These Curry Puffs are flaky, buttery, and filled with a lightly spiced vegetarian filling of potatoes and peas. These are an easy version of curry samosas that you can make with store-bought puff pastry.
These vegetarian curry puffs are easy to make and packed with so much flavor!
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I’m sure you guys know how much of a soft spot I have for anything with curry flavor. My Sri Lankan roots really run deep when it comes to a hearty curry. We LOVE making curried appetizers, and they are a quintessential part of any south Asian kid’s childhood. Some of my favorites growing up were fish cutlets, patties, curry rolls (Also called Chinese rolls in Sri Lanka) and of course these curry puffs!
What are curry puffs?
Curry puffs are a popular snack that’s sold everywhere in Sri Lanka. It’s a more modern version of Sri Lankan patties or Indian samosas – using puff pastry instead of homemade dough. It can be made with chicken, fish, beef or vegetarian filling, so it’s very versatile and easy. Usually store-bought puff pastry is used, but I made my own puff pastry as our local supermarket didn’t have any. You can make your own easy rough puff pastry using my recipe here too.
These are perfect to serve as appetizers for holiday entertaining. They are easy to assemble and can be frozen until needed. Using store-bought puff pastry and flavorful spice mixes will make the whole process even easier!
Why you should make these curry puffs
- They are an easy appetizer, perfect for holiday entertaining, or any time of the year!
- These are vegetarian (and can be vegan too). Non-vegetarians won’t miss the meat either – trust me!
- Freezer friendly! The vegetarian curry puffs can be stored in the freezer and baked right before serving.
- With store-bought puff pastry and excellent spice blends, these are a cinch to make.
- Fantastic as finger food or as a snack.
- A cheat’s “samosa” with the addition of flaky, buttery puff pastry.
- No frying involved, and you can bake them all at once.
Which curry powder should I use?
For this recipe for vegetarian curry puffs, I’m using a combination of garam masala and other spices. Since the quality of the spices you use is so important for great flavor, make sure you use a spice blend that you know is good quality.
That’s why I really love The Spice Hunter’s Garam Masala! Their spice blends are of such high quality, and they have so many choices that you can choose from too. You could even choose their curry spice blends instead of garam masala.
I also used The Spice Hunter’s Bay Leaves. Bay leaves are only added during the cooking process, and are removed when the filling is done cooking. This adds a wonderful aroma to the potato and pea filling.
To add a nice spiciness, I used The Spice Hunter’s Savory Pepper Blend! I love that it has FOUR kinds of peppercorns that all have different flavor profiles and colors.
How to choose a good curry blend
I take spices very seriously. As such, finding good quality spice blends and curry powders is super important to me. I have seen so many curry blends and south Asian spice blends in the market that simply don’t pass muster. So always look for two simple things when you’re looking for the right kind of spice blend or curry blend,
Read the ingredient list. I’ve seen SO MANY “curry blends” that use so much turmeric and not much else! As if turmeric was a synonym for curry powder. It hurts my heart to see a good curry recipe ruined by a lame curry blend. A good curry blend has a range of spices blended together for the best taste and aroma. The spices can change depending on the curry powder (Madras curry powder vs Sri Lankan curry powder vs garam masala etc.).
Buy your spice blends from a brand that you know puts the effort into quality (like The Spice Hunter, because that’s what they are, that’s what they do).
The Spice Hunter range of spices and herbs are well-sourced from all over the world. Plus, they ensure high quality ingredients because they are a small boutique company. All their products are Non-GMO Project Verified too. You can’t beat that for quality.
You can get so much inspiration for great recipes on their website, and buy their products from there as well. With the holiday season upon us, The Spice Hunter is offering 15% off on all orders on Spicehunter.com (excludes branded merchandise) through 12/31/19 with the code HOLIDAYSPICE19. You can also sign up for their newsletter to get recipe inspiration throughout the year!
How to make Vegetarian Curry Puffs
Making the filling
The filling is simple and easy. It’s like a curried breakfast hash, with the addition of peas and spices.
Cut the potatoes into a small dice, and keep them soaked in cold water until you’re ready to cook them. It’s ok if they’re not even, because you will be mashing 1/3 of it anyway.
Soften onions over medium heat in a big pan, along with the bay leaves. Add the ginger and garlic, followed by the potatoes. Add the garam masala, salt and black pepper along with the other seasoning spices, and cook the potatoes until softened and caramelized. With a fork, mash up about 1/3 of the potatoes.
Add the peas with a little garam masala and cook until the peas are warmed up. Taste and season as needed.
THAT’S IT! The filling for these vegetarian curry puffs is now done and just needs to cool down to room temperature.
Making the curry puffs
If you want to make your own puff pastry, you can! Homemade puff pastry tastes heaps better and it’s easier than you think. You can follow my easy recipe here.
Buying store-bought puff pastry is an easier option though. And if you want to save time, then store-bought puff pastry will certainly help.
Roll about 1/2 lb of the puff pastry into a square sheet. It should be at least 12 x 12 inches, and 3 mm in thickness. Cut circles or squares from the puff pastry sheet. You should be able to cut out at least 9, with a diameter of 3.5 – 4 inches. Place a generous spoonful of the filling in the center of each small square. Brush the edges with water and fold over. Crimp the edges with a fork to seal.
Repeat with more puff pastry as needed. It’s easier to work with batches, rather than rolling out a big amount of puff pastry in one go. With 1 ½ lbs of puff pastry, I got about 24 vegetarian curry puffs.
