Berliner currywurst is the quintessential German street food. With the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall this week, what better way to celebrate – in a culinary sense – than with currywurst? This simple, quick and tasty recipe will give you all the goodness of German street food at home.
The Berliner currywurst tradition
Later, the currywurst became popular with construction workers who were rebuilding the city. So popular in fact, that Herta Heuwer was selling 10,000 servings per week at her street stand. Lamentably, she took her recipe with her to the grave.
However, Konnopkes was the first ‘Imbiss’ or snack bar to serve Berliner currywurst in East Berlin in 1960.
Currywurst is particularly popular in Berlin, Hamburg and the Ruhr Area.
There are some differences with respect to the sauce ingredients, the
There are also significant sausage differences. These include whether the sausage is pork or Halal, whether it should be boiled or grilled and whether or not the sausage has a natural casing.
The German love of currywurst
Germans love currywurst. I mean it. Though there may be some disagreement about whether the Berlin, Hamburg or Ruhr Area currywurst are the best, the love is apparent.
- This love has even lead Uwe Timm to write a book called “Die Entdeckung der Currywurst,” (The Discovery of the Currywurst). It was turned into a play and was then filmed.
- The currywurst is also the subject of a well-known song by German singer Herbert Grönemeyer.
- Each year, an estimated 800 million currywurst are consumed in Germany; at least 70 million of these are Berliner currywurst.
- Automotive manufacturer Volkswagen even has its own butchery to produce currywurst for VW workers. It produces around 7 million currywurst per year.
- In 2009, a museum dedicated to German currywurst opened near Checkpoint Charlie in Berlin. Unfortunately, it closed at the end of 2018.
- In 2019, the Berlin State Mint even released a silver coin to commemorate 70 years of the currywurst.
That’s a lot of love for what is essentially a cut up sausage with modified ketchup on it.
Tips for the perfect Berliner Currywurst
As you can see from the recipe, there are two versions of the sauce, depending on how much time you have to cook it. The pictures you see here are of the quick curry sauce; the other recipe will yield a smoother sauce, but the taste is very similar.
Some people enjoy a more spicy currywurst – many snack bars will have a little pot of spicy chilli powder so that patrons can add more chilli to suit their own cases. Likewise, you can adjust the amount of chilli in your sauce to suit your personal tastes.
You traditionally eat Berliner Currywurst with chips/fries or a white bread roll. In East Berlin, the currywurst was often served with a simple slice of bread.
Are you looking for something different to have at a barbecue? Try some German street food! Grill some sausages and make some currywurst sauce on the side burner of your barbecue.
A recipe for the perfect German street food
Berliner currywurst is the perfect German street food. You can now buy a currywurst around the nation at fairs, pubs, football games and almost every train station. Try this simple, quick and tasty recipe today to get a taste of German street food.
- 1 small white onion
- 1/2 an apple peeled and cored
- olive oil
- 1 cup ketchup
- 1/4 cup tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon apple balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon curry powder
- 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- chilli powder as desired
- paprika as desired
- 4-6 bratwurst
- There are two slightly different methods of cooking the currywurst sauce, depending on how much time you have.
The quick curry sauce
- Finely chop the onion and apple. If you have time, grate the apple.
- Pour a little olive oil in a saucepan and add the onion and apple. Cook, stirring frequently until the onion is glassy.
- Add the other ingredients and stir well. If you like your curry sauce to be a little spicy, add 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon chilli powder and an equal amount of paprika.
- Add a little water, just to get the desired consistency, and cook over medium heat until heated through and well combined.
- While the sauce is cooking, grill or barbeque the bratwurst. Cut into bite-sized pieces.
- Serve the bratwurst with a good spoonful or two of sauce. Sprinkle a little curry powder over the sauce before serving.
The longer version
- Complete steps 1-3.
- Add a cup of chicken stock to the saucepan, bring to the boil and reduce to low heat. Simmer uncovered for about half an hour until most of the stock has evaporated and the sauce has the desired consistency.
- Meanwhile, complete steps 5 and 6.