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Is this all there is to Currywurst?

I love all kinds of curry. Thai red, green, Japanese, Chinese, Tikka Masala, Trini Goat, Butter Chicken. Love them all!

So when I learn there was this crazy German sauce that is beloved in Berlin and Hamburg. I figure, why not.

Made it with fine diced onions sweated in a nob of butter, 1/4 cup water, 1/2 cup Heinz ketchup, and 1 Tbs curry powder, few dashes of garlic powder. I let it simmer until it was thick. Slathered it on some mettwurst.

I couldn't help but feel I ruin some good mettwurst. It just taste like ketchup on brats! Yuck!

Am I missing something or is this all there is to currywurst?

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  1. You can buy curry ketchup that is made in Germany . I have some Feisner brand wich I enjoy. Same as when I visited the country. Where did you find that recipie ?

    6 Replies
    1. re: emglow101

      Online, but it's very similar to the one in Barbecue Planet as well.

      1. re: Crockett67

        If you can find some curry ketchup in your area give it a try. Seems like there is alot of curry in the recipie. In the ketchup they make you can barely taste it.

        1. re: emglow101

          lol! That's not a savings grace for me. I'm a mustard on onions on brats person. Anything that taste remotely like Ketchup even on a hotdog is vile to me.

          I was hoping some how adding onions and curry powder would change it enough to make it edible.

          1. re: Crockett67

            If anything that tastes remotely like ketchup is vile to you, then you will not enjoy any typical version of currywurst. It has nothing to do with any of the curry dishes you mention in your OP. Whether industrial or home-made, good or bad, the sauce for currywurst is essentially a spicy ketchup.

            1. re: DeppityDawg

              True. I cannot imagine anybody who despises ketchup even attempting this dish.

      2. <<<<<<< Made it with fine diced onions sweated in a nob of butter, 1/4 cup water, 1/2 cup Heinz ketchup, and 1 Tbs curry powder, few dashes of garlic powder. I let it simmer until it was thick. Slathered it on some mettwurst.>>>>>>>>>>>>


        In theory, that is all there is to it,

        In reality, I make my own using tomato sauce or puree, cider vinegar, sauteed onions, garlic powder, Madras curry, worsteshire sauce, brown sugar and a few other spices and components. I then simmer it on low for quite some time adding water as necessary .

        I find using prepared ketchup as the main base can be problematic in that it usually overwhelms the subtly of the curry and it can be too thick after heating /cooking. Thus why I basically make my own "ketchup."

        I'm in an area of the US with a strong German heritage so finding a recipe locally (and there are many ) has not been a problem. Like Italian red sauce, there are many variations, but all of our local German based social organizations make thier own currywurst sauce from scratch that's more than just curry powder and prepared ketchup. And you can definately tell.

        I guess I see and taste the final products locally as a curry flavored plumb/tomato jam that's thinned and a bit sweeter than ketchup but is only related mainly by the vinegar bite. Too much tomato or if the ketchup is too recognizeable, than it does ruin the effect.

        Again, it seems so simple in theory but indeed, it is quite complex.

        3 Replies
        1. re: jjjrfoodie

          Er... I guess I will just have to wait until I can have it made right.

          1. re: Crockett67

            I can try and dig up my recipe.

            Since we have so many spring summer and fall German festivals, I usually only make my own in the winter since I have access to it the other 9 months.

            As for Gio below, that is why I use tomato sauce/puree , cider vinegar, worstershire sauce and brown sugar instead of actual ketchup. it allows you to tweak to suit. Not all ketchup's taste the same and they are pretty powerful to start.

            If reduced enough, it does go on and apply like ketchup or any condiment. If left a bit thinner, I often cut the bratwursts into medallions after cooking and then mix into teh sauce and then serve on a crusty roll. Local restaurants do it both ways.

            Because of the added spices, added sweetness and curry powder, it steers away from ketchup in my mind if done correctly Crockett67.

            I'm not a fan of ketchup on any sausage <insert naughty joke here, LOL>, but the vinegar, sugar and curry flavors should ring a bit more sweet style chutney than ketchup but the smooth consistancy blurs the line. And I'll eat mango chutney on anything. Yum.

            1. re: jjjrfoodie

              I like my currywurst sauce to be a bit thinner than ketchup.

