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

 
Baigan,Saim ke beej aur mooli ki sabzi

Baingan, saim ke beej aur mooli ki sabzi

Baingan, Saim ke beej aur Mooli ki sabji (mix vegetable of brinjal, seeds of flattened beans and radish) might sound a little different combo of veggies but trust me, this combo rocks! Baingan, Saim ke beej aur Mooli ki sabzi is completely my mother’s invention. Whenever we used to get bored during winters, she used to prepare this three mixed vegetables combo.

The best part was that all three vegetables used to be from our kitchen garden. Whenever we used to pluck beans from the vines, there were always some extra beans which had big ripened seeds. These beans couldn’t be used for normal Flattened beans with potatoes  sabzi – so my mother used the bean seeds with radish and brinjal and an excellent  mixed sabzi was invented!

Though this sabzi can be prepared without onions too, but If you are not against using onions then I would strongly suggest you to add them. Onions enhance the flavour significantly!

Baingan, Saim ke Beej aur Mooli ki sabzi

Ingredients:

Seeds of flattened beans 100 gms
Brinjal (small size) 4
Radish (medium size) 2
Green chilies, chopped 3-4
Onion (big size) 1
Oil 5 tbsp
Small mustard seeds (rai) 1/4 tsp
Cumin seeds (jeera) 1/4 tsp
Asafoetida (hing) , a pinch
Coriander powder 2 tbsp
Red chili powder 1 tsp
Turmeric powder 1/2 tsp
Water 4 tbsp

Process:

Take out the seeds from ripened flattened beans. Peel and cut radish into small pieces and wash both of them.

Saim ke beej

Saim ke beej aur mooli

Chop onion and roast it in a wok with 1 tbsp oil till they are brown in colour. Keep them separate.

Heat 4 tbsp oil in the wok and crackle hing, rai and jeera. Add seeds of flattened beans, radish and chopped brinjals. Always cut brinjal just before adding in the wok. if we cut brinjal beforehand with other vegetables, they start turning black and their taste changes.

Add rest of the spices along with chopped green chilies followed by two tbsp water.

Mix everything well, cover the pan and let the sabzi cook on sim heat till all three veggies turn soft.

In between, keep turning them upside-down for even cooking and if you feel that sabzi is sticking to the bottom, add 2 tbsp more water and cover it.

Baingan, saim ke beej aur Mooli ki sabzi is ready!

When sabzi is cooked completely, add roasted onions and serve with roti, parathe or as a side dish to rice.

Baigan,Saim ke beej aur Mooli ki sabzi

 

 
Aaloo gobhi ki sabzi

Aaloo – Gobhi ki sabzi

Aaloo-Gobhi ki sabzi (potato and cauliflower) is loved by almost all my family members on all occasions. This sabzi is part of our regular food menu. If we have some guests at home, then aaloo-gobhi ki sabzi will be part of the spread. You will also find this in any elaborate wedding feast!

Aaloo gobhi ki sabzi

Generally, all age groups like this. I remember that whenever during winter season we used to have sudden guests at my parents’ house, my mother used to prepare this sabzi with little extra oil and spices. We were instructed that this sabzi is only for the guests as quantity used to be less due to their unexpected arrival. The taste of the dish prepared by her used to be so out-of-the-world that my siblings and I always wished that guests shouldn’t be very hungry so that we will get to enjoy in sufficient quantity once they have eaten😀.

Children can think of anything, isn’t it!!!😇

Aaloo gobhi ki sabziSometimes, if cauliflower is sufficient in quantity, I don’t add potatoes.  It tastes equally good. But kids are fond of potatoes so you can add them…

There are a few more vegetables dishes in the blog. If interested, can take a look…Vegetables (Curries)

Ingredients :

Cauliflower 500 gms
Potatoes 2 medium size
Oil 5 tbsp
Cumin seeds (jeera) 1/2 tsp
Small mustard seeds(rai) 1/2 tsp
Asafoetida powder (hing) 1/8 tsp
Turmeric powder 1/2 tsp
Red chilli powder 1 tsp
Coriander powder 1 tbsp
Salt as per your taste
Green chillies chopped 2 – 3
Grated ginger 1/4 tsp
Dry mango powder (amchur) 1tsp
Garam masala 1 tsp

Water 1/8 cup, if later sabzi is not cooked and yet sticking to the bottom add 1/8 cup more.
Chopped green coriander leaves for garnishing

Process :

Cut cauliflower florets in small to medium size along with potatoes and wash them nicely.

