Mak's Epok-Epok

Simple, comforting family recipes handed down through the generations.

In every family, there are certain traditions and recipes that hold a special place in our hearts. They not only bring us together but also connect us to our roots and the memories we hold dear.

In my family, one of our favourite recipes is epok-epok, also known as curry puff or karipap.

It all started with my mother, who we called "Mak." She worked hard selling tasty savoury snacks such as epok-epok, banana fritters and other snacks in the school cafeteria.

She woke up early every day to make these snacks and I learned how to make curry puffs even before I turned seven. As the youngest of 11 siblings, one can imagine that making epok-epok is a skill that runs deep in our family. This is because my siblings and I go through the same routine of helping her make them before or after our own school activities. Then, we send the epok-epok to the school cafeteria where she sells them on a daily basis.

Although the years have passed and Mak is no longer with us, her recipe for epok-epok still lives on. Whenever we make these curry puffs, memories of our childhood and the love of our dear Mak always bring us back to the days of our growing up.

In the hustle and bustle of our lives, it is easy to forget the importance of preserving family traditions and the memories they hold. The recipe for my mother's epok-epok is not just a snack. It shows the strength of our family's love and the beauty of what we treasure. It also serves as a reminder to cherish the moments that have shaped us into the individuals we are today.

Ingredients

Potato Filling

  • 1 kg potatoes peel & diced

  • 3 tbsp cooking oil

  • 2 red onions chopped / diced (medium size)

  • 2 garlic cloves chopped / minced

  • 2 cm ginger chopped / minced

  • 6 tbsp curry powder

  • 1 stalk curry leaves

  • 1 1⁄2 tbsp salt (adjust to suit your taste)

  • 2 tbsp dried anchovies blended (optional)

  • 2 tbsp coriander leaves chopped (optional)

  • 600 ml water (adjust enough water until the potatoes soften)

Preparation

Stir-fry onion, ginger and garlic with oil until lightly browned. Add blended anchovies (optional), curry leaves and curry powder until fragrant. Then, add diced potatoes and salt to taste. Add enough water and simmer at low heat until the potatoes softened. Add chopped coriander leaves (optional) and mixed well.

Ingredients

Dough

  • 6 cups plain flour

  • 2 tsp salt

  • 1⁄2 cup vegetable oil (oil that has been heat up/cooked)

  • 3 cups water (Adjust the amount of water accordingly)

Preparation

In a bowl, mix salt and flour evenly. Set aside.

Heat oil in a pan at high heat. Once its boiling, off the heat and let it cool and pour oil directly into the flour mixture. Mix well. Then add in a little water at a time and continue kneading until the dough comes together.

Set dough aside and let it rest for about 10 mins to 30 mins. Divide the dough to even amounts and roll it to a round shape.

Place the filling in the middle and fold the sides together to create a semi-circle. Pinch the dough together in order to seal the sides. To create the distinctive edge of epok-epok, use the pinch and fold technique.

Fry the epok-epok at low to medium heat until they are golden brown. To keep for later consumption, freeze the cooked epok-epok in a container or a ziplock bag. The frozen epok-epok can be air-fried or reheated in the oven before serving.