Tomato sauce/ketchup is basically a condiment used all over the world. It is a very basic sauce made with fresh tomatoes and goes with almost any snack or fast food or breakfast. This sauce has many variations and i have created my own after trying various recipes and this one turned out to be perfect for me and my family. It is sweet, tangy and very lightly spiced. To add a little kick i have added dry red chilies with tomatoes. This doesn’t make it spicy but just perfect to go with any snack.
Market bought sauce contains high amount of preservatives and is very high in sugars and sodium. But when you make it at home, you just know what it is made from, freshness is ensured and no harmful chemicals are used. Let me tell you this is much more economical to make at home. I bought 2 and 1/2 kg of tomatoes which yield 2 litres of tomato ketchup. Yeah I know its a little tedious but totally worth the effort.
This sauce requires use of big red tomatoes. Do not take desi tomatoes as they are too tangy and not very pulpy.Make this ketchup when tomatoes are not so expensive and fresh. I have used sodium benzoite to preserve this sauce, which is very important to keep it for more than a month. But if you can finish the sauce within a month, do not add the preservative. Just keep the sauce bottle/jar in fridge.
Plate test is basically a test to see if sauce/jam is prepared and has reached the right consistency. To do a plate test, take a drop of sauce on plate, let it cool and then you will observe water on its sides, which should be minimum, and it should not slide easily when tilted. This plate test is very important for this recipe.
I found it easier to make in a pressure cooker instead of skillet (kadhai).You can adjust the salt or sugar before adding preservative according to your own taste. You can prepare it the same way without onion and garlic too if you want. Do try this recipe. I am sure you will love it.
Recipe type: Condiment, Sauce, preservation
Time: 2-2.5 hours
Shelf Life: one year approx.
2.5 kg Big red pulpy tomatoes
1 inch Ginger sliced
20 cloves Garlic
1 big Onion chopped
1 tsp Garam masala
5-6 Dry Red chilies
4 tsp Salt
1 cup Sugar
3-4 Bay leaf
3/4th cup White Vinegar
3/4th tsp Sodium Benzoite
Method (Step by Step tomato Sauce recipe with photos):
Ingredients and pressure cooking
1. Prepare all the ingredients first, chop tomatoes into 8 pieces each.
2. Take a big pressure cooker (I took 3 litre) and put tomatoes,ginger, garlic, onions, dried red chili, bay leaf, garam masala and vinegar in it. Take 2 pressures on high flame and switch off the gas.
Grinding And straining
3. Open the cooker only when it has cooled down on its own (meaning it should get opened easily), now strain the juice with the help of a big sieve and let the rest of mixture cool in a big thali or paraat.
4. When the mixture is cooled, grind it fine in mixer grinder and strain(chan lijiye) through the sieve (channi) to remove any impurities or grains. We want smooth sauce. (Cooling the mixture is very important to save yourself from burning, hot mixture tends to release a lot of steam which may lead to sudden opening of mixer jar).Now put this strained mixture and juice extracted before into the same cooker and keep it to cook.
Cook the sauce
5. Add in the sugar to the sauce and cook it for about 30-40 minutes, stirring in between. After 30 minutes do the plate test. When sauce becomes ready very light liquid will be seen around the sauce drop and it will not slide down easily. (40 min. approx)
6. Once the plate test is done, add salt, mix it well and take a boil. Switch off the gas.
7. Now if you need some ketchup for immediate use, keep some aside. Take a bowl and put 3/4 tsp sodium benzoite and 2 tbs water, mix it well and add to sauce and mix really well.
8. Cool the sauce a little. Fill it in glass bottle or jar when warm. Close the lid and keep at room temperature or in refrigerator.
1. After adding preservative, do not use the ketchup for at least 10 days.
2. Make sure the glass bottles are sterilized before putting the ketchup, it is very important to keep sauce safe from spoilage.
3. You can also add spices like black pepper, cloves, star anise to flavor it further or you can avoid red chilies to make non-spiced sauce.
4. Make sure to use red pulpy tomatoes otherwise the taste will change.
5. Do not fill the bottles to the top, fill it 3/4th to let some air pass.
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