How to Make Curry Puffs

Four Parts:Making the FillingMaking the PastryAssembling the PuffsFrying the Puffs

Curry puffs are a tasty Indian snack commonly sold at street stands. Classic curry puffs are made with a potato-based vegetarian filling and a crispy outer shell. To make them, mix up a spicy curry filling, stuff the filling into hand-rolled dough, and fry the puffs until golden brown.


For the Filling

  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 3 large potatoes,
  • 3/4 cup green peas (shelled)
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Oil for deep frying (peanut or canola)

For the Pastry

  • 3 cups all-purpose/plain flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 5 tablespoons vegetable shortening or lard
  • 1/2 cup lukewarm water

Part 1
Making the Filling

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    Boil the potatoes. Peel the potatoes and cut them into large chunks. Fill a large pot 3/4 full with water, and bring it to a boil. Add the potatoes and cook them for about five minutes, until a fork slides in easily when you poke a piece. Drain the water.
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    Cut the potatoes into small pieces. Slice the cooked potatoes into small, pea-sized chunks, or use a potato masher to mash them into small bits. If the potatoes pieces are too large they may rip through the pastry puff.
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    Blanch the peas. Bring a small pot of water to a boil and place the peas in the pot. Let them boil for about one minute, until the peas are tender (test one to be sure). Drain the water and reserve the peas.
    • If you're using frozen peas, simply thaw them by letting them sit at room temperature for one hour. If you're in a hurry, submerge the bag of peas in cold water for ten or fifteen minutes to thaw them.
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    Sauté the onion. Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a frying pan. When the oil is hot enough to shimmer and slide easily through the pan, add the chopped onion. Sauté the onion for about five minutes, until it begins to brown.
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    Add the spices to the pan. Put the curry powder, turmeric powder, chili powder, black pepper and salt in the pan with the diced onion. Stir the spices and the onion until the mixture is thoroughly incorporated.[1]
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    Add the potatoes and peas to the pan. Stir them together with the onions and spices. Cook the mixture for two minutes, stirring constantly.
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    Let the mixture cool. Remove the pan from heat and set the mixture aside while you make the pastry.[2]

Part 2
Making the Pastry

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    Combine the flour, salt and shortening in a bowl. Use your hands or a pastry cutter to incorporate the shortening into the flour mixture.
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    Add the lukewarm water. Mix together until the ingredients are well combined. If needed, add a little more water to ensure a good, smooth consistency. If the pastry seems too moist, adjust with a little more flour.
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    Knead firmly for about 10 minutes. Place the dough on a floured work surface and form it into a ball. Use the heels of your hands to push down on the dough, then turn the dough and push it again. Continue until the dough becomes smooth and elastic.
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    Let the dough rest. Place it in a mixing bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Set aside for a minimum of 30 minutes before rolling. Resting the dough will help the puffs become lighter and less dense, so don't skip this step.[3]

Part 3
Assembling the Puffs

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    Roll out the dough. Remove the plastic and turn the dough back onto a floured work surface. Use a rolling pin to roll out the dough until it's 1/4-inch thick.
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    Cut circles out of the dough. Use a biscuit cutter or the rim of a glass to cut circles about three inches in diameter from the dough. If you want larger puffs, cut larger circles; for miniature puffs, cut smaller circles.
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    Fill the puffs. Spoon about one teaspoon of filling in the center of each circle. Brush the edges of the dough circle with a little water, then fold the circle in half over the filling. Use a fork to or your fingers to seal the edges together so the filling won't fall out.
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    Cover the completed curry puffs with a damp cloth. This will prevent them from drying out while you finish making the puffs and heating the oil. Keep them covered until you're ready to fry them.

Part 4
Frying the Puffs

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    Heat the oil. Pour frying oil into a large dutch oven or metal pot. If you have a high-sided frying pan, that will also work. Pour in enough oil to rise at least one inch up the sides of the pot or pan. Heat the oil until it reaches 365 °F (185 °C).
    • If you don't have a kitchen thermometer, you can tell the oil is ready by observing small bubbles forming strings from the bottom of the pan to the surface of the oil.
    • Or test the oil by placing a small piece of dough in the pot. If it starts to fry and turn brown right away, the oil is ready. If it doesn't fry, keep heating the oil.
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    Place the puffs in the hot oil. Place four or five puffs in the pot. Don't crowd the puffs by trying to fry too many at a time, since this will cause them to cook unevenly. You may have to fry them in several batches.
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    Fry the puffs until they're golden brown. They should be ready in thirty seconds to a minute, depending on how many you're frying at once.
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    Remove the puffs from the oil. Use a slotted or sieve spoon to drain off the oil as you lift the puffs from the pot.
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    Drain the curry puffs on kitchen towels or other absorbent paper. Let the puffs sit for a moment or two so the excess oil drips off and gets absorbed.
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    Serve the puffs hot. Curry puffs are usually served with a dipping sauce such as yogurt and mint, fresh mint chutney, peach chutney or tamarind chutney.


  • Try adding diced chicken, diced beef, or additional vegetables to the filling.
  • If you're in a hurry, you can use puff pastry instead of making your own dough.


  • Take care when working with hot oil. Tie back hair and loose clothing and keep children and pets out of the way.

Things You'll Need

  • Mixing bowls
  • Mixing implement
  • Board for rolling
  • Rolling pin
  • Knife
  • Teaspoon
  • Frying pot
  • Handled sieve spoon to collect fried puffs from hot oil
  • Kitchen paper towels or other absorbent paper

Article Info

Categories: Party Snacks