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Currywurst: the effortless recipe for a popular German street food

Total time: 20 Min
Difficulty: Low
Serves: 4 people
By Cookist

Made from perfectly cooked, juicy, thick-sliced bratwurst smothered in deliciously seasoned curry ketchup, currywurst is one of Germany‘s most famous street foods. Traditional currywurst can be found at Imbissbuden (concession stands), beer gardens, and restaurants throughout German, especially in Berlin, where the dish was first created.

Each vendor has their own version – using various types of sausage, served with hot or extra hot sauce, or a unique recipe for their curry ketchup. Currywurst is a fabulous, easy-to-make recipe that you can serve with French fries or freshly baked bread rolls for an easy, tasty dinner that the whole family will love. It only takes about 20 minutes to make, so it's perfect for busy weeknights.

Currywurst Origins

Traditional currywurst was first created in 1949 by Herta Heuwer in Berlin. She made it using ketchup seasoned with curry powder and other spices served over sausages as a sort of poor man's steak, an inexpensive yet hearty fast food that quickly became popular with the working class.

Currywurst remains a popular street food served in fast food restaurants throughout Germany but remains a staple in its home of Berlin.


What Sausage to Use for Currywurst?

Any German bratwurst will do. Bavarian bratwurst, knockwurst, bockwurst, and weisswurst are excellent choices. Authentic German sausages will yield the best tasting, most mouthwatering currywurst, but in a pinch, you can use pork sausages.

Currywurst Ingredients

To make traditional currywurst, you'll need German sausages or bratwursts, as we've mentioned above.

For the curry ketchup, you'll need ketchup for a base, garlic and onions for flavor, brown sugar for sweetness, and white wine vinegar for a bit of tanginess.

To season the curry ketchup, you'll need spices like curry powder, mustard powder, salt, and paprika.

A dash of Worcestershire sauce ties the ketchup together and gives it another savory layer that makes it hard to resist.

How to Make Currywurst

Making currywurst is a cinch. Once you've prepared the curry ketchup, grill or fry your brats for about 3 minutes on each side, or until they're golden brown and the outside is crisp. Slice the sausages into bite-sized pieces, then top them with plenty of curry ketchup and an extra sprinkling of curry powder.

How to Make Curry Ketchup

To make the curry ketchup, sauté the onions over medium heat until they become soft. Turn down the heat and mix in the minced garlic and curry powder. Cook it for one minute. Mix in the ketchup and bring the sauce up to a simmer.

Stir in the vinegar, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, paprika, salt, and mustard powder (if you're using additional spices, now is the time to mix them in). Cook the sauce until the mixture thickens. Take the pan off the heat and blend the sauce until it's uniform.


Tips for Making Traditional Currywurst

If your bratwursts aren't pre-cooked, you'll need to boil them in water for a few minutes before grilling them.

Make your currywurst in a slow cooker. Place all of the ingredients in your slow cooker. Cook on high for 1 ½ hour, then take out the bratwursts and slice them. Put the brats back into the sauce. Cook everything for 30 minutes more, then serve with fries.

Serve your currywurst with freshly baked rolls (Brötchen) and French fries. The fries are perfect for mopping up all that delicious curry ketchup!

Curry Ketchup Variation Ideas

Use honey instead of brown sugar to sweeten the ketchup. Or if you find regular ketchup is sweet enough, leave out additional sweeteners. In fact, you can use tomato paste or tomato sauce instead of ketchup.

Add a spritz of lemon juice to brighten up your curry ketchup.

For a creamier texture, mix the curry ketchup with mayonnaise.

For extra flavor, add spices like cayenne pepper, cinnamon, nutmeg, cumin, or caraway.

Instead of white wine vinegar, try apple cider vinegar, unsweetened apple juice, or freshly squeezed orange juice.

How to Store Currywurst

Keep leftover currywurst in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Curry ketchup will last in the fridge for one month. For longer storage, freeze the currywurst and curry ketchup for up to 2 months.

Extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp
onion, diced
Garlic, minced
2 cloves
yellow curry powder
2 tbsp, plus extra
1 cup
White wine vinegar
3 tbsp
Dark Brown Sugar
1/2 cup
Worcestershire Sauce
2 tsp
2 tsp
2 tsp
Mustard powder
1 tsp
pre-cooked fine grind German bratwurst
4 links


Sauté the onions over medium heat until soft, about 4 to 5 minutes.

Reduce the heat and stir in garlic and curry powder. Cook for 1 minute.

Stir in ketchup and bring to a simmer. Mix in vinegar, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce.

Add in paprika, salt, and mustard powder. Cook until the mixture thickens.

Take the pan off the heat. Blend the sauce with an immersion blender.

In a pan, cook the bratwursts for 3 minutes on each side.

Alternatively, grill the bratwurst for about 6-8 minutes, turning it halfway through cooking.

Slice the bratwursts, then cover them with curry ketchup. Garnish with curry powder and serve with French fries. Enjoy!


If you don't have mustard powder, prepared yellow mustard is a good substitute.

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