Sunday, December 29, 2013

Tangy tasty Ketchup

So tomatoes have come down to Rs30 a kilogram for the plumpest reddest and sweetest tomatoes which means it is ketchup time. Now I cannot imagine reaching for those bottled ketchup off the shelves. All that preservative makes me run miles away.

This easy peasy recipe can change anyone's mind to take less than half a day out of their busy schedule to indulge in customized ketchup. To be fair for this one's flavours I suggest you not follow any recipe but make it as per your taste buds. If you do not like celery there always is basil if not that then there is thyme and if herbs are not your cup of tea there is no need to worry you can always use Indian spices for all you lovely people. What is important is the use of vinegar and salt which is the preservative for your ketchup. As per Jamie Oliver, if you seal this deal you have amazing tangy sweet and spicy delight  which lasts a good 6 months. I did not even follow his recipe except the basics. Mine was tangy , hot , spicy , caramelized and well if I may say so I licked off every last bit left in the pot. Now ketchup is supposed to be thick not the runny stuff one usually gets in an Indian market so here goes the recipe for thick delicious tangy hot  ketchup

So what you need is:

1kilogram of plump red tomatoes
200ml red wine vinegar or any vinegar of your choice
Salt as per taste
Sugar as per taste , I used a handful which was enough for me
4 tablespoonful of olive oil
9 to 10 crushed garlic cloves (The size of the garlic is half of what is usually considered fat )
2 medium sized onions
Two fat pinches each of dried oregano and dried thyme and dried basil
8 dried red chilies (increase and decrease as per level of hotness you can handle)
1 tsp homemade mustard

Start by heating oil and sauteing crushed garlic, (just press it with the flat side of your knife) and onions, soften the onions and remember everything must be on low heat. Add the dried red chilies broken in half. Now add chopped tomatoes. I did blanch the tomatoes first for half of the usual time for blanching but did not skin them. This speeds up the process. Bring to a slow boil and add the vinegar and salt. Add the herbs and mustard and sugar and if you want the ketchup a little less thick 300ml water. Simmer till the quantity is reduced to half its amount, cool , blend away so that its all smooth without one bit of solid bit and transfer in a sterilized bottle. Refrigerate and enjoy :)

PS I always try and make the most usage of things and so always store those bottles once the olives or jalapenos etc are finished off and sue the jars to jar my ketchup and condiments wink wink

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