Cauliflower florets

Chopped potatoes and cauliflower

Heat oil in a wok and add rai, hing and jeera.

Add cut cauliflower and potatoes along with chopped green chilies and grated ginger.

Add red chilly powder, coriander powder, salt and turmeric powder.

Mix everything and add 1/8th or 1/4th cup of water and cover the wok. Reduce the heat to sim and let it cook till cauliflower and potatoes turn soft. In between, stir 2-3 times.

When it is nearly cooked, add garam masala and dry mango powder, mix it well and again cover and cook it for 2-3 minutes. If you don’t want to use dry mango powder, add chopped tomatoes.

Sabzi is ready.

Add chopped green coriander leaves just before serving.

Aalo gobhi ki sabzi

 
Stir Fry Cabbage

Stir Fry Cabbage

Stir Fry Cabbage is the best way to feed this nutritious vegetable to all those fussy kids and husband who make faces seeing cabbage on the dinning table. This recipe was a big success in my house. Though I didn’t follow the authentic ingredients commonly used in stir fry dishes, I retained the healthy elements and still this stir fry cabbage came out really tasty!

Stir Fry Cabbage

Colourful vegetables are considered very good for health. So, here I have used both green and purple cabbage. I used tomato to get red colour which also gave tangy taste. Purple cabbage is more pungent in taste compared to green cabbage. Also added onions for white colour. So, overall the taste of four vegetables along with spices gave this dish a very nice flavour.

I avoided using soy sauce here as it’s high in sodium. Usually, I never use garam masala and onions in cabbage. But for this stir fry, I added a pinch of garam masala in the end and the overall result with the pungent cabbages, sweet onions, acidity of tomatoes and spicy green-chilies along with Indian spices created fantastic Stir Fry Cabbage dish!!

Stir fry Cabbage

Try this recipe, and trust me that this Indian style Stir Fry Cabbage will bring smile at the dinning table🙂.

For a few more vegetables and curries posts, you can take a look at this link too Vegetables (Curries)

Ingredients:

Chopped cabbage 250 gms
Medium size onion 2
Tomato 1 or 1 tsp lemon juice
Green chilies 2-3
Oil 3 tbsp
Rai (tiny mustard seeds) 1/4 tsp
Jeera (cumin seeds) 1/4 tsp
Hing (Asafoetida) 1/8 tsp
Turmeric powder 1/4 tsp
Salt as per your taste
Coriander powder 1+1/2 tsp
Red chilly powder 1/4 tsp
Garam masala 1/8 tsp

Process:

Chop cabbages length-wise. Wash and keep them in the strainer till the water drains out.

chop cabbages lengthwise

Chopped and washed cabbage

Similarly, chop onions and green chilies too.

In a wok or a pan heat 1 tbsp oil and stir fry onions till they are brown. Keep onions in a separate bowl.

Once again heat 2 tbsp oil and crackle rai, hing and jeera. Keep the heat on medium flame and immediately add chopped cabbages and green chilies. Add salt and turmeric powder, mix it well and keep stirring.

purple and green cabbage

Remember, cabbage should not turn completely soft. In stir fry dishes, vegetables remain crisp – that’s why they are cooked on slightly high flame. When you feel that cabbage is about to get cooked in the next 5 minutes, add coriander powder and chilly powder. Mix it well and keep stirring for 2-3 minutes. Add chopped tomato pieces, garam masala and onions. Stir for a minute and your Stir Fry Cabbage is ready to go with hot parathe or naan!!

Stir Fry Cabbage

 
Kaashifal ki sabzi

Kaashifal ki sabzi (pumpkin veggie)

Kaashifal ki sabzi (pumpkin veggie) always reminds me about my father. He always used to prefer kaashifal ki sabzi or pumpkin veggie for dinner, so that all family members can sit together and enjoy it with hot poori, curd and pickle. This used to be my favorite dinner also!

Pumpkin is basically sweet in taste. So chirpy green chillies, tiny pieces of raw mangoes or lemon juice gives this sabzi a perfect mixed taste of sweet, chirpy and slight tangy flavours.

Unlike other North Indian sabzis, kaashifal is not seasoned with our regular ria, hing and jeera. It is seasoned with dana methi (fenugreek). So the moment fenugreek seeds are added in hot oil, the fragrance spreads in the whole house and everyone knows that kaashifal ki sabzi is coming at the dinning table!!

