Homemade Tomato Sauce/Ketchup

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!

Homemade Tomato Sauce/Ketchup

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! Tomato Sauce/ketchup

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.

Homemade Tomato Sauce/Ketchup

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.

Homemade Tomato Sauce/Ketchup

I have a few more sauce recipes in the blog, can take a look at them also…Salted Caramel SauceStrawberry sauce ,Pizza sauce

Ingredients:

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

Process:

Wash tomatoes nicely and cut them into four pieces.

Wash tomatoes to prepare sauce

cut tomatoes in 4 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.

Boil tomatoes without lid

Close the lid and boil tomatoes

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.

Let boiled tomatoes cool down

Now grind these boiled tomatoes and sieve the puree to get rid of tomato peels and seeds.

sieve tomato puree

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.

Boil tomato puree and add salt

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.

Add sugar in tomato puree

Now the colour of homemade sauce starts changing

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/Ketchup is ready

Fill homemade tomato sauce/ketchup in sterilized 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 !!

Homemade Tomato Sauce/Ketchup

 
Ganache

Dark Chocolate Ganache

What comes in your mind the moment you hear the word Ganache…

It is creamy, melt in mouth, sinfully delicious chocolicious frosting for cakes which is very popular for its versatile usage.

To prepare ganache there is not a big list of ingredients. It is prepared with just two ingredients!! Yes, to prepare the basic ganache, only cooking chocolate and heavy cream is required. Extra ingredients are required only if we are adding some flavor to it.

Ganache is prepared as per requirement in thick, medium or thin consistency by adjusting the ratio of milk cream and chocolate. Usually there are three different ratios for ganache which are very popular.

1) 1:1 ratio means to take equal quantity of chocolate and cream. This ganache has thin consistency. It doesn’t have very dark color as equal quantity of cream is mixed with chocolate. Though, while preparing it looks very thin, it settles down slowly. It can be used for soft fillings, creating dripping effects for the cake and glaze for cake and cheesecake. If preparing this ganache for glaze, then add little bit of butter while heating the cream. This addition of butter add a nice sheen.

2) 2:1 ratio has one portion of cream and double the quantity of chocolate. This ganache settles down nicely and becomes thick. That’s why it is used mostly for filling, frosting and decorating the cakes. It can be whipped also, but after whipping it becomes light in colour.

3) 2.5:1 ratio works for very stiff consistency of ganache as chocolate is 2.5 times more than the quantity of cream. This makes ganache very stiff ganache after setting down. It is ideal for Truffles.

Remember, each type of ganache sets down on room temperature, but consistency will be different for each because chocolate and cream are in different ratios.

In India usually we don’t get milk based heavy cream. And our whipping cream is also mostly non dairy cream. The most popular milk cream used here widely is Amul milk cream and the fat content in this cream is only 25%. That’s why for truffles we need to increase the ratio 2.5:1, to make it stiff.

Let’s see how do we prepare ganache….

Chop chocolate block and keep the shredded pieces in a bowl which is slightly bigger in size. Bigger size bowl will be helpful to mix ganache evenly.

Pour cream in a separate bowl and heat it on medium heat. The moment it starts bubbling from the sides of the pan and about to reach at the boiling stage, immediately pour it into chocolate bowl evenly everywhere so that it can cover the chocolate shreddings completely.

Don’t disturb this bowl for 5 minutes. Later, mix this with spatula nicely. With the heat of the cream, chocolate will melt but still if you feel that some chocolate chunks are remaining, you can keep the bowl in microwave or use double boiler method to reheat the mix for a short time. Again mix the mixture and all the remaining chocolate chunks would be melted.

Cover the bowl with cling wrap and keep it on room temperature till ganache completely cools down. Once ganache cools down, use it as per your requirement, or if you need it to be more firm then keep it in the fridge.

Tips to remember while preparing ganache :

  1. Check the expiry date for cream and chocolate.
  2. Chocolate should be on room temperature.
  3. Try to chop chocolate in equal size. It will help chocolate to melt evenly otherwise bigger chunks will take more time in melting and you have to pop in the bowl multiple times in microwave.
  4. Don’t heat the cream on high temperature. Keep the heat on sim or medium. Don’t let the cream boil too much. When you see it bubbling through the edges of the pan, pour immediately on chopped chocolate.
  5. After pouring cream on chocolate, don’t stir it for at least 5 minutes. Let the chocolate melt nicely with the heat of cream and after 5 minutes, start mixing it. If chocolate is not melted completely, keep the bowl in microwave for 10 or 15 seconds initially, mix it and again if it is required, heat it on short interval. The same process can be done on double boiler also.
  6. Ganache sets down on room temperature, but it takes long time. So after preparing, once ganache cools down, keep it in the fridge cling wrapped. Cooling time on room temperature or the time of ganache becoming firm in the fridge is not fixed. It might vary depending on the size and depth of your bowl and the quantity of ganache .
  7. After keeping in the fridge ganache becomes very stiff. Take it out from the fridge, let it come on room temperature and through double boiler method or through microwave you can loosen up stiff ganache.
  8. Remember, if using microwave to loosen up ganache, do it in short intervals.
  9. If preparing ganache for dripping or glazing, use it when it is thin.
  10. Wrap ganache in a cling film and keep it in an air tight container in the fridge for a week and in the freezer for three months.