Brush the tops of the pastries with an egg wash and bake in a preheated oven until golden brown. They taste AMAZING while warm, but they can be enjoyed at room temperature too.
What if I want to make these ahead of time?
These are super freezer-friendly!
When you have assembled the vegetarian curry puffs, place them on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and freeze for about 1 hour (or until completely frozen).
These frozen curry puffs can be stored in a sealable freezer bag or container and stored until needed.
And even better, they can be baked from frozen too! So these vegetarian curry puffs are perfect for entertaining, or when you have unexpected guests drop by, or even when you’re just craving a snack any time of the day!
How to serve these vegetarian curry puffs
These don’t require much in the way of “dressing”, since all the flavor is inside the pastries.
However, these can be served with a tomato or mango chutney as well.
Vegetarian curry puff variations
These vegetarian curry puffs can be easily modified to your taste.
- Substitute the potatoes with sweet potatoes.
- Substitute half of the potatoes with carrots.
- Follow the same filling recipe here, but for a spiced fish filling.
- Add curried chicken or beef to the mix.
- Use gluten-free puff pastry for a gluten-free curry puff version.
- Use vegan puff pastry for a vegan curry puff version.
- Reduce the spice levels or increase the spice levels to your taste (we like it spicy!).
Easy Vegetarian Curry Puffs
EASY - This recipe is easy for beginners, if you make it with store-bought puff pastry. However, you can make you own puff pastry too (recipe link for that in ingredients). US based cup, teaspoon, tablespoon measurements. Common Measurement Conversions
Spiced potato and peas filling
- 1 ½ lbs potatoes yukon gold, or something similar
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- ½ large onion chopped finely
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 1 inch ginger minced
- 1 large The Spice Hunter Meditarranean Bay Leaf
- 1 ½ tsp The Spice Hunter Garam Masala
- ½ tsp The Spice Hunter Savory Pepper Blend ground. We used 1 ½ tsp because we like it spicy
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp turmeric optional
- ½ tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp brown sugar
- 5 oz frozen peas
- 2 tbsp butter or ghee optional
- Salt to taste
For the pastry
- 1 ½ lbs puff pastry 3 sheets of store-bought puff pastry, or recipe for homemade puff pastry here.
- 1 egg for an egg wash
Spiced potato and pea filling
- Using a small mortar and pestle, or spice grinder, grind some of the peppercorns into a powder.
- Peel the potatoes and cut into a small dice (about 1 cm). Place the potato in a bowl of cold water until ready to use.
- Heat 2 tbsp of oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. When the pan is hot, add the onion and bay leaves and cook until onions are softened. Add garlic, ginger, turmeric (if using), 1 tsp of garam masala, cinnamon and black pepper, and saute for 30 seconds. Add the potatoes, sugar and salt, and stir to coat the potatoes in the spice mix.
- Cook the potatoes until they are softened and slightly caramelized. Stir potatoes every 5 - 8 minutes to prevent them from burning. The potatoes should be softened and caramelized in 15 - 20 minutes, depending on the heat of your stove.
- Add the frozen peas and the remaining ½ tsp garam masala and saute the mix until the peas are heated through. Add more salt and pepper to taste.
- Finally add the butter, and mix well.
- Remove the filling from the heat and let it cool down to room temperature. The cooled down filling can also be stored in the fridge for up to 2 days. Remove the bay leaf as soon as you’re ready to use the filling.
Vegetarian curry puffs
- Roll out the puff pastry to a thickness of about 3 mm. If using puff pastry sheets, you may still need to roll it out until it has the desired thickness.
- Using a 3.5 inch cookie cutter, cut out circles of puff pastry. Alternatively you can cut the puff pastry into 3.5 - 4 inch squares as well.
- Flatten the edge of the puff pastry circle and place it on your palm. Then while your palm is slightly cupped, fill the center with a generous spoonful of the curried potato and pea filling.
- Moisten the edge of the puff pastry and fold it over to form a puff pastry half circle. Seal the edge well with your fingers first, and then crimp the edges with a fork. (See pictures in the post for more details.)
- If using square pastries, fold over to form a triangle, seal the edges with your fingers first, and then crimp with a fork, as above.
- Place the pastries on a parchment paper-lined baking tray and cover with plastic wrap or a clean cloth napkin. Repeat with all of the pastry and filling.
- Keep the pastries at room temperature if you’re baking them immediately. If you’re baking the next day, keep them covered with plastic wrap in the fridge (take care not to let the pastries touch, as they will stick to each other).
- If you want to store them for longer, then transfer them to the freezer.
Baking the curry puffs
- Preheat oven to 375°F.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the pastries on the baking tray with about 1 inch of space between each.
- For the egg wash, whisk the egg lightly until the yolk and white are well-mixed.
- Brush the tops with egg wash and bake in preheated oven until golden brown and puffed up - about 20 minutes.
- Serve while warm, or at room temperature.
Tips & Tricks
- The filling is enough for about 25 - 26 curry puffs (3.5 inch pastries). This can change according to the size of the pastries, and how much filling you put in each curry puff.
- These curry puffs really puff up in the oven as they bake. So it’s important to seal them well with a fork so that the seams won’t open during or after baking. Too much filling could also lead to the curry puffs splitting open.
- If the curry puffs open a little along the seam while baking, then use a chopstick (or something similar) to gently push down the pastry seam as soon as you remove the pastries from the oven. The pastry is more pliable when hot.