Why make your own ketchup? Why not, I say...if you had the chance to make sure that it's made of the best quality ripe tomatoes and you are in control of the hygiene and the actual flavour you'd like it to be, it's definitely worth the effort.
An added benefit of making your own ketchup is that you could actually make it from organically grown tomatoes, if you can get some.You should definitely visit Karachi Farmers' Market(KFM) on Sundays and get in touch with your local producers. Ajwa Farms have recently introduced a range of vegetables in their offer(you can contact them on 03212030009), Sungold Organic might also be able to help you out along with several other vendors who set up stall regularly at KFM. And for those who wish to avoid feeding their families processed sugar, the sugar in this recipe could easily be substituted with brown sugar, gurh or honey, depending what stage of your natural transition you find yourself in.
Ketchup making also makes for a fun family activity, my kids always help me out when I make it and the house smells amazing while the flavourful sauce cooks away.
sugar 400-500 gm (or substitute with honey)
vinegar 2 cups (I use natural vinegar)
salt 50-60 gm
onion 1 large(chopped)
garlic 1 whole pod(crushed)
whole cinnamon sticks 3(small)
whole cloves 1 tsp
grated nutmeg 1/4 tsp
whole bay leaves(optional) 3-4
whole black peppers(optional) 1 tsp
crushed red chilly (optional) 1 tsp
all spice 1 tsp (optional)
Make slits in the tomatoes and blanch them in boiling water.
Peel the tomatoes once they are cool enough to touch.Due to the slits, the peel will come off easily.
Remove seeds but do not throw away.Place the seedless tomatoes in your cooking pot.
Now squeeze the pulpy seed mixture in a muslin (malmal) and add the obtained juice to your tomatoes.
Place the pot with tomatoes on the stove on a low flame.Add the chopped onion, garlic,red chilli (if using), sugar,salt and vinegar. Tie all the condiments (except nutmeg) in a small muslin and drop in the tomato paste.Simmer for about 3 hours or until you find the consistency satisfactory. Blend . Add the grated nutmeg.
Pour in sterilised jars while still hot, close the lids tightly and turn upside down.This will create a vacuum in your jar.
Then cover all the jars with a blanket and keep them covered until they cool.Store them in a cool, dark place.