Step-by-step guide to make tomato ketchup at home
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Hot and crisp on the outside and lush on the inside, French fries taste most delectable when paired with some tomato ketchup. Not just the fries, but also for hamburgers, hot dogs, sandwiches and grilled meat, tomato ketchup is the most common condiment. What makes it perfect is that it touches all the basic taste notes. Which is why most people simply cannot imagine having their favourite food sans this sweet and tangy tomato sauce.

Though it tastes amazing, readily available tomato ketchup often comes with synthetic food colouring and high fructose corn syrup. If you want to avoid adding these unnecessary ingredients to your palate, why not try making tomato ketchup at home? You can easily prepare a fresh batch of tomato ketchup from scratch without adding any harmful colouring agents. All you need is tomatoes, garlic cloves onions, sugar, red chili, salt, freshly ground black pepper, vinegar and some preservative (optional).

1. To make the healthier alternative to processed tomato ketchup, start by picking 2 kilos of fresh and ripened tomatoes. Wash them well and chop them into small chunks. Then move on to the garlic cloves (5-6) and onions (2-3), chops them and keep them aside. If you want to prepare a ketchup that is a tad bit spicy, you can also add a whole chopped jalapeno to it.

2. Toss all the chopped ingredients into a blender and blend for about 3 minutes, till you get a nice paste-like consistency. Then, take a heavy bottomed vessel and pour the paste with half a liter of water and cook this mixture well for some time on medium heat. Stir in 200 grams of sugar, some red chili, salt and ground black pepper.

3. Keep stirring and cook this mixture till you get a thick consistency. Then add 2 ml of vinegar and 5 grams of a preservative such as sodium benzoate (optional). Adding preservative will help increase the shelf life of this condiment, otherwise, you can simply refrigerate it if you do not want to use preservatives at all.

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4. Keep stirring till you get the perfect ketchup consistency, then turn off the stove and keep it aside to cool completely.

5. Meanwhile, sterilise a glass bottle to pour your homemade ketchup into. Boil the glass bottle and its lid in water for about 10 minutes. This will destroy all kinds of microorganisms and will keep your ketchup safe to consume. Alternatively, you can pop the bottles in the microwave for 20 minutes. 

6. Once the ketchup is at room temperature, transfer it into the bottle, wipe the rim and bottle clean if you drip the condiment anywhere on the surface or the rim of the bottle. Screw the lid back on to the bottle and your delicious homemade ketchup is ready to be paired with your favourite food. Simply smear it on your sandwich, alongside homemade fries or omelet and enjoy the goodness of this homemade ketchup.

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