Tomato ketchup

Last year when my grandson took store bought ketchup with his school lunch, the teacher told him (and rightly so) that it was junk food. Now this kid eats ketchup with just about everything and anything. So I went back to my mother’s recipe for home made ketchup. She had been making ketchup at home for as long back as I can remember, so I figured I needed to start the same. She used many spices in her ketchup but in order to make it kid friendly I have made just the regular tomato ketchup. The optional spices have been mentioned for those who would like to add them.

Ingredients
Tomatoes – 4 kg
Palm sugar – 3/4 to 1 cup (to taste)
Himalayan pink salt – 1 tsp (heaping)
Apple cider vinegar – 1/2 cup 

Additional optional spices:
Ginger – 1 tbsp, grated  
Cloves – 15 (powdered)
Chilli powder – 1 tbsp (to taste)
Raisins – 1/2 cup 
Garlic – 4-5 cloves 

Wash and cut the tomatoes. I use country tomatoes as they have more juice. Cook then in the pressure cooker with ginger, raisins and garlic (if desired) and then purée and strain through a sieve to remove the seeds and skin. In a large pot, bring the tomato purée to a boil.

Then add the sugar, salt and, if desired, clove and chilli powders, and continue cooking while stirring constantly. This will require some elbow grease as you don’t don’t want it to stick to the bottom of the pot.  When thick, add the vinegar. Continue stirring till a spoonful of ketchup kept on an inclined plate doesn’t run and there is no water coming out.

Allow to cool and store in bottles. Though it can stay out for up to three months I prefer to keep mine on the fridge. Yield 1 kg ketchup.

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