Chips and curry sauce is a favorite late night snack in Ireland and England.
When I say chips I am referring to the Irish equivalent to steak fries accompanied by a sweet, spicy curry sauce.
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How to Make an Irish Style Curry Sauce for Chips or French Fries
This chip sauce is different to a regular Indian curry. It has fewer veggies and is slightly less hot and spicy, with a satisfying sweet flavor.
I received an e-mail from a reader a few weeks past. She requested I share my curry sauce recipe which I mentioned when I showed you how to make perfect Irish chips.
She first tasted this unique combination on a trip to my homeland. A waiter suggested she try curry sauce with her fries and she loved it. She savored this treat many more times before returning to the US, where ever since she has been searching for a recipe to help revive her tasty memories of Ireland.
And remember, this is a perfect side for serving with beer battered fish.
This may not be gourmet food, but in Ireland chip shops make gallons of curry sauce to satisfy their hungry customers. I confess I never bothered making it from scratch when I lived in Ireland.
There didn't seem to be any point, when it could be so easily found at the local chipper, or made by simply adding hot water to a dried, powdery concoction of who knows what. I am pretty certain that's how chip shops create their signature sauces too.
When did chip shops first start selling curry sauce? In the north of England many chip shops were owned by Asian families, and they introduced curry sauce in the 1970's. It crossed the Irish sea and by the 1980's curry sauce was very popular in Ireland.
Once I moved to America I discovered curry sauce was not to be found. I needed to create my own homemade version to satisfy my curry cravings. So today, here is my recipe for chip shop curry sauce.
Ingredients for Curry Sauce
Here you’ll find a quick list of what you’ll need for this recipe.
Check out the printable recipe at the bottom of this post for US and Metric equivalent versions of the recipe.
There you can choose the measurement system that works best for you.
Some chip shop curry sauce is made from a dried powder, but if you've ever wondered what good chip shop curry sauce is made of, then here's my list of ingredients.
- onion (peeled and diced)
- apple (peeled and diced)
- minced garlic
- minced ginger
- curry powder
- ground cumin
- ground coriander seeds
- ground cinnamon
- canola or vegetable oil
- all-purpose flour
- chicken stock
- worcestershire sauce
- tomato puree
- salt and pepper (to taste)
- golden raisins (optional)
I use canola oil to cook the chopped onions for this recipe. If you would like to add some extra flavor, add a knob of butter to the oil as it heats in the frying pan or saucepan.
Directions for Curry Sauce:
Here you’ll find step-by-step photographic instructions to help you recreate this recipe successfully. There are plenty of tips included along the way.
Next step is to prepare the spice blend for the sauce. In a small bowl or ramekin add the curry powder, turmeric, cumin, ground coriander seed, and cinnamon. I love the browns and tans of the spices in the bowl.
I use Sharwoods hot curry powder which I can buy in my local Meijers supermarket. If you prefer a lower spicy, heat level then use an American mild curry powder. The difference is significant.
Add the oil to a large skillet over medium to high heat.
Add the onions and saute for 4 minutes.
Caramelized onions add delicious sweetness to the sauce.
Next add the peeled and diced apple to the pan and sauté for another 2 minutes.
This sauce is deliciously sweet and spicy.
Toss in the minced garlic and ginger.
Next comes the aromatic spice blend.
Mix the spices and onions together as they cook for another minute.
Flour is my sauce thickener of choice.
Cook it over medium heat for 2 minutes, scraping the bottom of the pan as you combine the mixture completely.
The flour can burn and stick to the bottom of the pan very easily. See how my pan is getting a little crusty looking. That's because I stopped stirring to take a photo.
Now lets get saucy. Gradually add the stock while you constantly stir the mixture to prevent lumps forming.
Scrape the bottom of the pan as you mix everything together. Bring it to a boiling point, then reduce the heat so the sauce is just simmering.
