Homemade tomato sauce/ketchup is very easy to prepare in our kitchen with a little bit of patience. During the winter season, good quality tomatoes are easily available in abundance. So other than preparing tomato soup this winter season, try some homemade tomato sauce/ketchup also. And trust me, it is really tasty!!
You might be wondering why I am insisting to prepare tomato sauce when it is so easily available in almost all big and small shops. Well, the very first reason is that I grew up watching my mother prepare tomato sauce during each winter season for the whole year. Actually, my siblings and I grew up watching lots of things being prepared by mom rather than buying from the market. Tomato sauce or ketchup, whatever you name it, is one of them!
The second reason is that I always find market bought sauce too sweet, so I never really like it. The biggest advantage of preparing tomato sauce at home is that we can control the quantity of sugar, salt and can have very less preservative or probably preservative-free sauce. And of course, if we will be using the best quality of fresh tomatoes for sauce, we will be a little lenient with our kiddo if he or she is just licking sauce from the plate rather than finishing their sandwich along with it😉.
Usually, while preparing tomato sauce, white salt is added, but I love the taste of black and rock salt. So here I have added all three salts together and all three salts enhanced the taste of sauce! But you can as well use only white salt.
For garam masala and ginger I have used powdered ones, but whole garam masala and fresh ginger can also be used. If you are using whole garam masala and fresh ginger, tie them in a piece of white muslin cloth. In Hindi we call it ‘potli’. Add this potli in the pressure cooker while boiling tomatoes. The whole flavor of spices will seep out through this potli in tomatoes. After boiling tomatoes, squeeze out all the juice from potli and discard it.
I have not added water while boiling tomatoes. Later, while boiling the pulp that extra water takes a little bit longer to evaporate. To avoid that, after adding chopped tomatoes in the cooker, don’t cover the lid. Keep stirring tomatoes on medium flame and in 5-7 minutes juices of tomatoes will come out. Now close the lid and let the tomatoes boil.
Not adding water is very helpful in increasing the shelf life of sauce.
For preserving the sauce, I have added only vinegar – so the sauce has to be kept in the fridge. But for long time preservation, we need to add sodium benzoate. But my personal suggestion is that rather than adding an extra preservative, we can always prepare a fresh batch of sauce. The lesser the amount of preservative in our food, the better it is!
Depending on the sourness of tomatoes you have to decide how much sugar is enough in sauce. While preparing sauce, once sugar dissolves completely, take some quantity of sauce in a bowl to taste. Now you can check the taste of salt, sugar, spices and add some more if required.
Sometimes kids are very fussy and so obsessed with market bought products that they simply refuse to eat homemade stuff. If you think that your kids will refuse to eat homemade sauce, you can trick them easily. Don’t throw away empty bottles of market bought sauce. Sterilize these bottles nicely and dry them thoroughly. Fill homemade sauce in these bottles and job done! Very soon you will be preparing the next batch of sauce smilingly in your kitchen.
Tomato 2 kg
Sugar 1+1/2 cups
White salt 1/2 tsp
Black salt 1/2tsp
Rock salt 1/2tsp
Ginger powder 1/2 tsp
Garam masala 1 tbsp
Vinegar 2 tbsp
Wash tomatoes nicely and cut them into four pieces.
Boil these tomatoes in an open pressure cooker without adding water. Keep stirring continuously until juices have completely seeped out of tomatoes. Now as there is enough liquid in the pressure cooker, add garam masala and dry ginger powder or the potli of whole garam masala and fresh ginger. Close the lid along with weight and let tomatoes cook until they get nicely boiled.
Once steam from the cooker cools down, open it and let the boiled tomatoes cool down. If potli of spices are added, squeeze out the juice and discard the potli.
Now grind these boiled tomatoes and sieve the puree to get rid of tomato peels and seeds.
Pour this puree in a thick, broad vessel and switch on the stove on high heat. Add all three salts and keep stirring the puree till it starts boiling. Now reduce the heat to medium and let the puree boil till it starts becoming thick. Don’t forget to stir in between – otherwise puree might stick to the bottom of vessel and that burnt smell will waste all our efforts done till now. While stirring, keep scraping the sides of pan.
Be careful – as puree starts becoming thick, it starts spluttering a lot. When puree begins to thicken, add sugar. Stir till sugar dissolves completely and you will notice that the colour of the sauce has changed and the consistency of the sauce is again thin.
Let it boil till it thickens more and reaches the consistency of thick tomato sauce. Switch off heat and let the sauce cool down completely. Add two tbsp vinegar and mix it very well in the sauce. With the help of a funnel or piping bag fill tomato sauce in sterilized and completely dry bottles.
Homemade tomato sauce or ketchup is ready to be served with sandwiches, fritters, pakode, fries, parathe wedges etc, etc…. anything you can think of !!