Thursday, 16 August 2012

Homemade Old-School Chilli Ketchup



I don't eat tomatoes in winter. I stopped after I ate tomatoes in summer. If you ever need to convince someone to eat seasonally and locally, the tomato is by far the best way to prove your point. The tomatoes flown in from halfway round the world without enough sun to make them blush are nothing at all like the plump juicy babies bursting with sweetness. I've been popping baby plum tomatoes into my mouth straight, really, "once you pop you can't stop"; I'm not too worried though, they are far less dangerous than a can of Pringles. I also get heritage tomatoes in all sorts of colours and shapes, just because they look so gloriously weird. When I can be bothered, I tear basil leaves from my overgrown windowsill plant and beat in a couple of eggs, or toss with some olive oil and torn sourdough bread. But most times they need nothing else.

I've been flirting with the thought of canning tomatoes so I can kind of still have tomatoes in winter, but  I had neither the equipment nor expertise nor the glut of tomatoes in the first place to do so. The googling led me to a homemade ketchup recipe though, and I now have my first bottle of homemade ketchup. I know ketchup seems as Singaporean as Captain Planet, but both were things I grew up with. I loved ketchup as a child, squeezed over a hotdog, dipped into fries, or because the Singapore hawkers are such cool, quirky, east-meets-west beings, tossed with wanton noodles. And to be true to my memory and childhood love of ketchup, it has to chilli ketchup. The kids that got the plain ketchup packets were frowned upon; bo-ring!

HOMEMADE CHILLI KETCHUP
Ingredients
6 large tomatoes
2 red chillies (more or less, depending on spice level of chillies/ your tolerance level)
1 large onion
2 cloves garlic
2 star anise
10 cloves
1 tsp ground mustard
1/4 cup molasses
1/4 cup unrefined cane sugar
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp sea salt
(opt) 2 tbsp whey

Method
1. Chop the tomatoes, onions, garlic and chillies (I left the seeds in). 
2. Throw everything into a pot and simmer over a low heat for 4 hours, or until the mixture becomes very thick.
3. Puree the mixture, let chill, and strain into jars, or your old squeezy bottle of Heinz or if you're Singaporean, Maggi chilli ketchup, that you can now throw out. You can store it in the fridge for about a week or more I should think, or 
4. (opt) Add the whey, and leave at room temperature for 2 days, partially covered, before capping fully and transferring to the fridge to stop the fermentation process. This is a brilliant tip from cheeseslave , to improve shelf-life and nutrition, giving you a probiotic boost when you're munching worriedly on your french fries and burgers.


This is real, proper ketchup. Rich with the sweet-tart intensity of slow-cooked tomatoes, with a punch from the spices and a little bit of old-school kick from the chilli. And of course with none of the sodium benozate/ modified starches/ emulsifiers ending with a string of numbers. 

To the hungry people coming for Sunday's supperclub, aside from the torn handmade noodles, you will be enjoying more homemade goodness in the form of this chilli ketchup on your roti john

39 comments:

  1. Yum. I feel exactly the same about the seasonality of courgettes - since growing them myself for the first time about 5 years ago I have never bought one out of season since, and rarely bought one at all to be honest. This year has been too wet and cold for them to really get going, so it's an almost courgette-free summer (for which my daughter is eternally grateful I suspect :-)

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    1. I actually really like courgette, if you ever get a glut next year, chuck them my way!

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  2. Whey? That IS a really interesting idea! I don't think I've ever had chili ketchup--but clearly I must try it.

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    1. Yes, if you don't you're not cool.

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  3. Love spicy ketchup, esp. when it's homemade!

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  4. I love it! So fresh looking and defintely way better than those bottled stuff, which I'm not a big fan of anyway. Well done Shuhan!Can't wait to taste it in Sunday!

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    1. YEAAAAAHH BRING ON SUNDAY! (liked up your roti-john recipe btw don't know if you noticed. I figured it's the best way to explain this weird sandwich to people.)

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  5. This sounds like a sauce served to us in a restaurant sometimes back. If it's the same and I'm sure it is, then believe me it gives sweet corn chicken soup a heavenly taste! a real tasty Ketchup :)

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    1. Never thought of stirring that into sweet corn chicken soup. now I need to get me some!

