Cooking tomatoes down into ketchup takes a long time, but it’s worth it to capture that summer tomato flavor. If you need to make ketchup in winter, you can start with tomato paste instead. While you’re going to the trouble, consider making extra to freeze. It’ll last at least six months in the freezer. After thawing, stir well to reconstitute. If you don’t have all these spices, improvise. It’s easy to adapt this recipe into your own.
Try making all of your condiments at home. Read Homemade Condiments: Recipes for Ketchup, Mustard and More.
Homemade Ketchup Recipe
• 1 tablespoon olive oil
• 1 medium onion, finely diced
• 2 to 3 cloves garlic, minced
• 1/2-inch stick cinnamon
• 1 star anise
• 4 cloves
• 1 teaspoon cumin seeds, crushed slightly with a mortar and pestle or the back of a big knife
• 1 tablespoon coriander seeds, crushed slightly
• 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds, crushed slightly
• 4 pounds ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded, cored and roughly chopped; blanching makes tomatoes easy to peel (or substitute 1 cup tomato paste)
• Several twists freshly ground black pepper
• 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
• 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
• 1 teaspoon celery salt
• 1 tablespoon chili powder
• 2 teaspoons fish sauce
• 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar or white wine vinegar (Sherry vinegar makes an interesting ketchup, too.)
• 1 tablespoon honey
1. In a large, deep, heavy-bottomed pan, heat oil over medium heat. Sauté onion until soft, about 3 minutes. Add garlic and sauté another 2 minutes. Stir to prevent garlic from burning.
2. While onions and garlic are sautéing, tie cinnamon, star anise, cloves, cumin, coriander and mustard into a spice sash using a tea ball, tea or spice bag, or cheesecloth and string.
3. Add remaining ingredients, including spice bag, and simmer over medium-low heat for 45 minutes to an hour, until thickened into ketchup consistency. Stir occasionally. (If using tomato paste, simmer for only about 20 minutes.)
4. When ketchup has thickened significantly, taste and adjust seasonings. Strain out spice bag. For a smooth consistency, use a blender, immersion blender or food mill to purée ketchup. Makes about 2 cups, depending on consistency of tomatoes.