When I remember my childhood, few things which categorically stand out include cooking loads of tomato ketchup at home during tomato season. We were a joint family, so for the whole lot an annual supply of sauce was made at home full of lot of love and labour. Only very recently my mom stopped the ketchup ritual.
As we all moved out of the house, the need for large batches and consumption was no longer there. Only when something is taken away from you, is when you realise the goodness and importance of it.
I was not very appreciative of home-made sauce as a kid, though I loved the that all of us were working together on it, as my family always encouraged us to participate in household as well as kitchen chores. But today I am not only appreciative I want others to embrace home-made food as much as one can. It is definitely better and tastier. You control what goes in, how it is cooked, stored and more.
So much better in all aspects.
Thankfully, I have found people with similar interests in my neighbourhood and enjoy doing these tasks together which help share the burden as well as the cost. It also helps bring together the best of cooks, with everyone pitching in with their tips and tricks. And, I know too many cooks spoil the broth. I am more likely to agree with, too many cooks make for a late meal.
Since my mom had been making it for years, I picked her recipe and it turned out wonderful. The aroma of sauce cooking is heavenly. The only change is made was to convert 10 kg tomato recipe for 3 kg tomatoes.
I wasn’t sure how V would react, but to quote him, ‘Usually home-made sauces are not very palatable but this one has all spices and taste balanced leaving behind a very pleasant experience.’ We have a winner here. People go make a batch for yourself.
|3||kilograms of ripe tomatoes, washed|
|100||grams of onions, cleaned|
|25||grams of garlic, cleaned. I used roughly 2 pods|
|60||grams of ginger, cleaned|
|250||grams of sugar|
|30||grams of garam masala or all spice powder|
|15||grams of red chili powder|
|salt to taste|
|1||stick of cinnamon|
|1.||Pressure cook or boil in a large vessel, all the tomatoes, onion, garlic and ginger. Do not add water or cut tomatoes. When the tomatoes are soft and have released water on their own, remove them from the flame. Set aside to cool.|
|2.||In the meanwhile, take a small handkerchief sized muslin or Japanese tea bag holder and place whole spices (bayleaf, cloves, cardamom, cinnamon and peppercorns). Fold the corners of the muslin and form a small 'potli'/ pouch. Set aside.|
|3.||When the tomato mixture is cool, grind it into a paste and strain it out leaving out all the seeds and skin. Take a big vessel and pour the strained tomato puree into it. Add remaining spices - salt, garam masala, sugar and red chilli powder. Also add the whole spices potli/ pouch to the puree mixture. Mix well and allow it to cook till it is reduced to almost half the original amount. The consistency should be thick. To test if it has reached desired consistency, place a drop of sauce on a small plate, if no water is oozed out from that drop, then the sauce is cooked perfectly. If any water is still remaining then continue cooking till the water test shows no water oozing out from the drop.|
|4.||Allow it to cool down completely and then pour into clean jars. Refrigerate and use when required.|
My mother’s recipe from the repertoire of family recipe.
I have not added any preservative and simply refrigerated. But if you intend to make a bigger batch and use over a longer period of time, then I suggest adding citric acid to preserve.