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

 

Stuffed raw tomatoes with paneer

Stuffed Raw Tomatoes with Paneer ( cottage cheese ) is a complete party dish to impress your guests at any occasion. I know – these days what guests, what parties – but still, we can give even ourselves a treat to keep spirits high! So cook these stuffed raw tomatoes with paneer (cottage cheese); but if you are not a big fan of paneer then stuff tomatoes with mixed vegetables, followed by cheese, oregano flakes and black pepper.

You might give homemade fresh paneer a try if you are fine with paneer stuffing. Naturally, I have a post on how to prepare Homemade Paneer/Indian Cottage Cheese!! As I used crushed paneer, just add vinegar or lemon juice in hot milk and milk will curdle. Sieve it, use whey for your gravy based dishes or for kneading flour and use paneer for stuffing! 

Paneer vaale bharva tamatar

Check out a few more posts for stuffed vegetables in the blog…

Stuffed brinjal/eggplant/aubergines (Bharva baigan)

Stuffed Capsicum (bharva shimla mirch)

Stuffed Brinjals/Eggplant/Aubergine

Stuffed Chilies(Bharva Hari Mirch)

Pyaaz vaale bharva karele

Ingredients :

Small size raw tomatoes 9-10
Crushed paneer 100 gm (reduce or increase as per the size of tomatoes)
Coriander powder 2 tsp
Turmeric powder 1/4 tsp
Asafoetida powder a pinch
Salt as per your taste
Red chili powder 1 tsp
Dry mango powder/lemon juice 1 tsp
Garam masala 1 tsp
Kasuri methi/ chopped green coriander leaves 2 tsp
Oil 4 tbsp

Process:

Wash tomatoes and scoop out the pulp by cutting the top. You can use  pulp for preparing gravy by grinding it for gravy based dishes.

scoop out tomatoes before stuffing

Heat 1 tbsp oil in a pan and add paneer along with all spices. Cook this mixture for five minutes and switch off the gas.

Prepare paneer stuffing for tomatoes

paneer stuffing for tomatoes is ready!

Fill this stuffing in scooped out tomatoes and pour rest of the oil in a pan and place stuffed tomatoes in the pan. If you want, can use the top cut part of tomatoes to cover them, though it is not necessary. I used them as it looks fancy to uncover them before serving!!

Stuffed tomatoes are ready to be cooked

Remember, we have to cook tomatoes on sim heat. Sometimes, our gas burner doesn’t give very low heat for slow cooking dishes. If that is the case with your burner, just buy one extra small size pan support and use it. This helps in supplying low heat to the cooking pan.

Tomatoes will slowly start becoming tender. When we cook on sim heat then the pan gets heat only at the center, not around the edges of the pan. Keep shifting the position of tomatoes in the pan for even cooking.

paneer stuffed green tomatoes

As green raw tomatoes are firm tomatoes, it takes some time for them to become soft on sim heat. Once tomatoes are done, sprinkle some kasuri methi or green coriander leaves for garnishing just before serving and uncover them!!

Raw tomatoes stuffed with paneer

Stuffed raw tomatoes with paneer are ready!

 
Pyaaz Vaale Bharva Karele

Pyaaz vaale bharva karele

Pyaaz vaale bharva karele, ek katori dahi aur garam – garam parathe bana kar koi khila de…bas, itni choti si ichha poori ho jaaye!!! (bitter gourd stuffed with onions, one bowl of curd along with hot parathe… that is all I ask!) I love pyaaz vaale bharva karele a lot. The only problem is that in Bangalore we don’t get those small sized bitter gourds so easily. This week when I was storing my vegetable deliveries in the fridge, I was pleasantly surprised to see that those small sized bitter gourds were delivered. Usually, once I finish my cooking for the day, I don’t go into the kitchen to cook anything else. But seeing those small sized karela I started chopping the onions. I wanted stuffed bitter gourd for lunch!!

