Kuih Spera Recipe (Malaysian Curry Puff with Coconut Filling)

Kuih Spera or as Lisa from Lemony Kitchen explained it’s similar to curry puff but with coconut filling. For Indonesians Curry Puff is pretty much a buddy of Pastel or Jalakote.

When I approached Lisa to be my first Malaysian guest post I simply wanted something that has a root to her background. Seeing Lisa’s posts of her custom and food on Lemony Kitchen, I immediately can imagine them. Indonesia and Malaysia are neighborhood countries. Surely our foods are connected each other. Our custom and language are similar. I don’t speak Malay. I still can understand but it will be hard for me to reply with a Malay dialect. I’m so happy when I found out that Lisa agreed to share this “almost forgotten” recipe.

I was so thrilled when I received Pepy’s invitation to be her guest post late last year, however due to my tight schedule, I was unable to fulfill my part of the bargain immediately.

3 months later and here I am…

Thank you Pepy for the invite and my big Thank you, hugs and kisses for being so patience and understanding…

When I asked Pepy, what would she like me to ‘cook’ for her blog? In her short sweet reply, she replied with a question..’Which part of Malaysia… are you from?’

From her reply, I could gauge that Pepy was looking for something unique…that tantalize my taste buds, its aroma will remind me of my growing up years in Alor Setar, Kedah. Hence I decided to cook Kuih Spera.

What is Kuih Spera? Kuih Spera is ‘the less famous cousin’ of Curry puff. It has the same dough, deep fried to a nice golden crust but with different filling… which makes Kuih Spera unique.

Kuih Spera’s filling consist of shredded coconut, dried prawns, dried chillies and spices like galangal, coriander seeds, turmeric and fennel. One could taste burst of flavours with every bite.

I remembered enjoying kuih spera for breakfast or having it as my afternoon snacks. Either my mom would make it or she would buy from the vendor on bicycle, who would make his round around the village during tea time.

As far as I can recall, and every time I am back for holidays… I could never find Kuih Spera in the morning or night market anymore. Could be the amount of work that one need to put in or the demand for Kuih Spera had dwindled over the years plus the price of coconuts has soared sky high (in Malaysia), hence less and less Kuih Spera(s) are sold.

For whatever reasons it may be…I am glad I had the opportunity to bring back this ‘lost’ Malaysian kuih/snack back to the ‘Foodie’ scene with the hope that it will not be forgotten altogether.

Kuih Spera

Ingredients
Filling
150g shredded dried coconut
40g dried shrimps
150g shallots
10 pcs dried chillies
½ tablespoon coriander seeds
½ teaspoon fennel seeds
½ teaspoon cumin
¼ teaspoon turmeric
10g galangal
2 tablespoon sugar
3 tablespoon of coconut cream
½ to 1 cup of water*

Dough
500g plain flour
½ tablespoon salt
95g margarine ~melts
1 egg
250ml cold water

Oil for deep frying


Filling:
1. Blend chilies, spices, shallots, dried shrimps into a paste.
2. Heat about 3 tablespoon of oil and sauté until fragrant.
3. Add shredded coconut, coconut cream, water and salt.
4. Stir well and cook until liquid evaporated and the coconut mixture is slightly on the ‘moist’ side.
5. Set aside to cool.

Dough
1. Mix flour, egg and salt in a mixing bowl into breadcrumbs consistency.
2. Add margarine and again mix into breadcrumbs.
3. Mix in water bit by bit until everything bind together into a dough (*note~ I didn’t use all 250ml of water).
4. Rest the dough for at least an hour.
5. Divide the dough into 2 parts.
6. Roll out using a rolling pin maintaining a rectangular shape…to thickness of approximately 2mm.
7. Roll up from the long end… maintaining a tight roll (like making Swiss roll).
8. Cut into 12 discs.
9. Flatten each disc approximately 2mm thickness and add 1 tablespoon of filling.
10. Pinch the edges and crimp.
11. Heat about 2 cups of oil in a wok.
12. On a medium heat**, deep fry the Spera until golden in colour.
13. Dish out onto kitchen paper.
14. Serve.

*~Use less water if you are using grated fresh coconut.
**~ high heat will result in the craterlike crust (like the last photo…)

About the Author

An Indonesian born who lives on the Prairie land of Canada. Indonesia Eats is a memoir of her homeland.