When I was flipping through pages of various cookbooks in my hey days of recipe hunting, I came across a dish called Pasty; a snack item of Cornwall, United Kingdom, which has a rich history of its own, related to fishermen and miners. Upon first reading of the ingredients and method, I remember thinking,
This sounds a lot like Karipap.
The dough, made of flour and water, with a little fat, encloses a hearty filling of potatoes and meat, and forms a half circle with a crimped curvy edge. It is said that the pasties were created for miners because they were able to eat it with dirty hands by chomping on the meaty filling and chucking away the part of the dough that was marred by the dirt.
I had often wondered about the origins of Karipap, a Malaysian version of pasty, if you will. Also called curry puff in English, it is like a mini savory calzone filled with a variety of fillings ranging from the typical potatoes and carrots to shredded meat and chicken, usually cooked with curry spice. Of course now, the karipap has gone through its own evolution and today we even have Karipap Pusing (Swirled Curry Puff), where the creation of dough creates a finished product that boasts swirled patterns on the doughy crusts, of different golden shades. A bite of Karipap gives you a mouthful of crispy deep fried crust, dry and flaky on the outside, and as the outer enclosure crumbles away in your mouth, the filling reveals itself. Via the slightly chewy and moist part of the crust that touches the filling, your tastes buds are now exposed to a spicy medley cubed potatoes and carrots that are cooked in curry spice. Best eaten warm, Karipap can serve as a filling snack, or even a light lunch.
Despite indulging in a hobby of cake decorating for a number of years now, I’m a pathetic failure when it comes to crimping the edges of Karipap by hand. I have never seen it done manually, but I have seen perfect crimping, manual crimping that is, not the automatic ones that are created by the Karipap mold. In my attempts of making homemade Karipap, I have butchered the crimping stage such that the filling broke loose in the sea of hot oil as the edges split open due to my poor crimping. So I turned to the plastic Karipap mold. Nonetheless, I haven’t made as many Karipaps as I want to, because of my poor crimping skills.
And here, I am awed to see how the crimping is actually done, with a lot of sound effects to match:
Maybe I should give this crimping business another try, eh?