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  6. ketchup looks wonderful bookmarking following you on google friends :)

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    1. aw thanks, hope to see you back (: x

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  7. Shuhan, you are totally right. Tomatoes are the best example of the superiority of seasonal produce. I eat cucumbers all year long, lettuce too, but tomatoes are just inedible in winter...
    I prepare my own ketchup every year. I have tested several recipes and finally chose my favourite. Unfortunately it's far from being quick and the yield is very low so it's quite expensive (I always put it into tiny jars), but the taste and smell are priceless. (Oh, my I have just looked at the old post... The photos are a pure nightmare, I will make new ones and post my ketchup recipe soon. Thank you for reminding me!).
    The whey tip sounds very intriguing. I process my ketchup jars in hot water, so that I can keep them for at least a year. Thanks for sharing this interesting recipe. I'm always glad to know I'm the only crazy ketchup maker ;-)

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    1. Inedible haha, I like the way you put it.

      Definitely glad to see anothe rfellow crazy ketchup maker. Please share your ultimate ketchup recipe !! I must admit I haven't tested many myself, though I really do like the combination of spices and chilli in this one, but am psyched to hear about yours!

      I think aside from extending the shelf life, the whey actually ferments the ketchup abit, kind of like pickles, so it becomes a great digestive booster. Cool, huh.

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  8. Hi Shuhan, I've always wanted to give a try at making ketchup. I think I'd start with regular boring plain tomato ketchup first, but I'd love to move on to something like this next! Looks fantastic!

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    1. You can probably still use the same combination of spices, just omit the chilli! Let me know if you do make it (:

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  9. I love this recipe. I probably said this already that I love anything spicy, seeds in and everything. I thought it was really funny when you said kids with ordinary (non-spicy) ketchup were frowned upon. I wish standard ketchup in US stores came with chillies!

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    1. I was so surprised when I came to the UK and found that chilli ketchup wasn't readily available. I thought EVERYBODY ate chilli ketchup.

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  10. Both our minds have been on tomatoes, I see! Love those "gloriously weird" ones too(awesome description btw). Good to learn that what we call heirloom tomatoes in the US are heritage tomatoes in the UK. Ok, so I'm majorly chicken with spicy stuff, and I must admit the French me can't help but frown a bit at the thought of ketchup... BUT I may just have to give yours a chance :-)

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    1. Some people call them heirloom tomatoes too!

      Haha this is really not spicy at all, it's just a tiny bit of added kick! Do try!

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  11. Never thought that i could prepare my own ketchup at home! Yours looks fantastic. Hope to have tomatoes from the family garden soon and have a try!

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    1. WOw, with homegrown tomatoes, I'm sure this would be an absolute winner! You got to make some!

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  12. This is the most beautiful color and sounds delicious!

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  13. Homemade chilli ketchup is such a good idea to use up extra tomatoes! I'm not a big spicy fan, so I'll probably leave the chillis out or make two batches, but I'm sure my brothers would love this.

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    1. It's actually not really that spicy, more sweet and tangy with a little bit of kick! Try it, I'm sure you'll be fighting with your brothers over it!

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  14. I love homemade ketchup and this adds another dimension with the chilli! Totally better than the stuff at the shops...

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    1. Definitely, I don't even think this ketchup is on the same level as that ketchup.

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  15. Who doesn't like home made meals and stuffs? Definitely not me. Its the best thing in the world. Love this homemade chili ketchup of yours. I bet it more tasty and hot than the processed ones.
    wedding photographer perth wa

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    1. It's great, I do believe most things are much better home made (: It might be a psychological thing.

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  16. I love this idea! I've got lots of tomatoes that could use a new recipe for, this must be tasty on so many different dishes.

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  17. I'm not really a ketchup fan, but I bet a chilli one would convince me! Will definitely have to try - always makes me feel happy to do a bit of light preserving!

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    1. I'm not a ketchup fan either, but this is not really your usual ketchup. I hope you try (:

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  18. I just want to say that not only do your recipes sound delicious, I love your drawings

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    1. aw why are the two of you so sweet. thanks so much!

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  19. Chanced upon your absolutely gorgeous blog today. Love your space, the sketches and choice of recipes. I am bookmarking this recipe to try.

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    1. thanks sailu, hope to see you back at this space more often in future ! hope you try this !

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  20. you have just convinced me to make my own ketchup! nothing beats homemade :)

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  21. Can you post this recipe on your Pinterest page? I tried to pin it, but couldn't.

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    1. Here you go lovely!

      http://pinterest.com/pin/202450945722398761/

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