldn’t do. Not today. I decided to try making some.
Making the filling came first. Diced carrots, potatos, green peas were usually what mum put in. I added some diced yams too since they were in my fridge. Curried flavour, not too hot but quite spicy (a mix of kurma powder, curry powder, chili powder, turmeric, pepper and salt.
And then the pastry. I tried making a simple puff pastry myself and it turned out pretty alright.
Now my mother used to shaped the curry puffs by hand — roll the dough, cut circles with a mould or a bottle, cup circle in hand, add filling (not too full), join ends of the pastry circle and crimp sides.
But I’ve written many a time about my lack of delicate skills and so I used the curry puff mould (see pix below), something I inherited from an aunt.
It was easier, no doubt, but because I stuffed some of the puffs with too much filling, they cracked in the oven. Thankfully not all of cracked. Oh, and yes I baked the puffs though mum mostly fried them. In the 1990s when everyone became more conscious of healthy cooking, she too switched to baking them puffs. Baked puffs are naturally not oily and the pastry is harder but they taste good too.