I hope this post is helpful to you if you are preparing this luscious ganache for the first time!!

Ganache

 

Imli ki meethi chutney

Imli ki meethi chutney (sweet tamarind chutney) is loved by all age groups. Indian chats (snack) are incomplete without chutney – either sweet or savory. Buy samosa or kachori and you will get sweet and savory chutneys along with them.

Bhel puri, Sev puri, Dahi puri, Papdi chaat or Dahi vada; all are incomplete without chutney. At my parents’ house, we never bought any chats. My mother used to prepare everything from the scratch. So, after my marriage, I also continued the same tradition. Preparing savory chutney with coriander or mint leaves is regular in my kitchen. But I always felt a little lazy to prepare imli ki meethi chutney at frequent intervals and so instead I started preparing in enough quantity that it will last for 6 months.

While cooking sweet tamarind chutney you might not be able to figure out exactly how it tastes because flavors really taste better the next day. Therefore, you wait till the next day for the developed taste and if you feel something is less or missing, add accordingly and boil a little bit more.

Ingredients :

120 gm tamarind
3 +1/2 cups water
300 gm sugar/jaggery powder
5 dates

For the rest of the ingredients, I am not giving specific measurements as you can add them according to your taste. You can prepare it as sweet tamarind chutney or it could be tangy tamarind chutney by reducing the sugar a little bit – choice is completely yours!

White salt
Black salt
Ginger powder
Garam masala powder
Red chili powder

Process :

Soak tamarind in 2 cups of water for 2 hours.

In a separate pan soak dates in water.

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After 2 hours, mash tamarind and sieve it. Add the rest of the water in tamarind, mash it and sieve it again so that the whole pulp comes out.

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Boil this sieved tamarind water and pulp on sim heat by adding de-seeded dates and sugar for at least 1+1/2 to 2 hours. If you are interested in thick consistency, boil for at least 2 hours but if you like thin consistency, boil for 1 to 1+1/2 hours. Just 10 minutes before the chutney is done, add the rest of the ingredients as per your taste.

Imli ki meethi chutney

Let the chutney cool down completely before filling in an airtight container and storing that in the fridge.

Imli ki chutney is ready !

Imli ki meethi chutney

 

 
Strawberry Sauce

Strawberry sauce

Strawberry is a beautiful fruit!!! But I never thought of preparing strawberry sauce. I had always enjoyed this fruit in its raw form. And no one else in the house shares strawberry with me, strange… but true!!! And I am not even complaining …! But this winter season I decided to go one step further with strawberries and prepared strawberry sauce. I am planning to freeze it to relish during summer with ice-cream. My husband Manish and daughter Apoorva, both don’t even try to taste this fruit. So after preparing sauce I forced both of them to taste it and to my utmost surprise they both liked it a lot!

That was an achievement!!!!!

Strawberry Sauce

Strawberries

 

I guess the reason why they both liked homemade strawberry sauce was because it was not overly sweet in taste as strawberries were little tangy in taste. I didn’t add too much sugar to cover up the whole tart taste. It was a perfect balance of sweet and tangy flavor.

In my opinion if you are preparing strawberry sauce, decide the amount of sugar depending on the sweet or sour taste of strawberries. If fruit is too sweet, reduce the amount of sugar and add little quantity of lemon juice in the end of preparation.

In case if you are more interested to prepare strawberry compote, follow the same process. The only difference would be that for compote we don’t cook strawberries for a longer time. Compote is ready within 10 minutes of cooking and sauce is cooked on sim heat for 25-30 minutes because we need to thicken it. Later while in the fridge it thickens more.

I have Salted Caramel Sauce recipe also in the blog. If you are interested ,can check that also.

Ingredients :

Strawberries 1/2 kg

Granulated sugar 1/3 cup

Lemon juice 1/2 tbsp (optional)

Process :

Wash strawberries nicely in running water and keep them on a sieve to drain our all water.

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Remove green leaves from the fruit and slice each strawberry in 4 pieces.

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In a thick bottomed saucepan combine strawberries and sugar and start cooking on medium to sim heat.

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Keep stirring it until strawberries start leaving their juice and sugar melts completely.

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Now keep the heat on sim and let it cook for 25 – 30 minutes. Occasionally keep stirring them.

Strawberry sauce

Sauce will thicken up and it will be in deep dark red colour in half an hour.

