We recently experienced our first, glorious encounter with curry ketchup. Served with fries at a restaurant, it initially seemed like a gimmick, but with each subsequent bite, we became increasingly addicted to the bittersweet sauce. By the next day, it was all we could think of and we set out to learn more about this condiment. We're not sure whether the version we had at the restaurant was prepackaged or homemade, but we discovered that curry ketchup is commonly found in Belgium and Germany, home of the popular currywurst, a pork sausage seasoned with curry sauce. Brands such as Heinz, Hela, and Knorr may be found in US import and specialty shops and Amazon.com.
Being DIY types, we thought we could probably make a decent version at home and tried out a couple of techniques. The first one was as simple as adding toasted curry powder to store-bought ketchup, with a ratio of 1 or 1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder to 1/4 cup ketchup (this writer preferred less curry, while her partner liked more). The result was quick and delicious with sweet potato fries.
We also tried out a Saveur recipe for currywurst sauce. Though more time-consuming as it required simmering onions, tomatoes, spices, vinegar, and sugar for about half an hour, it wasn't complicated and yielded a fresher-tasting sauce perfect for sausages, fries, or any dish needing a sweet and spicy condiment. We even used it as a dipping sauce for samosas.
Both versions tasted best after a few hours in the fridge. Of course, there are many variations of curry powder and ketchup, so each cook's batch might vary a bit in sweetness, saltiness, or pungency.
What do you think? Have you tasted and/or made curry ketchup? Would you serve it at your next barbecue or picnic?
• Get the Saveur recipe: Currywurst Sauce
Related: Recipe: Homemade Agave Nectar Ketchup
(Image: Emily Ho)