Ketchup is always associated to junk food and not as something that could be healthy for anyone, right? What if we could prove this theory wrong? This homemade ketchup recipe is the result of my trial outs of different ketchup recipes. I have kept the best bits of each one (also trying to keep the sugar quantity low) and I hope you will like it as much as I do. It will be your perfect partner for a veggie burger (or even steak if you are a meat-eater), French fries, and surprisingly enough: an amazing tomato base for your homemade pizzas. And… it will make you feel very happy of avoiding another processed food into your fridge. It will also avoid you from having more plastic bottles in your fridge or worse, those individual ketchup packagings that are disastrous on the environment.
So, as usual , I dived into the web to learn more about the origin of what comes into my plate. Apparently the origin is Chinese. According to Wikipedia, in the 17th century the Chinese had a concoction of pickled fish and spices called in the Amoy dialect kôe-chiap or kê-chiap. It traveled to the Malay states under the name kecap in the 18th century when the English colonists discovered it. The word evolved into the English word “ketchup” and was brought to the American colonies. What is interesting though, is that the tomato ketchup recipe is one of the most recent ones dating back only to the 19th century.
Oh, and before we start: making this homemade ketchup is really, really easy. I suggest that you prepare it when you are cooking something else. This is how I am taking out processed food out of my fridge: when I make dinner, I prepare a jam, a sauce or even bread. And it does not feel as any additional work as “long-term food” and dinner are being prepared at the same time.
Homemade Ketchup. Bye-bye processed food!
Ketchup is often associated to junk food and not as a healthy option, right? What if we could prove it wrong with this homemade ketchup recipe?
Start by chopping the red onions, the garlic, the celery stick and thyme leaves.
In a large saucepan, put all the chopped ingredients with olive oil and the herbs and spices (dried basil, celery salt, coriander seeds, chili flakes, turmeric, ginger paste, salt and ground pepper) and cook on low fire until ingredients are softened.
Chop the tomatoes and ad them to the pan with the tinned ones. Add 1 mug of water.
Keep the fire very low and let it simmer until you feel the sauce is reducing (it takes me 30 minutes). Stir very regularly so the sauce does not burn. Add the fresh basil.
Time to process: turn off the fire, use a hand blender directly into the saucepan and mix until you feel you have a smooth texture with not too many bits of vegetables going around. It might take some time. After that you can sieve it (if you want a real smooth texture) or not. I prefer not to sieve it, as it makes the texture more « natural » for me.
In the same pan, add the maple syrup, the sugar and the vinegar put it back to low fire and let it simmer until you feel the consistency is close to the expected ketchup one.
While you wait for the ketchup to reach its perfect consistency, sterilize your bottles. Remember how to do it? Heat your oven to 150°C/300°F. Clean thoroughly the glass bottle you want to use for storing your ketchup in. Put the glass bottle and the aluminum lid (check there is no plastic here) and let it « cook » for 15 minutes. Carefully take it out from the oven (without burning yourself) and make sure you do not touch the mouth of the bottle or the lid with something that could contain bacterias (e.g. dirty cloth).
When your ketchup is ready put it slowly into the sterilized bottles and close the lid.
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