Is it anything like English pocket pie? The preparation is similar but the overall texture is different. The dough contains quite a lot of water so it never acquires the flakiness of real pie crust.
And there is no baking involved. The stuffed dough are pan fried on both sides with a little oil until lightly browned and ultra crisp on the surface. But just below the surface, the flatbread retains some chewiness. The mouth feel is simply wonderful.
What inspired this recipe? A dish cooked by Gok Wan which we saw on Discovery Plus. We just went a step farther and used meat for the filling. After all, flatbread with meat filling is quite popular in Chinese cooking, and the filling can be anything from pork to beef to lamb, depending on the region. For the filling, see the dry beef curry recipe.
You need to make the filling first because it has to cool before it can be stuffed into bread dough. So, set the beef curry aside and prep your dough.
There are three ingredients for the dough: flour, salt and hot water. Again, hot water. That’s crucial as it gives the bread a unique texture once cooked. Mix the three ingredients together until the dough can be formed into a ball.
Leave the dough to rest for half an hour before kneading until smooth. It doesn’t take long — not as long as yeasted dough. Just wait intil the dough is smooth. Around ten minutes should do it. Cover the dough and leave to rest again.
The dough is now ready to be cut into portions. How many portions really depends on how many beef curry breads you want to make OR how small or large you want them to be. Two cups of flour was used for this recipe and the dough was cut into ten portions.
Each portion is then rolled into a ball. Once you’ve formed all the dough, you’re going to start filling them. To keep the remaining balls of dough from drying out, keep them covered.
Take a ball of dough and flatten with a rolling pin. Flatten the dough to about an eighth of an inch. You want a large thin circle of dough so that it’s easier to seal the filling.
Place a heap of beef curry at the center of the flattened dough, gather the edges of the dough by folding it into pleats, and pinching those pleats together. Keep at it until the filling is completely sealed.
Place the dough on your work surface with the pleated side on the bottom. Flatten slightly using your fingers then use a rolling pin to flatten it some more. Be careful not to allow the filling to pierce the dough.
When you filled and flattened all the dough, you fry the flatbread. Just coat the bottom of the pan with oil, slide in a filled dough and fry on both sides until golden and crisp.
Cook in batches to avoid overcrowding and to make flipping easier. How many stuffed dough you can cook per batch depends on the size of your pan. Add more oil before frying every batch.
Full recipe below
Beef Curry Bread
To cook the beef curry bread
- beef curry - fully cooked and cooled
- cooking oil
Make the flatbread dough
- Stir the flour and salt in a mixing bowl.
- Drizzle the hot water over the flour and stir quickly.
- Add a quarter cup of room temperature water and the oil, and stir until the dough comes together.
- Cover the dough with cling film and leave to rest for 30 minutes.
- Dump the dough on your work surface and knead until smooth.
- Cover with cling film and rest for another ten minutes.
- Cut the dough into ten portions.
- Roll each portion into a ball.
Stuff the dough
- Take a ball of dough and flatten with a rolling pin until about an eighth of an inch in thickness.
- Place a tablespoon of the cooled filling at the center of the flattened dough.
- Gather the edges of the dough by pinching and pleating until the filling is completely sealed.
- Place the stuffed dough, seam side down, on your work surface and flatten with your fingers.
- Flatten some more with a rolling pin until less than half an in in thickness.
- Repeat until all the dough has been stuffed and flattened.
Cook the beef curry bread
- Lightly coat the bottom of a frying pan with oil and heat.
- Keeping the temperature on medium-low, fry the stuffed dough until golden and crisp on the underside.
- Flip to brown the opposite side.
- Repeat until all the stuffed dough have been fried.