        2. A couple of us made the Planet Barbeque ! Currywurst Sauce recently. The book is this month's COTM. The ingredients are:

          chopped onion
          ground Coleman's mustard or mustard seeds
          peanut oil
          hot Madras curry powder
          minced fennel fronds, or anise seeds
          black pepper
          After the onion is cooked in hot oil a few minutes add the other ingredients and simmer 5 minutes or till thickened

          Although a cup of ketchup is used I thought it didn't overpower the finished sauce at all. Instead, the sauce was considerably spicy but tempered by the nutmeg and anise/fennel.

          Here are reports of the recipe...

          1. My recipe calls for 3/4 cup ketchup, 3/4 T. curry powder, 3/4 T. hot paprika, 1/2 T. onion powder, 1/2 t. garlic powder, 1 T. rice wine vinegar and 1 T. riesling. I think it's marvelous and it tastes nothing like plain old ketchup.

            1. Shoulda used bratwurst instead of mettwurst.

              And yeah, most currywurst you'll get in Germany is covered in ketchup and curry powder. There are rare (and popular) exceptions where vendors will make their own sauce, which are the ones I tend to frequent.

              1. From time to time Aldi's brings in German wurst for $2.49 a pack. Deutsche Küche the label says or close to it. Bratwurst and knockwurst is what I have seen. High quality product plus pigs are raised better in the EU.


                1 Reply
                1. re: zzDan

                  I've bought something similar to those Deutsche Küche Nuremberg Bratwurst at Trader Joes.

                  I've seen bottles of currywurst sauce at importers like CostPlusWOrldMarkets, but they are too large and expensive to fit my 'experimental budget'. Instead I have just mixed curry powder in ketchup - it improves the ketchup.

                2. From my time in Germany, I recall that the meat element was more like a sliced hot dog than a fresh sausage--that is, smoked or cured in some way. I think that utility curry sauce out there is little else than ketchup and LOTS of curry power. It sounds like the kind of preparation that should be made a day or so ahead.

                  6 Replies
                  1. re: Bada Bing

                    Yes, there's nothing like walking up to an Imbiss on the Ku'damm and watching them drop the hot dog in the deep fryer, then douse it with curry sauce. The sausage really is more akin to a hot dog than anything else and the curry ketchup should be nice, thin, and loaded with curry. It's great to dip your chips in the extra sauce that pools all over the place.

                    Having been subjected this weekend to an American version that was more like curry tomato paste, man, I really miss Berlin.

                    1. re: rockycat

                      I miss Berlin all the time, and even more so for the Döner Kebabs, which I've never found in the USA. I could at least make a currywurst myself, but the Döners are near-impossible to replicate or find here.

                      1. re: Bada Bing

                        There's a döner kebab place in State College, run by a Turk who came over from Freiburg (the gods only know why.... perhaps lack of competition?). They bake their own flatbread, more akin to dürüm than the regular pita-ish bread, and it's pretty damn good. Chicken, tho. And massive, of course = college town.

                        1. re: linguafood

                          Thanks for this reminder. I recall you mentioning that place in some previous thread. (I have a long history of looking for Döner Kebabs in the USA, esp., when I'm headed to a new big city.) One challenge is that people really just don't understand the distinctiveness of the German style of kebab unless they've been there, and tons of people just say to go get a gyro.

                          In addition to the place you mention, the other place I've heard of in the USA is in Leesburg, VA. I look forward to some occasion to drive by either of these cities. Interesting that neither is a big metropolitan locale, although in Germany the Döner Kebab is a quintessential big-city street food.

                          1. re: Bada Bing

                            There was a great spot I used to frequent in Williamsburg, Brooklyn that made terrific döner. The late night lamb or chicken overstuffed into a pide with salads and white sauce were my go-to dinner on weekends. If you were drunk hungry, mücver and fries were terrific either on the side or in your sandwich. Unfortunately döner just never seemed to catch on in the neighborhood and they closed last year.

                            1. re: JungMann

                              Yeah, I've heard of at least one other place that opened in the NYC area doing the German style but, not catching on, they closed down. I'm not sure what that means, if anything.

                              Using a pide bread, if nothing else, would seem to me to appeal to Americans much better than straight pita bread, which is generally dry, flavorless, and mostly just something to hold the inside ingredients together.

                    1. Oh geez Crockett67 there are so many recipes for currywurst sauce. I have several homemade recipes as well. Currywurst sauce is definitely NOT just ketchup and curry at all.

                      Currywurst is really a creative art in many ways, because hardly anyone makes it the same way and it ends up containing a few core items with the rest being a personalized creation.

                      Here are a few that I enjoy. The last recipe you should eliminate the small curry tsp size and replace it with at least 2-4 tbsp.