I WANT TO BE EIN BERLINER!
Visited Berlin recently for a couple of days as needed a short break from work. This was not my first visit so I kind of knew what to expect from this city. Was originally surprised that there was so much culture and it felt like there was an underground, hip and fashionable atmosphere with an undoubtedly cool arty vibe. Probably helped as I met up with a few of the local Berliners, very friendly, and loved the cool shops, late night bars and clubs hidden behind unsuspecting doors. That’s what I love about Berlin, plenty of things to see, often with a touch of kitsch or weirdness. There’s plenty of architecture to admire and museums galore, enough to satisfy culture vultures.
Was pleased to read in the news recently that the British press featured a number of pieces about Berlin and it’s infamous Berlin wall. Berliners recently marked the 50th anniversary since they first started building the wall, it really does bring home just how much tragedy occurred during the division of Germany for over 28 years, reports number at least 700 deaths of victims trying to cross the wall http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-14514916
This time on my trip to Berlin, I had a lovely time strolling the streets in the west visiting Tiergarten, Museumsinsel (Museum Island), enjoying German food, they really do like their meat! Drank Berliner Weisse beers which have a cloudy appearance with a sour taste. Usually different flavoured syrups are added, typically raspberry or woodruff which inevitably colours and sweetens the drink and is drank through a straw. Strange, it’s like drinking a cocktail as you can’t taste the wheaty beer flavour at all.
But what I really really wanted to try again was currywurst. This is Germany’s famous dish and is served everywhere in Berlin. Currywurst involves cooking German sausage and then a ketchup curried spicy sauce is added with fries served on the side. During one of my days in Berlin, the heavens opened and out came torrents of rain. What else could I do except eat and drink German food!
Caught the underground train to the Kreuzberg district which has a high Turkish population with an old market hall. I found a small but busy currywurst stall in Marheineke Markthalle, a warm and welcoming haven of fresh and preserved European food products including masses of sausages, cheeses and seafood. A much better atmosphere than getting soaked in the persistent rainfall. Well worth a visit to this place as ate my delicious and warming currywurst after successfully ordering it in broken German. I watched the lady at the stall fry large sausages and suddenly felt very hungry as the smells and the sizzling sounds tripped a switch in my brain. She cut the large sausages into large chunks and sprinkled curry powder and paprika over them followed by a large dollop of a ketchup-type sauce. Couldn’t resist buying a bag of German sausages to cook up my own currywurst back at home. Instead of fries, my boyfriend helped me harvest potatoes from my back garden so we cooked up a batch of sauteed potatoes which were very moreish and suited currywurst extremely well. If you want to make sauteed potatoes as an alternative to chips or fries, check out my previous post on how to make these. http://yumyumpiggysbum.wordpress.com/2010/11/14/pork-with-camembert-sauteed-potatoes/
This is my version of making currywurst:
2 lb (900g) German sausage or large, good quality non-German sausages
3 tbsp finely chopped onion
2 tbsp groundnut oil
1 tbsp paprika
3-4 tbsp good quality curry powder
250 mL (1 cup) good quality ketchup
250 mL (1 cup) water
- Preheat a frying pan on a medium heat, add 1 tbsp of groundnut oil and fry the sausage until cooked, turn occasionally to ensure the sausage is browned evenly.
- Meanwhile, prepare the sauce by heating 1 tbsp oil in a saucepan and then slowly fry the onion for a few minutes.
- Add the paprika and curry powder to the pan and mix with the onion. Cook for 1 min.
- Add the ketchup and then the water, stir and bring the sauce to the boil. Boil for about 5 min or until the sauce has thickened.
- Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper if needed.
- Cut the sausage into bite-sized chunks and pour the sauce over.
- Serve alongside fries and eat immediately.