Summer means that every weekend we get farmers market in our neighborhood. In the world of fertilizers and pesticides, shiny picture perfect vegetables have become the common sight. However, at these farmers market you get to see the real vegetables. Maybe a bit out of shape, but luscious and yummy nonetheless.
My little one loves her ketchup/sauce and uses them graciously. So I pickup those fresh pesticide free veges and make my own ketchup. They don’t look bright red as I don’t use strange numbered dyes. Also I get to avoid high fructose corn syrup and other equally strange stuff you get to read on the labels.
Sauce or ketchup whatever you call them, they rescue any bad meals and enhances the good ones.This can readily be used as a dip or could be added to pasta and make them ready to go straight away in the lunch box without much effort. This particular ketchup contains sweet peppers to impart a hot and spicy taste to otherwise sweet ketchup.
- 1 lb. fresh ripe red tomato cut into halves
- 8 – 10 yellow and red sweet pepper cored, seeded and chopped
- 3 – 4 Thai green chili
- 1 small red onion chopped
- 1’ ginger peeled and chopped
- 2 fat cloves of garlic peeled and chopped
- 2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
- 1 tsp. paprika powder (Instead you can use Kashmiri red chili powder)
- 10 black pepper corns
- 1” cinnamon stick
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/4 cup sugar
- salt to taste
Place tomatoes along with all other ingredients over medium heat. Simmer for 1hour. Skim off any foam floating on the top. Adjust seasoning to taste.
Remove from heat and let it cool down. Now blend the mixture in a blender. Careful don’t blend the hot liquid unless you want an explosion.
Strain the mixture through a strainer and discard the residues. Now transfer the strained ketchup in a heavy bottom pan and turn on the heat. Let it simmer on medium heat for another 15 minutes till it thickens.
Pour the ketchup when still warm in the hot sterilized bottle leaving 1/4 inch headroom.
We need to sterilize the bottle which we will use for storing the sauce since we are not adding any artificial preservatives. You want this bottle hot when you pour the ready sauce into it so do this process after you strain the sauce. Wash the bottle in soap water and thoroughly rinse it. Take water in a sauce pan and bring it to a rolling boil. Place the bottle so that it is completely submerged in water. Don’t forget to put the lid as well.
Boil the jar for 10 to 15minutes and then remove it by using a clean tong. Dry thoroughly.