Homemade Curry Ketchup

Homemade Curry Ketchup

If you had told me last Monday that I would spend the weekend with a spoon in a jar of ketchup, I would have thought you were nuts. But if you had told me that come Saturday afternoon, I would have known you were telling the truth.

It’s pretty embarrassing, really, especially because I don’t consider myself a condiment person. I’m fine with ketchup and mustard, but I’ve never gotten too excited about them (before this)… and I’ve definitely never eaten them with a spoon (again, before this).

Homemade Curry Ketchup

If you think it’s gross to eat ketchup with a spoon, yes. I agree. When we’re talking about ketchup with high-fructose corn syrup that comes out of a squeeze bottle. And for the record, never have I ever eaten that with a spoon. Gives me the chills just thinking about it.

This ketchup, though, is different. First of all, it’s homemade. With onions, spices, vinegar, and canned tomatoes. Real food! Second of all, it’s not just regular ketchup – it’s curry ketchup.

What the heck is curry ketchup, you ask? Well, let me tell you. It’s a delicious ketchup with curry spices (duh) that is popularly eaten in Germany in a dish called Currywurst. Currywurst is street food and it’s basically this: A sausage (Wurst) smothered in curry ketchup. Sliced up and eaten with one of those mini two-pronged plastic forks that you may have speared pommes frites with somewhere in Europe.

Homemade Curry Ketchup

If you Google recipes for curry ketchup, I guarantee that every single one mentions Currywurst, as well as street food stands in Germany. And many will have a cute little story about eating Currywurst there. Well, this post is no different because I, too, discovered Currywurst and curry ketchup in Germany (before any ideas about eating mostly vegetables snuck into my brain). It was during the summer in college I spent in Berlin. Even then, I was not a huge sausage or condiment fan, so it was odd that I could become so enamored of a dish made up exclusively of these two ingredients. But somehow it was absolutely delicious, even to me. I specifically remember a little Currywurst stand near the place where I interned (hated that internship), and eating a Currywurst there one day after leaving work… probably to cheer myself up about working with crazy German “sound artists.” Sound art? Don’t ask.

When I got home from Berlin, I immediately tried to find some curry ketchup so I could replicate my new favorite dish. I’ve mentioned before my college job at Karl’s Sausage Kitchen, and Karl’s definitely had curry ketchup – a few different flavors. But somehow none of them could quite live up to the stuff I remembered. At this point, it’s been too long to tell you if this homemade curry ketchup hits all the exact flavor notes of the ketchup I enjoyed in Berlin, either… but now that I know how to make it myself, I’ll be able to adjust it to taste if I ever do make it back there to a Currywurst stand.

Homemade Curry Ketchup

So I realize that all that doesn’t really explain why I ended up eating this with a spoon.

Well, the answer is that as the ketchup simmers on the stove, it smells AMAZING. And tastes amazing (clearly). Simmering onions, spices, and canned tomatoes don’t really register as ketchup on the taste buds until they are pureed, strained and cooled. While hot, this ketchup tastes like a delicious sweet and spicy sauce, which I guess is what it is. So if you can imagine eating a spoonful of homemade tomato sauce from the pot as it simmers, the leap to ketchup shouldn’t be too big to make.

It is just plain delicious.

Homemade Curry Ketchup

The orange guys you see in these pictures are butternut squash fries that I tried to serve with this. However, I didn’t love the combo, because the squash had enough flavor on its own that it didn’t really need a heavily spiced ketchup. I think it would be great with some baked potato fries or hash browns, though, and most certainly on a burger (or Wurst!), or as a huge upgrade from your regular storebought ketchup.

Ditch the squeeze bottle and add some spice to your life… via your ketchup!

Homemade Curry Ketchup

5.0 from 2 reviews
Homemade Curry Ketchup
Hands-on time
Cook time
Total time
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 Tbsp ground yellow curry
  • 1 tsp ground mustard
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/4 tsp allspice
  • big pinch ground cloves
  • 1 28-oz. can crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar (use 1/3 cup for a less sweet ketchup)
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  1. Heat olive oil over medium heat in a small to medium pot. Once hot, add onions and saute until they are soft and begin to brown, about 6 to 8 minutes. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant, about a minute. Add the tomato paste, salt, and all the spices and stir until they coat everything evenly. Saute another minute.
  2. Add crushed tomatoes, sugar and vinegar. Simmer, uncovered, over low heat for about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Remove from heat and puree with an immersion blender until smooth. (Alternately, you can pour the ketchup into a regular blender to puree. Just make sure to leave room for the steam to escape, or the ketchup will explode all over your kitchen!)
  4. Taste and adjust salt and spices as necessary.
  5. Strain the pureed ketchup into a bowl to get it as smooth as possible. Store in jars in the fridge for up to one month. Enjoy!
Recipe from Joy the Baker via Beantown Baker.


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  1. says

    When I went to Canada, I had curry catchup to go with the most amazing fish and chips and I’ve been meaning to make it ever since. I’m dying to try your recipe, missy! I love that I can make a big batch, stick it in cute jars and give it to friends as gifts, since all my friends are huge curry lovers! Brilliant!!

  2. maggie says

    OMG I’m from Holland and ate it all the time with my french fries. Now I live in the US…so THANK YOU :) I missed it!

  3. says

    I didn’t try currywurst in Germany, but I did enjoy myself quite a few pommes frites (and so many different amazing condiments) the weekend I traveled to Belgium when I studied abroad- this reminds me a lot of that, and it sounds delicious! I love the memory that accompanies it too.

    P.S. Those butternut squash fries look so perfect! What a cool idea.

  4. says

    Ah, I love learning about little local dishes like that! I would NEVER have imagined that dish in my head in a million years.. but now I’m obsessed with the idea. I have never really liked ketchup at all–the prepackaged stuff is too sickly sweet for me–but this sounds AWESOME. Curry makes everything better, no? This would be awesome on top of meatloaf, especially infused with some fennel seeds maybe?! Indian meatloaf!


    • Erica says

      I love local dishes like that too! Definitely cut down on the sugar if ketchup is usually too sweet for you – this one is actually pretty sweet. It would totally be awesome on meatloaf!

  5. says

    I stopped buying ketchup because I put it on everything when it’s around, and the good-for-you kind is more than $5 a bottle! This looks great!

    • Erica says

      Hi GiGi, I haven’t tried this recipe with anything but the brown sugar, so I’m not sure. You could perhaps use maple syrup or corn syrup, although definitely cut down on the amount if using corn syrup.

  6. Mull says

    I am thinking of making this for my brother-in-law who is a ketchup fiend. My in-laws have a bottle especially for him at their house. :D
    What volume does the recipe make? I want to have large enough jars ready! :)

  7. Carin Sweerman says

    Thank you for this; I’ve been searching everywhere for curry ketchup for a while now. Finally googled it and came across this. This I can do – my wife is gonna love it (she’s the one I was searching for – she had it somewhere and just can’t get it out of her brain).

    Not much of a vegetarian (I don’t eat a lot of protein, but she’s a carnivore to the max), but I’m loving this site – nice job!


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