Fish and Coconut Curry Puffs

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Preparation info

  • Makes

    25–30 pieces

    • Difficulty


Appears in

My Rendang isn't Crispy

My Rendang isn't Crispy

By Zaleha Kadir Olpin

Published 2019

  • About

An East Coast version of curry puffs. Instead of chicken and potatoes, tembosa are filled with fish and grated coconut. It is an easy to-go snack that we all love — the only problem is that you can’t stop eating them once you start! My fondest childhood memory of this snack are family picnics by the waterfall. So yes, these are perfect for packing into picnic baskets as well!


  • Vegetable oil, as needed for deep-frying


  • 300 g (11 oz) plain flour
  • 100 ml ( fl oz) vegetable oil
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 250 ml (8 fl oz / 1 cup) water


  • 125 ml (4 fl oz / ½ cup) water
  • 200 g (7 oz) Spanish mackerel fillet
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 90 g ( oz) desiccated coconut
  • 250 ml (8 fl oz / 1 cup) coconut cream
  • 4 shallots, peeled and finely sliced
  • 2 Tbsp slivered ginger
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp fenugreek seeds
  • 2 tsp crushed black peppercorns


  • Prepare the dough. Place the flour in a heatproof mixing bowl and set aside. Heat the vegetable oil with the salt in a small pot and bring it to its boiling point. Pour the hot oil into the flour. The flour will sizzle a little. Add the water and stir with a wooden spoon. Let the dough cool slightly, then knead until it is soft and smooth. Cover with cling film and set aside.
  • Prepare the filling. Place the water in a small pan and bring to a boil. Add the fish and salt and let the fish cook.
  • Remove the cooked fish and mash with a fork. Return the mashed fish to the pan and add the remaining ingredients. Stir continuously over low heat until the mixture is slightly dry. Taste and adjust the seasoning, if needed. Set aside to cool.
  • Divide the dough in half and keep one portion wrapped in cling film to prevent it from drying out.
  • Dust a clean work surface with some flour. Pinch off 20-g (-oz) dough and roll into a ball. Flatten the dough into a disc and top with a spoonful of the filling. Fold the disc to enclose the filling, then pinch the edges and crimp to seal. Alternatively, create a pattern by pressing the edges with a fork. Repeat with the remaining ingredients.
  • Heat sufficient oil for deep-frying in a wok over medium heat. Lower the curry puffs into the hot oil and deep-fry for 2 minutes on each side until golden brown and crisp. Do this in batches. Drain well and serve.