Recipe: Tomato Ketchup

Rating: 4.7 stars based on 1089 reviews


  • 2 kg. ripe, red tomatoes
  • 1 small or 75 gm. onion
  • 2-3 large cloves garlic
  • 2 red sweet peppers/bell peppers, for colour

Whole spices tied in muslin or cheese cloth

  • 1 tsp. cloves
  • 4 black cardamoms or badi illaichi
  • 1 tsp. whole black peppers or kali mirch
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp. cumin seeds or jeera
  • 2-3 inch pieces of cinnamon sticks

Ground Spice

  • A large pinch of nutmeg or Jaiphal
  • 1/4 tsp. chilli powder (adjust to taste)
  • 2-3 tsp. salt
  • 1 tbs. ground mustard seeds or rai or Coleman’s mustard powder

Other ingredients

  • 50-75 gm. sugar
  • 100 ml. white or light coloured vinegar. Dark vinegar will spoil the colour of the ketchup.


  • Quarter tomatoes, slice sweet pepper, peel and chop onion, peel garlic.
  • Place all together in a large pan, with the whole spices tied in a piece of muslin, with 3-4 tablespoons of water. This water will stop the tomatoes 'catching' at the bottom, before they release their own water.
  • Cook until soft. You can cook these in a pressure cooker, under full pressure, for 2-3 minutes. You can cook them in a microwave too, but you will have to cook smaller amounts at a time, to get them all evenly soft.
  • Allow to cool a little. Remove spice bag.
  • If cooked in pressure cooker/microwave, drain off any clear, watery liquid that is at the top. This is because this method of cooking does not allow any evaporation during the cooking and your tomato puree ends up too watery. This makes the boiling time required to reach the correct consistency of the sauce too long.
  • Blend cooked tomatoes and then press through a wire sieve, to remove any skin and seed residue.
  • Discard skin and seeds. You should have approximately 2 litres of smooth tomato pulp left.
  • Place pulp in a pan, add nutmeg, chilli powder, mustard powder, bring to boil and boil briskly. When it begins to thicken (takes 30-40 minutes or longer), add vinegar and 1/3rd sugar. Continue cooking until ketchup consistency is reached.
  • Add and adjust salt and 2/3rd sugar. Salt and sugar cause discolouration. That is why they are added (except 1/3 sugar) towards the end.
  • Taste and you may need to add more sugar, if tomatoes are too tart.
  • Pour while still hot into heated sterile jars/bottles and seal them.
  • Allow to cool completely. Store in a dark place, like a cupboard.


To ensure a deep red sauce:

Tomatoes should be ripe and red.

Green chlorophyl turns brown on heating, so remove any green bits of tomatoes, before cooking.

Use white vinegar only.

If the sauce is too thin, you can add a little corn starch dissolved in cold water towards the end of cooking.


This template modified by (c) Adrian Teakdesk.