Monday, June 20, 2011

Homemade Tomato Ketchup

"Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.   Wisdom is knowing not to put it in a fruit salad" 

Whether you view the tomato as a vegetable or a fruit – either way – they sure taste good and add that extra kick to a lot of popular dishes on a worldwide basis.

The Portuguese brought tomatoes to India. Nobody can say, with any degree of certainty, when tomatoes were introduced into the Indian diet but we do know two things. The first is that the tomatoes that the Portuguese brought to India were not round. They were long and shaped vaguely like baingans. And two, they were sour, much sourer than today’s tomatoes.

 So, influenced perhaps by British attitudes to the tomato, Indian cooks started using it like a fresh spice. We used it primarily as a souring agent and then, as the tomatoes grown all over India became less sour, we used them to add colour and taste to our food. In nearly every dish where tomatoes have been used in early Indian cooking, their prime purpose has been to add a sour taste.

Enough said about the Tomato, I guess by now you should have figured out my sincere love for these humble yet magnificent fruit/vegetable. Here is a simple rendition of the ketchup suited for the Indian kitchen.  


·      1kg whole ripe tomatoes (blanched, de-skinned, de-seeded & chopped)
·      1 medium onion, chopped
·      2 tablespoons olive oil
·      1 tbsp tomato paste
·      2/3 cup dark brown sugar
·      1/2 cup cider vinegar (if not available use dark cooking vinegar)
·      1/2 teaspoon salt


1.     Blend tomatoes in a blender until smooth.
2.     In a heavy bottomed vessel, Cook onion in oil over medium heat, stirring, until softened
3.     Add puréed tomatoes, tomato paste, brown sugar, vinegar, and salt.
4.     Simmer, uncovered, stirring frequently, until very thick (about an hour).
5.     Purée mixture in a blender until smooth.
6.     Chill, covered, for two hours before serving.

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