Preparation is not a time consuming process if you are not peeling bitter gourd. Many people peel them and smear with salt and keep it like that for an hour or so and later wash it and continue with the rest of the process. This way a lot of the bitter taste gets washed away and probably those who don’t want to eat karela, might find it interesting to give this method a try.

Peeled karela

But my mother never cooked karela by peeling them – so I am also used to cooking them this way. Moreover, as I don’t want all the nutrients to be washed away, I never peel them.

There is one more post in the blog on karela  Karele ki Sabzi (bitter gourd)

Some more stuffed vegetables recipes :

Stuffed Chilies(Bharva Hari

Stuffed Green Masala Brinjal

Stuffed brinjal/eggplant/aubergines (Bharva baigan)

Stuffed Capsicum (bharva shimla mirch)

Stuffed Brinjals/Eggplant/Aubergines

Ingredients:

Small size bitter gourd 6
Medium sized onions 2Oil 4 tsp
Coriander powder 2 tbsp
Turmeric powder 1 tsp
Salt as per your taste
Coarsely grounded fennel seeds 1 tbsp
Red chilli powder 1 tsp
Dry mango powder 1+1/2 tsp
Oil 4 tbsp

Process:

Wash and cut bitter gourd vertically with a deep cut.

A vertical cut in bitter gourd

Chop onions fine.

Heat 2 tsp of oil in a pan and sauté chopped onions till they are transparent.

Add rest of the spices along with the remaining 2 tsp of oil.

Mix everything well and sauté this onion masala for 5 minutes on sim heat.

Onion masala for karela is ready!

Switch off heat after five minutes and when masala cools down, fill it into all the bitter gourds.

Bharva karele is ready to be cooked

Add remaining 4 tbsp oil in the pan along with karela. Cover the pan and let bitter gourd cook on sim heat till they become tender from all sides. In between, keep on turning them upside – down for even cooking.

Serve them with hot parathas, rotis or as a side dish for rice.

Pyaaz Vaale Bharva karele is ready!

 
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

 
Vrat ke aaloo-kasuri-methi

Vrat ke aaloo – methi

Vrat ke aaloo – methi ki sabzi is very easy to cook. As the spices added are mild, this vrat ke aaloo – methi (sabzi with potatoes and fenugreek leavesfor fasting days) is ideal for kids and those who are sensitive to spices. I don’t use white salt in food during some specific days of fasting. Sendha namak/pink salt/ rock salt is used to prepare savoury items. So, for this sabzi also I used sendha namak along with Homemade Kasuri Methi(dry fenugreek leaves) which gave such nice flavour to this that I didn’t miss hot spices.

If you don’t have dry kasuri methi leaves, use fresh fenugreek leaves by adding along with potatoes. As homemade kasuri methi leaves have strong flavour, use them wisely.

But in case if you are don’t like the taste of fenugreek leaves, omit them and continue the whole process with potatoes only. Dry crisp potatoes will be wonderful for your kiddo’s lunch box or else have them with hot pooris for lazy Sunday brunch!!! Your parents or grandparents would be happy to have this less spicy sabzi in their plate😊

Vrat ke aaloo-kasuri-methi

Ingredients:

Boiled potatoes 3

Kasuri methi  1 tbsp

Green chillies 2

Oil  2 tbsp

Jeera (cumin seeds) 1/2 tsp

Coriander powder 1+1/2 tsp

Sendha namak   as per your taste

Amchur  (dry mango powder)  1/4 tsp

Fresh coriander leaves 1 tsp

Process:

Boil and peel potatoes and heat oil in a pan and splatter jeera.

Boiled potatoes

Splatter jeera in oil

Mash potatoes in small pieces and add it the pan along with all spices  and  chopped green chillies. Cover it and let it cook for 10 minutes on sim flame.

Mashed potatoes along with spices

Keep stirring potatoes from time-to-time. Potatoes will start becoming crisp from the bottom and their colour will change. After 10 minutes, add kasuri methi, mix it well and again cook for a few more minutes. Just before serving, add finely chopped fresh coriander leaves.

Vrat ke aaloo-methi is ready! Continue reading “Vrat ke aaloo – methi”

 
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