For preparing Kaashifal ki Sabzi I always prefer to buy pumpkin which has green skin. Green ones are very soft and we don’t have to remove the peel while chopping pumpkin. This variety of pumpkin has lots of water in it, that’s why it gets cooked very fast. Nowadays, we are ordering online vegetables, so we get all varieties of mix pumpkin pieces. Other varieties of pumpkin are a little dry so while cooking add little water.

One more thing, while preparing pumpkin vegetable, add slightly more oil than usual. Trust me, you will feel like having chatpata pickle! Probably, I like pumpkin a lot, so either it is kaashifal ki sabzi or Kaashifal ka raita (pumpkin raita) I can just brag on and on…

Try this sabzi once, who knows this might be a new regular entry in your menu!!

Ingrediants:

Chopped pumpkin 1/2 kg
Oil          5 tbsp
Fenugreek seeds 3/4 tsp
Coriander powder 1 tbsp
Turmeric powder 1/2 tsp
Red chilli powder 1 tsp
Chopped green chillies 3
Salt as per taste
Raw mango pieces(grated or chopped) /dry mango powder (amchur) /lemon juice
Water 1/8 cup (if pumpkin is dry)

Process:

Wash and chop pumpkin in small pieces along with skin (chilka).

Heat oil in a wok and splatter fenugreek seeds followed by chopped pumpkin pieces and green chillies.

Add salt, coriander powder, red chili powder, turmeric powder and salt. 

Mix everything and cover it. Let it cook on sim flame till pumpkin becomes soft. In between 2-3 times keep on turning pumpkin upside down for even cooking. When 90% pumpkin is cooked add tiny chopped pieces of raw mangoe or 1 tsp dry mango powder or 1/2 tbsp lemon juice.

Mix it well, cover it again and in 2-3 minuets Kaashifal ki sabzi will be ready! Serve hot with poori or parathas.

 

Chane ki daal with louki

Chane ki Daal with Louki (split baby chickpeas lentil with bottle gourd) is traditional North Indian cuisine. Louki (Bottle Gourd) is not a welcome vegetable for most of the kids. Well, if there is Lauki ke kofte ki sabzi (grated bottle gourd dumplings in curry) then its a different story altogether. But as kofte ki sabzi involves deep fried preparation we cannot prepare this in our daily regular meals.

Then how to feed kids this very nutritious vegetable? Try to add chana daal along with louki and this dull vegetable will turn into a delicious dish. Just before serving, add one spoon of pure ghee (clarified butter) in this daal and the taste goes to another level.

chane ki daal with louki

There is one more variety of chana daal/split baby chickpea lentil with spinach in the blog – If you are interested, please take a look…Daal paalak (split chickpea lentil with spinach)

Ingrediants:

Chana daal 3/4 cup

Louki 200 grams

Turmeric powder 1/2 tsp

Salt 1 tsp

Water 2 cups

Tadka (seasoning)

Rai (small mustard seeds) 1/2 tsp

Jeera (cumin seeds) 1/2 tsp

Hing (Asafotida) 1/8 tsp

Oil/ghee 3 tbsp

Red chilly powder 1 tsp

turmeric powder 1/8 tsp

Puree

2 tomatoes, 1 onion, 3-4 green chilies, tiny piece of ginger

Fresh coriander leaves for garnishing

A few points….
  1. You can reduce the quantity of louki.
  2. Cook chana daal on sim heat for at least 15 to 20 minutes as it takes slightly longer time to get cooked compared to other lentils.
  3. You can also add garlic in the puree.
  4. Ghee can be used to prepare tadka in place of oil.

Process:

Wash chana daal nicely and soak it in two cups of water for an hour. It will puff up nicely in one hour.

chana daalsoaked chana daal

After an hour, wash, peel and chop louki in small pieces. Add turmeric powder and salt in chana daal along with louki pieces and pressure cook it till chana daal becomes soft.

While chana daal is getting cooked, we will prepare tadka.  Wash and chop onion, tomatoes, green chilies and ginger and grind them in a mixer. Heat oil in a pan or wok and crackle rai, hing and jeera.

Add grinded puree in the oil and add turmeric and red chili powder. Cook till the water evaporates leaving only oil.

tadka for chana louki daal is ready

Daal must be cooked by now. Switch off the heat and remove the lid off the pressure cooker once it cools down.

chana daal is ready

Add this louki – daal in the ready tadka. If you feel that consistency is too thick, add hot water. Shift chane ki daal with louki in serving bowl and garnish with coriander leaves.

chane ki daalki louki

louki aur chana daal