The karipap, or curry puff, is a simple snack with an interesting history. It’s been likened to the British Cornish pasty, the Portuguese empanada, and the Indian samosa, all of which were introduced to the Malaysian peninsula and maritime Southeast Asia during the colonial period.
The name karipap comes from a mixture of the Malay word for curry, “kari,” and from the Hokkien “pap,” which means to bubble, blister or puff.
Curry puffs come with a variety of fillings, including eggs, meat, root vegetables, onions, and even sweet variants. The curry filling is made to a thick consistency, to stop it leaking out when frying.
It is truly a Malaysian snack, as it has been influenced by all three major cultures in the country: Indian, Chinese and Malay. The pastry and filling can differ, but there are two common denominators: they are moon-shaped pastries filled with curry. This means it’s easy to find curry puffs in hawker markets, at Malay, Chinese or Indian stalls.
Curry puff buffs note another distinction: the pastry. Cooks use either a simple dough or a pleated dough, which blends two doughs together – one with a higher butter content. The latter, known as a spiral curry puff, has unique spiralling lines on the outer crust for wow-factor appeal.
Shop name: Sri Kortumalai Pillayar Restaurant
215, Jalan Tun Sambanthan, Brickfields, 50470 Kuala Lumpur,
Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur
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