Switch off heat and taste it. If it tastes very sweet add 1/2 tbsp lemon juice to add slight tangy flavor and let it cool down completely. If you want to use this sauce in between the layers of cake or cheesecake in slightly more refined way, you can puree it in mixer, sieve it and use as filling.

Store in a neat bottle in the fridge for 10-12 days but I really doubt it will last that long. Your kids will be finding an excuse to stay near the refrigerator to lick it again and again!!!

Are you planning to prepare this delicious kid’s favorite fruit sauce? I think you should.. . because once your first bottle is over, you can again prepare fresh one. After all nothing is better than fresh home made sauce!!!

Would love to hear from you all through the comments section ❤️❤️.

Strawberry sauce

 
Salted Caramel Sauce

Salted Caramel Sauce

Preparing Salted Caramel Sauce was my long time wish. Finally I got a reason to prepare it. I was planning to bake  Eggless Cinnamon Rolls and was not sure whether I would like such sweet rolls. So to balance the sweet filling of cinnamon rolls I decided to drizzle buns with salted caramel sauce. I started searching for the recipe of caramel sauce and finally decided to try from Sallys Baking Addiction – Addictive Recipes from a Self-Taught Baker as her recipe didn’t require any candy thermometer. Till now I have not purchased any cooking thermometer so her  recipe of salted caramel sauce suited me very well.

After preparing and tasting the sauce I found it to be very salty. I guess my taste buds are different from the rest of the world. So I made another batch and instead of using salted butter I used unsalted butter. It tasted great!! Now I was completely satisfied with the result. It went so well with cinnamon rolls!!

Salted caramel sauce

Salted caramel sauce

If you have never made salted caramel sauce before, you should definitely try this recipe. It’s just a four ingredients magic and Sally has made it so easy to prepare. You will just keep on licking from the bottle whole day!!

You can follow the recipe given by Sally or can follow my version, depending on your choice of taste..

Ingredients :

Sugar (granulated)      1 cup

Unsalted butter          6 tbsp (room temperature, cut up into cubes)

Milk cream (full fat)      1/2 cup (room temperature)

Salt      1 tsp

Process :

Take heavy bottomed deep pan and heat sugar on medium to sim flame. Keep stirring sugar constantly with long handled spatula to avoid sugar sticking to the bottom and burning.

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Slowly there will be small clumps of sugar… keep stirring….Soon these clumps will starting melting and white sugar syrup will start changing into amber colour.

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Don’t stop stirring – by now whole sugar would be melted. Immediately add butter. The moment butter is added, caramel will bubble rapidly, so be careful.

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Keep on stirring till butter is completely melted and slowly add milk cream. Again caramel will bubble up – so again be careful!

Add cream in Salted Caramel Sauce

Let the whole mixture boil for a minute and switch off the gas. Add 1 tsp salt, mix it properly and let it cool down completely before filling in a clean and dry bottle.

Salted Caramel Sauce

After cooling down completely, caramel will thicken up. You have to keep this caramel in the fridge and can store for 15 days. Warm it slightly before using it for drizzle or filling in your dishes!!!

 

 

Pizza Sauce

Preparing Pizza Sauce at home makes your life very easy. If pizza sauce is ready beforehand then preparing pizza is less time consuming and efforts are less. You can prepare pizza sauce one day in advance. Next day in the morning bake pizza base only and assemble everything together along with toppings and bake pizza for dinner. Doesn’t this planning sound great!!! After all nothing is better than giving your family a treat of fresh home baked pizza with homemade Pizza Sauce. Though that’s a different story that I prepared pizza sauce to be used for Pizza rolls

Ingredients:

4 boiled tomatoes puree
2 finely chopped onion
1tsp black pepper
4 finely chopped green chilies
3 tbsp butter/olive oil
2 tbsp tomatoe sauce (optional, I didn’t add)
Salt 3/4 tsp reduce or add as per your taste)
1/2 cups water (I didn’t add as I wanted thick sauce for pizza rolls)
2 tbsp mixed pizza spices (instead can use separate your choice of pizza spices like oregano, rosemary, thyme, red pepper flakes etc…)
1+1/2 tsp sugar
Few crushed fresh basil leaves

Process :

Heat a thick bottomed pan and add butter/olive oil. Add finely chopped onion and green chilies. Sauté them till onions are light brown.

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In this add boiled, grinded tomatoes puree.  Keep the heat on sim and add pizza spices, black pepper and tomato sauce. Add water and let it cook until you get the desired thickness.  Add salt and sugar, mix well and switch off gas. Add crushed green basil leaves and let it cool down completely

Pizza Sauce

Pizza sauce

Fill pizza sauce in a clean bottle and keep it in the fridge. Just make sure that you are able to save it from your family members for next day’s pizza….!!

Pizza Sauce