Currywurst is a German style street food prepared with grilled Bratwursts served with bread rolls called Brötchen, French Fries and curry powder
The first time I saw this was in Munich when we visited there in 2013, I was intrigued that curry spices was used on a cuisine that is dominated by simply seasoned meats that are rarely hot and spicy. If it comes to seasoning and spices, the most popular ones that are traditionally used are parsley, thyme, laurel, chives, black pepper, juniper berries, nutmeg, and caraway. So how did this dish all begin, how did the curry spices mingle with the German Bratwurst?
It all began in 1949 after World War 2 in Berlin when Herta Heuwer obtained ketchup and curry powder from British soldiers in Germany. She apparently mixed these two together possibly with Worcestershire sauce and poured it over a grilled pork sausage and she was delighted with the result. She started selling this at a street stand in the Charlottenburg where it became a quick hit specially with construction workers rebuilding the war-torn city. In 1951 she patented the sauce she made with the name “Chillup”, later Herta opened a small restaurant that operated until 1974, the rest was history. Today this humble dish that had started as a street food can be found everywhere, from Schnellimbisse (snack stands), diners and even restaurants where it is often served with bread rolls (Brötchen) and French Fries.
Now that we know how it all started, let’s go on a segway before we head on to our recipe. Let’s find out how the main elements of this dish are actually made. The reason I want to discuss that because I discovered this very informative book called “How Food is Made” by Ayla Marika. It is the First book in the world to lift the lid on the mysteries of processed foods where she demystifies how common processed foods are manufactured using plain language and step-by-step entertaining graphics. The contents include chapters on grains and starches (e.g. pasta, potato chips and cereal); condiments (e.g. salt, vinegar, mustard, yeast extract spread and soy sauce); dairy and oils (e.g. yoghurt, cheddar cheese, margarine and butter); meat products (e.g. bacon, hot dogs, fish fingers, seafood extender and eggs); plant proteins (e.g. tofu, tempeh, peanut butter and vegan cheese); sweets (e.g. liquorice, chewing gum and soft serve ice cream); and beverages (e.g. wine, beer, whisky, orange juice and baby formula). The three items that I want to showcase from these book are the ketchup, French Fried and Bratwurst (actually it is hotdogs but process is nearly similar), I won’t write to much about it because the amazing hand-drawn illustrations explains it all.
Isn’t that very informative and easy to understand, well if you want to see more of this stuff then it’s easy grab the book from online book retailers including Amazon, Booktopia, Barnes & Noble, Fishpond and Apple Books. It has RRPs of $32.99 (paperback) and $17.99 (eBook).
Now back to our recipe! Based on the illustrations, there is nothing to worry about, most of them uses natural ingredients, the only difference from home prepared food was just automating the process for mass production. So it’s still up to you to choose the right product you know uses good ingredients and are honest with their trade.
In a pan add oil then sauté garlic and onions in low heat, cook until onions are soft and translucent.
Add curry powder and paprika then cook for additional 30 seconds.
Pour the rest of the Curry Ketchup ingredients, bring heat to medium then let it slowly boil. Once it boils lower the heat then simmer for 15 minutes in low heat stirring occasionally.
Remove from heat, let it cool down then using and immersion blender puree the ketchup until smooth and even in texture. Let the mixture cool completely then let the flavours develop by refrigerating it for a day before using.
To make Currywurst, cook bratwurst according to packet instructions. Once cooked, remove from pan the cut them into bite sized pieces, place in a serving platter, served with curry ketchup on top.
Drizzle curry powder on top, place French fries on the side then serve.
A very popular fast food item here…not exactly my kind of food, but my husband enjoys it once in a long while..yours looks authentic and tempting!
I made this once for the blog – I’d never heard of it before! The ketchup recipe was wonderful, but now I buy a brand of curry and spicy ketchup on Amazon. It’s just really good!
We usually travel in Germany once a year and you are right, you see Currywurst sold everywhere. With that being said, I’ve never had one. Yours certainly looks authentic.
Give me grilled bratwursts on their own, no need for the curry and I’ll be perfectly fine with them. Love the German gourmet ones!
That book sounds fascinating – I might have to pick up a copy! As far as the recipe, though, count me in. I love all kinds of street food, and this one is a classic. Interesting notes about the history of Chillup though – I learned something here! Also, now I’m craving currywurst!
I remember it was so exciting to find vegan currywurst last I visited Germany! It’s an amazingly progressive place, especially Berlin. I hope I can go back some day soon.
Unlike Karen, I did have curry wurst in Germany and loved it. Never thought of making it at home, but why not? I actually made Brötchen two weeks ago and froze quite a few — and I got veal brats at Trader Joe’s over the weekend. I’m feeling a little Oktoberfest-y now… Curry wurst coming up!
That curry ketchup sounds tasty, I can imagine it going well with some fries! Will definitely be trying it out. I’m glad you enjoyed my book ‘How Food is Made’ and thank you for sharing it with everyone!
It’s really one clever book worthy of sharing