This tasty bell pepper gravy aka gypsy sauce is one of the most favorite schnitzel toppings for the delicious German specialty.
With this recipe you can easily make the German sauce classic yourself and surprise your family with a tasty dish.
What is a "Zigeunerschnitzel"?
A Zigeunerschnitzel aka Gypsy Schnitzel is a breaded or unbreaded schnitzel with a topping of a piquant bell-pepper tomato sauce.
What does "Zigeunerschnitzel" mean in English?
"Zigeuner" is the German word for "Gypsy". This is why the name for the dish is controversial.
The controversy about the name "Zigeunerschnitzel" aka "Gypsy Schnitzel"
The "Forum for Sinti and Roma" in Hanover/Germany has objected to the name Gypsy Sauce. They argue the term is discriminatory. Instead, the delicious sauce should be renamed into "piquant sauce" or "paprika aka bell pepper sauce," the association suggests. Still to the day the dish is known by the name Zigeunersoße but it is up to you how to call it.
Bottled Paprikasoße - a favorite for German Barbecues
You can buy bottled "Zigeunersoße" in Germany like Barbecue sauce. This is a popular condiment for grilled meat and sea food at German bbqs. The manufacturers of bottled "Zigeunersoße" products started to change the name of their famous sauces due to pressure from the public and some of them already re-named the sauce to "Paprikasauce" and "Pikante Sauce".
How to pronounce "Zigeunersoße"?
Listen to this audio file to hear how to say "Zigeunersoße" in German. The characterr "ß" stands for "ss". Therefore you could also write the word "Zigeunersosse" another variation would be "Zigeunersauce" which is also used.
Listen to this audio file to hear how to say "Zigeunersoße" in German.
What is a Balkan Schnitzel?
Balkan schnitzel is another name for this gravy.
Store bought Variations
You can buy Zigeunersauce from several brands in German speaking countries. As mentioned before you will find them nowadays under the name "Paprika Sauce" and "Pikante Sauce".
You can find a variety of these sauces in online shops like Amazon and German delis.
What Kind of Peppers are Best for this Gravy?
Red, orange and yellow bell peppers are traditionally used for this gravy. Fresh and firm is always the best way to go but if you have some bell peppers who are not suitable for a salad anymore, this sauce is a great way to don´t let them go to waste.
Authentic Zigeuner aka Gypsy Sauce Recipe
Zigeuner Schnitzel Gravy
- 2 red bell peppers
- 1 yellow bell pepper
- 1 medium onion
- 6 bread and butter pickle stackers/sandwich slices
- 2 tbsp. butter
- 2 tbsp. flour
- 3 tbsp. tomato ketchup
- 3 tbsp. tomato paste
- 1 tbsp. garlic paste
- ¼ tsp. chili powder
- 1 tbsp. paprika powder
- 1 ½ cups chicken vegetable or beef broth
- 6 tbsp. heavy cream
- 1 shot of pickle juice optional
- 1 tbsp. oil
- Peel and slice the onion and pickle slices into strips.
- Wash the bell peppers, clean out the seeds and cut them into strips.
- In a large pan melt the butter over medium heat, add the flour, tomato paste, ketchup and garlic paste, and fry for a couple of minutes. Be careful not to burn it.
- Add the heavy cream, garlic paste, paprika powder, chili powder, season with and pepper to taste and let simmer for a couple of minutes.
- Add the broth and the pickle juice, mix well and bring to a light simmer and then set it aside.
- In another pan heat vegetable oil over medium heat.
- Fry the onions until lightly brown, then add the bell pepper strips and fry together for about 2-3 minutes.
- Add the onion and bell pepper mix to the pan with the sauce and mix well.
- Taste test and season with more salt and pepper if necessary.
- Serve over breaded or unbreaded pork schnitzel and a side of french fries, spätzle or rice.
Serving Tips: How to use this Tasty Bell Pepper Sauce?
The German sauce is great to all meat and fish dishes. Traditionally it is served over a breaded schnitzel which is usually served with spaetzle or french fries.
You can also use the gravy for: grilled chicken breast, pork steaks, fish, and even with scampi.
The dish accompanies potatoes, noodles and rice wonderfully.