Story by Emma-Jane Richards, sharing her love for Curry Puffs
Like Coconut fingers, curry puffs is one of those things that I loved about parties. So moreish, these little puffs of pure joy are the perfect finger food. No birthday party, wedding or family gathering is complete without some. I often come home from work on a random weekday to find Robin making a batch for the week’s lunchtime snacks. The closest I have seen to these in my travels are a mini version of the Jamaican patty once at a food market stall. Granted fundamentally the filler ingredients are very different from St Helena and Jamaica but I’m always fascinated by food origins and evolution over time and it never ceases to amaze me how some dishes have changed country to country depending on when they were introduced or adapted. When I first spotted Jamaican patties I immediately became intrigued by their history. The Jamaican beef patty is a product of colonialism and migration developed after the introduction of the Cornish pasty in the Caribbean, mixed with cumin and curry seasonings of Indian indentured servants in Jamaica and cayenne pepper from African slaves.
Spanish people will see a similarity in their fried version called a empanada.
Knowing St Helena’s diverse and rich racial heritage through slavery and sailing days there’s no wonder their are some similarities out there. All great tasting in their own way but non come close to the salty spicy goodness of the Saint Curry Puff in my eyes.
2 Stories about Curry Puffs available
View all stories about Plo
How to make Curry Puffs
St Helena Curry Puffs
- 10cm or 11cm Round Pastry cutter
- Baking tray
- 1 Egg
- Pastry Brush
For making the Filling
- 3 Onion (Chopped)
- 2 tins Corned Beef
- 2 tbsp Curry Powder (Medium)
- Chopped Parsley
For the Shortcrust Pastry (or buy some ready made shortcrust pastry from the shop - it saves some time).
- 125 g Plain Flour
- 55 g Butter
- 2 tbsp Cold Water
- Pinch of Salt
Making the Shortcrust Pastry
- Please ignore if using shop brought pastry. Otherwise, follow the steps below.
- Put the flour and salt in a large bowl and add the cubes of butter.
- Use your fingertips to rub the butter into the flour until you have a mixture that resembles coarse breadcrumbs with no large lumps of butter remaining. Try to work quickly so that it does not become greasy.
- Using a knife, stir in just enough of the cold water to bind the dough together.
- Wrap the dough in clingfilm and chill for 10-15 minutes before using.
- Alternatively using a food processor, put the flour, butter and salt in the food processor and pulse until the fat is rubbed into the flour.
- With the motor running, gradually add the water through the funnel until the dough comes together. Only add enough water to bind it and then stop.
- Wrap the dough in clingfilm as before and chill for 10-15 minutes before using.
Making the Filling
- Fry the onions in a large frying pan.
- Once the onions had soften, add the curry powder and fry.
- Once fried, add the corned beef. Using a spoon to mix and mash everything together. (Tip: cut the Corned Beef into cubes before adding to make it easy to mix and mash together).
- Mix in the Chopped Parsley.
- Allow to rest and cool a little.
Making the Curry Puffs
- Roll out the shortcrust pastry to about 3-4mm thick. (You don’t what it to thin because it will break when folding. Neither to thick otherwise it the pastry will overpower the filling.)
- Cut the pastry into as many round discs are you can.
- Fill each round disc with a dessert spoon amount of filling. Be sure to place in the middle of the disc. (Tip: Don’t over fill the puff. Do one as a test first before filling all discs.)
- Beat the egg. Brush the edges of the disc using a Pastry Brush.
- Fold the pastry over to completely cover the filling. Press down the edges using a fork to seal the filling in. Pierce the top of the puff using the fork. Brush more egg over the top and seal.
- Bake in a moderate oven at 350F / 180c / Gas 4 for 15-20 minutes. Until the pastry is golden and baked.
- Once baked and cooled, enjoy anywhere really. Great as a picnic or party snack – thats the way we Saints love to eat them!
Share your story about Curry Puffs
We would love to hear what made the recipe special for you.
Share and celebrate St Helena cooking with us.