yHomemade currywurst just plain gets it!
Have you ever tried currywurst?
If not, it’s time you did! Currywurst may not be a curry like you’re used to eating but it’s a curry all the same.
It’s great for the whole family when made as this recipe but you could spice it up some by adding more chilli powder.
It’s normally served with fries or bread but you can also serve it as a curry, poured over steaming hot rice.
How I got this authentic German currywurst recipe…
I was first introduced to currywurst back in 1986 while studying in Tübingen, Germany. While walking back from class everyday, my friends and I would always stop by a fast food imbiss for beer and food.
We weren’t alone; around 800,000,000 portions of currywurst are consumed in Germany every year.
Currywurst was a real favourite and that year I was invited to a friend’s house for Christmas. One evening after drinking an impressive amount of beer, we started feeling peckish.
He decided to show me his ‘famous’ currywurst recipe and I helped him make it. This is it! It has probably changed a bit over the years but I think it’s still pretty close to what we made that night.
Which sausage and how to cook them…
Authentic currywurst is made with German bratwurst or bockwurst. Bratwurst are usually raw when purchased so they need to be cooked through before serving. Bockwurst are sold cooked like a hotdog.
I have tried this currywurst recipe with lots of different sausages and it is always good but always go for German sausages when I can get them.
My friend showed me his method for cooking bratwurst and I have used it ever since for all the sausages I cook. He simmered them for about 10 minutes in water until cooked through and then just browned them off in a pan.
This is also a great method for cooking sausages on a barbecue. Not more burnt exteriors with raw centres!
The history of currywurst…
The most accepted version of its origins is that in post WW2 Berlin a couple of British soldiers traded curry powder and ketchup with a woman named Herta Heuwer for some spirits. She used her new ingredients to come up with currywurst.
It wasn’t a bad trade off as the soldiers got to get drunk for very little and Herta became famous and rich from her creation.
How to serve currywurst…
The way you will get it most often in Germany is cut into bite sized pieces with the sauce poured over the top and served with fries.
That’s the way I usually serve currywurst but it is also popular served with a bun.
Lately I have been serving currywurst as shown in the video on this page, like a normal curry. It’s delicious served this way over rice or fries.
Step by step photos.
How to cook the sausages
The currywurst sauce can actually be made a few days ahead of time and then heated up.
When ready to serve, you will need to prepare the sausages. As I mentioned above, bratwurst need to be cooked but bockwurst come cooked.
Both are better grilled though. I prefer to grill mine on the barbecue but this time I grilled them in a pan. The choice is yours.
If you like this currywurst recipe, try some of these too…
- 6 German bratwurst, bockwurst or another European sausage
- 2 tbsp rapeseed (canola) oil
- 1 onion, very finely chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 green bird’s eye chillies, whole
- 2 tsp Kashmiri chilli powder (or to taste)
- ½ tsp ground coriander
- ½ tsp ground cumin
- 1 tbsp curry powder, plus more to garnish
- 400g chopped tinned (canned) tomatoes
- 250ml (1 cup) Heinz Ketchup
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 tsp German mustard or Dijon
- Sugar - to taste and optional
- 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- Lemon juice to taste, (optional) Preferably fresh and not bottled
- Salt to taste.
- Place a large pot or wok over direct heat and another pan filled with water next to it. Cover the pot with water in it and bring to a boil while you are preparing the sauce.
- Add the oil to the empty wok/pan and when visibly hot, stir in the chopped onions. Fry for about 5 minutes or until soft and translucent.
- Stir in the garlic and chillies and fry for a further 30 seconds.
- Now add the ground spices, and stir them into the onion mixture. Add the tinned tomatoes, ketchup and tomato paste and stir it all up to combine.
- Add about 250ml (1 cup) water and bring to a simmer and then stir in the mustard and Worcestershire sauce.
- Continue simmering the sauce to thicken slightly. Add salt to taste.
- Authentic currywurst sauce is quite smooth so you could blend this sauce if you like or just let it break down as it simmers. Keep warm.
- Once your water is boiling, place the sausages in the water and simmer for about 15 minutes or until cooked through. Bratwurst is usually sold raw but bockwurst is cooked like a hotdog so no need to do this if using those.
- Transfer to a plate.
- To finish, grill the sausages on the cooking grate over medium to high heat until browned all over. You can serve these the traditional way sliced into bite-sized pieces or cut them into bite sized pieces and add them to the sauce and serve as you would a curry.
- Currywurst are usually served with chips or bread buns but it's just as good served over rice. It is also traditionally sprinkled with curry powder before serving.