Ketchup is this one of those condiments that I can hardly live without. While I do not eat it every day it is reassuring to always have some in the fridge. It just goes with so many things ranging from baked potato wedges to roast vegetables. I can dip nearly any spicy food into it. The only problem I had over the years was that I love spicy food, the hotter the better. When it comes to Ketchup there is little choice, either they are totally bland and do not even deserve the label “hot” or they are so hot that they are almost a hot sauce. When it comes to the latter they are also way too liquid and make dipping food into it quite unpleasant. It took several weeks to tweak the recipe to my liking so I hope you will enjoy this hot & spicy home made ketchup as much as I do.
Making ketchup might seem a little bit daunting and there are dozens of ways to make it. You can make it from fresh tomatoes, tomato passata or even tomato puree. While I do advocate the use of fresh ingredients whenever possible I do think the best tomato ketchup is made from passata. This is especially relevant during the cold winter months when fresh produce is scarce.
Now that we covered the question about the main ingredient let’s get to the fun part. The seasoning. You can use whatever you feel like, there are no limits as to what can and can not be added. I found that using fresh ingredients produces a richer flavour which is why I added fresh celery stalks, onions and garlic. Just taste as you go and add ingredients while the sauce is simmering down. You will know it is ready when you can scrape a clear line into the pan without the sauce running back in to fill it.
Once your sauce has cooled down I would advise you to blend it if you prefer to have a perfectly smooth ketchup. This hot & spicy home made ketchup has no preservatives so it should be kept in the fridge in an airtight container. I tend to keep mine in jar but you might as well pour it into a bottle but what you should definitely do is try it with some crispy sweet potato fries.
How to make Ketchup
- 800 ml passata peeled tomatoes in juice*
- 75 ml cider vinegar
- 75 g sugar light brown
- 1 small onion chipped 75g (1/2 cup tightly packed)
- 2 tbsp celery stalk finely chopped
- 4 cloves garlic chopped
- 2 tablespoons olive oil or coconut oil
- 2 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1/2 teaspoon hot chili powder or less if you prefer milder flavours
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 tsp black pepper ground
- 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
- 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon allspice ground
- 1.5 tsp salt
- Unless you use passata, blend the tomatoes with juice in a blender until smooth.
- Gently saute the onion and garlic with 2 tbsp oil in a heavy saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 5-8 minutes.
- Add the spices and cook, stirring frequently for about one minute. Add tomato purée, tomato paste, brown sugar and vinegar. Simmer uncovered and stirring occasionally until very thick for 45 to 55 minutes (stir more frequently toward end of cooking to prevent scorching).
- Puree ketchup in blender until smooth once it reaches room temperature. Chill the ketchup for a couple of hours to let the flavours develop.