Ultimate German Currywurst: A Flavor Explosion of Juicy Sausages and Spiced Ketchup
As someone who grew up in Germany, I have come to appreciate my home country’s unique culinary offerings. One dish that stands out in particular is currywurst – a popular fast food item that is beloved by Germans of all ages.
For those who are unfamiliar with currywurst, it is essentially a sausage that has been sliced into bite-sized pieces and smothered in a flavorful tomato-based sauce that has been seasoned with curry powder. The dish is typically served with a side of fries or bread, and can be found at street vendors and fast food establishments all over Germany.
While currywurst may not be the healthiest of food choices, it is undoubtedly delicious. The combination of savory sausage and tangy curry sauce creates a flavor profile that is both rich and satisfying. Plus, the dish is incredibly versatile – it can be enjoyed as a quick snack on the go, or as a hearty meal when paired with a side of fries or bread.
But perhaps the most appealing aspect of currywurst is its cultural significance. The dish is a symbol of German culture and history, and has been a staple of the country’s food scene for decades. In fact, currywurst is so popular that there is even a museum dedicated to it in Berlin!
History of the Currywurst
The currywurst’s origin dates back to 1949. The invention of currywurst is attributed to Herta Heuwer in Berlin, She lived in the British military sector of Berlin after World War II where soldiers had given her ketchup, curry powder and Worcestershire sauce that they brought with them from the UK. She went to work experimenting on a flavorful spicy sauce poured over Bratwursts hot off the grill at a street stand in the Charlottenburg. My Original Currywurst recipe brings the German Fast-food classic to your dinner table.
Try my delicious curry sauce recipe
The currywurst sauce that essentially turns a bratwurst into a currywurst is a mix of tomato puree or ketchup, mild yellow curry and other spices, sugar and vinegar. You can always buy curry ketchup – truth be told most Germans do not make theirs from scratch and many contemporary stands also use certain well-known brands. But it’s not too difficult to make your own.
Eating this sauce on my grilled Bratwurst will take me down memory lane, recalling the times I enjoyed this fast-food delicacy when I grew up in Germany. And if you’ve never been to Germany or have never had currywurst, this will help you understand why it’s so popular.
This original German currywurst sauce represents the very best you’ve ever had – multiplied by several flavor boosts!
If you like fries with your currywurst like me, try out my french fry seasoning, you won’t be disappointed.
Currywurst sauce variations:
To tweak the flavors until you find your own favorite you can use:
- ketchup instead of diced tomatoes if you want to save some time, but adjust the amount of sugar
- honey or white cane sugar (or a combination of both) instead of brown sugar
- Orange or pineapple juice juice instead of vinegar
- spices like cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg (in small quantities) and perhaps some cayenne for heat
What sausage to use for an original German Currywurst?
To recreate an original German currywurst in the US I recommend that you do not use the widely available raw, meaty ground pork bratwurst – this is not the correct type of sausage. Instead, look for good quality, fine grind German sausage, preferably boiled. Definitely not cured and if smoked – very, very lightly.
The following options are relatively easy to find:
- finely ground, pre-cooked Bavarian bratwurst
How to Cook the Currywurst
The important thing is to pan fry or grill them until they develop a thick and crispy browned outer crust. You can cut the currywurst cross shaped, but not too deep, to prevent them from bursting open while pan frying. For extra crispiness you can cut the currywurst into bite size pieces, coat them with corn starch and then pan fry them. That gives the currywurst an extended crust. Once they are cooked slice the sausages into bite-sized chunks, top them with curry sauce and sprinkle with curry powder. Serve immediately with french fries or a bread roll.
Tips & Tricks for making the best Currywurst
- Make your curry ketchup: Instead of using store-bought curry ketchup, create your own by combining ketchup, tomato paste, and a blend of spices, including curry powder, paprika, onion powder, and garlic powder. Adjust the seasonings to your taste.
- Toast the spices: Toasting the curry powder and other spices in a dry pan before adding them to the ketchup mixture will help release their flavors and create a more intense and aromatic sauce.
- Simmer the sauce: Let the curry ketchup mixture simmer for a few minutes to allow the flavors to meld and develop. This will also help thicken the sauce to the perfect consistency.
- Garnish with curry powder: For an extra touch of flavor and presentation, sprinkle some additional curry powder over the finished dish just before serving.
- Serve with proper accompaniments: Traditional Currywurst is often served with a side of fries, bread rolls, or even a German-style potato salad. Offering the right sides will elevate the dish and create a more authentic experience.
- Experiment with heat: If you enjoy spicy food, consider adding some cayenne pepper, hot sauce, or crushed red pepper flakes to the curry ketchup to give it an extra kick.
- Make it your own: While it’s essential to maintain the core elements of Currywurst, feel free to experiment with different spices, herbs, or even the addition of ingredients like sautéed onions or bell peppers to create a unique and personalized version of this German favorite.
Original German Currywurst
- 1 tbsp Vegetable Oil
- 1 small Yellow Onion finely chopped
- 1 cloves Garlic minced
- 1 ½ tbsp Brown Sugar
- 1 tbsp Curry Powder
- 1 tsp Paprika
- 1 Cinnamon Stick small
- 2 tbsp Tomato Paste
- 14 oz Tomato can, diced
- ½ cup Vegetable Stock or chicken stock
- 1 tsp Worcestershire Sauce
- 2 tbsp Apple Cider or white wine vinegar
- 4-6 links pre-cooked fine grind German Bratwurst such as Weisswurst, Bavarian bratwurst, Bockwurst, Knockwurst
- 2 tbsp Corn Starch optional
- 1 tbsp Cooking Oil for pan frying
- French fries for serving optional
Prepare the currywurst sauce
- In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon vegetable oil over medium. Add the onion and sauté, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes, add the garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Add the brown sugar and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion and garlic are caramelized, about 5 minutes. Stir in curry powder, paprika, cinnamon and cook until just fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in the tomato paste, then add the chopped tomatoes and their juices, stock and vinegar. Cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened, 10 to 15 minutes.
- Discard the cinnamon stick, then transfer tomato mixture to a blender and purée until smooth. Season to taste with salt.
Fry the sausages
- Meanwhile, cut the sausages crossshaped for additional crispiness, not too deep (optional). Heat the neutral oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the sausages and pan-fry, rotating until lightly browned on all sides, about 8 to 10 minutes, depending on what type of sausage you select. Let rest for 5 minutes. For extra crispy sausages, cut the sausage in bite size pieces and coat them in corn starch (optional). Pan fry the sausage pieces in vegetable oil as mentioned above.
- Drizzle the curry sauce on top of the sausages. Sprinkle additional curry powder on top, if desired, and serve with french fries.