Now comes my secret ingredient. I add a teaspoon of worcestershire sauce, not a typical curry requirement.
I just love the extra dimension it adds to the exotic flavors of this sauce.
A hint of sweetness is next. Add the tomato paste and two teaspoons of sugar. Season with salt and pepper and mix everything together. Simmer the sauce for 15 minutes to allow the flavors to meld.
Some cooks like to add a teaspoon of lemon juice at this point, but I prefer not to detract from the sweetness of my curry sauce. Feel free to try it if you want to add a little freshness at the end.
Decision time has now arrived. To blitz or not to blitz that is the question.
If you prefer a textured sauce with lumps of apple and caramelized onion then skip this step. In our house there is no skipping a little spin in the blender. My husband likes onion flavor, but detests their texture, so I always make a smooth curry sauce.
Before blending turn the heat off under the pan and allow the sauce to cool a little. This is a precautionary step just in case of blender accidents. Sticky, boiling curry sauce can easily burn. Believe me - I know. I've had a few blender explosions in my day. I now always hold the lid down with a dish towel when I switch the beast on.
When ready pour the sauce into the blender and blitz until smooth (1 to 2 minutes depending on how powerful your blender is).
Return the sauce to the pan and turn the heat back on. Time for another decision - to add raisins or not. I love the sweet surprise of golden raisins in this spicy sauce. If you decide to go with them, then just toss them in and stir them around.
Then you're ready to serve your spicy sauce with perfectly golden chips or fries.
Just one more decision to make.
Do you pour your sauce all over the top of your chips?
Or do you prefer to dip your chips? Big, big decisions!
But what ever your final eating style, just enjoy.
If you make too much sauce for one sitting, you can store it in the fridge in an airtight container up to 3 days. This sauce can also be frozen for up to 3 months. Defrost and reheat before serving.
Recipe Card for Curry Sauce
Here's a quick video for this curry sauce recipe....
Here's the printable recipe card.
Chips and Curry Sauce
- 1 large onion peeled and diced
- 1 large apple peeled and diced
- 1 teaspoon garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon ginger minced
- 2 tablespoons curry powder
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander seeds
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 3 tablespoons canola oil or vegetable oil
- 2 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 2 cups chicken stock use vegetable stock for a vegetarian curry sauce
- 1 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon tomato purée
- ⅛ teaspoon salt to taste
- ⅛ teaspoon pepper to taste
- ¼ cup golden raisins optional
- Prepare the spice blend by mixing the curry powder, turmeric, cumin, ground coriander seeds and cinnamon in a small bowl.
- Heat the oil in a large skillet. Add the onion and saute for 4 minutes over medium heat. Add the diced apple and cook for another 2 minutes.
- Add the minced ginger and garlic and stir.
- Add the spice blend to the onion mixture and stir constantly as it cooks for 2 more minutes.
- Add the flour and stir constantly as it cooks for 2 minutes. Scrape the bottom of the pan to prevent burning.
- Gradually add the chicken stock, stirring constantly to prevent lumps from forming.
- Add worcestershire sauce, sugar, tomato puree and stir. Season with salt and pepper.
- Bring the sauce to boiling point, stirring constantly. Then reduce the heat to low and simmer the sauce for 15 minutes.
- Turn the heat off, and allow the sauce to cool slightly before blending. When cool enough add the sauce to a blender or food processor and blitz until smooth.
- Return the sauce to the pan over medium heat. Add golden raisins if desired.
- Serve hot with a side of chips or french fries.
Nutrition Information is estimated based on the ingredients and cooking instructions as described in each recipe and is intended to be used for informational purposes only. Please note that nutrition details may vary based on methods of preparation, origin and freshness of ingredients used.
Thanks for following my recipes and ramblings.
Slán agus beannacht,
(Goodbye and blessings)
Mairéad -Irish American Mom
Pronunciation - slawn ah-gus ban-ock-th
Mairéad - rhymes with parade
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