Classic Malaysian snack and street food. Crunchy spiral curry puffs (karipap) with sardines filling. Making the pastry is not difficult as you might think. Try it, you might enjoy it. More after seeing the crispy and delicious results!
Heat a pan on medium heat. Add in onion, potato and some salt. Stir and cook until the onion is golden brown. Add in chopped garlic and chili powder. Mix and cook for 1 minute until the powdery taste is gone.
Add in water and continue cooking until the water evaporates and the potato is tender. Add in sardines. Mix well and break up the sardines a bit. Add in lemon juice and give it one last mix. Add more salt if needed. Turn off the heat and transfer the filling into a bowl. Leave to cool completely before using.
The shortening pastry
In a bowl, add in all the shortening pastry ingredients. Massage the fats into the flours with your fingers until the mixture becomes crumbly. Then bring it all together into a dough. Don't worry if it feels a bit dry. Just work it a bit, the heat of your hand will melt the fats and bind everything into a dough.
Divide the dough into 2 balls. Set aside.
The water pastry
In a bowl, add in flour, salt and butter. Massage the butter into the flour with your fingers until the mixture becomes crumbly. Add in water. Mix and knead until it becomes a dough. Divide evenly into 2 balls.
Sprinkle some flour on the working surface. Take 1 water pastry ball and roll it into a 3 inch (7.5 cm) circle, more or less. Take 1 shortening ball and place it on the center of the circle. Wrap it tightly with the water pastry and form into a ball. Do the same with the other water pastry and shortening balls.
Take 1 wrapped ball and place it on a working surface. Roll it into a 6 inch (15 cm) circle, more or less. Starting from the edge nearest to you, tightly roll the dough into a log.
Rotate the log so that it's vertically on the working surface, seams side down. Roll into a 3.5x10 inch (9x25 cm) rectangle, more or less. Again, starting from the edge nearest to you, tightly roll it into a log.
Cut the log into 6 equal pieces. Do the same with the remaining ball. Cover the cut pieces with cling film to prevent them from getting dry.
Place 1 piece of dough on a floured working surface. Sprinkle a bit of flour on top of the dough also. Gently roll it into the size of your palm, more or less. Don't roll it too thin as the layers might break.
Spoon around 1 tsp of previously cooled filling on the center of the dough. Don't fill it too much as it might break or open up the layers. Fold the dough over and pinch the seams together. Climp all around to secure the filling from coming out. Do the same to the rest of the pieces of dough.
Fry the spiral puffs in a pot with abundance of oil. Use medium heat, don't use low heat as the puffs will absorb the oil and get soggy. Don't over crowd the pot. Fry them until golden brown and place on kitchen paper to absorb the oil Best serve warm, enjoy!