Homemade ketchup

Once you’ve tasted your own homemade ketchup, life will never be the same. I kid you not. Especially if you do yourself the favour and test the store-bought vs. your own. It’s super easy to make and lasts you a long time.

Homemade ketchup – the best in the world

THE best ketchup you've ever tasted before. And YOU made it. All by yourself. How cool is that?! It's is so much better than store-bought that you'll never want to go back there. I promise. 

This will make a fine gift as well. Just remember to sterilise the jar you're using =) Homemade gifts are so cool, right?

  • 2 red onions (peeled and roughly chopped)
  • 1/2 stick celery (trimmed and roughly chopped)
  • 5 cm ginger (peeled and roughly chopped)
  • 1 clove garlic (finely chopped)
  • 1/2 red chili (deseeded and finely chopped)
  • 1 yellow pepper (no skin)
  • 1 tsbp mustard seed (toasted until they start to pop)
  • 1 bunch (30g) basil leaves (chopped, stalks and all)
  • 500 g tinned plum tomatoes
  • 500 g tomato passata (needs to be of good quality)
  • 100 ml apple cider vinegar
  • 70-100 g light brown Muscovado sugar
  • seasoning
  • olive oil
  1. Heat oil over medium heat in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan with a big splash of olive oil, then add onions and cook until they are softened, sweet and lightly browned, about 8 minutes.

  2. Add the celery, yellow pepper, ginger, garlic, chili, basil, mustard seeds, bay leaves and thyme/oregano. Season with freshly ground black pepper and a good pinch of sea salt.

  3. Cook gently over a low heat for 10 to 15 minutes, or until softened, stirring every so often. Add all the tomatoes and 350 ml of cold water. Bring to the boil and simmer gently until the sauce reduces by half. 

  4. Add vinegar and sugar and adjust to taste.

    PRO TIP: keep a tasting spoon in a little bowl/mug/jar next to the stove with some warm water. Every time you taste your food you put the spoon back in the water.

  5. Bring back to a simmer, reduce the heat slightly and cook at a low simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened and shiny, about 20 minutes. Taste then adjust with more salt or pepper or sugar if needed.

  6. Remove the bay leaves and the thyme/oregano sticks.

    Whiz into a smooth ketchup consistency using a hand mixer or blender.

  7. Pour the ketchup into sterilized jars or bottles, then seal tightly and place in a cool dark place or the fridge until needed – it should keep for six months.


    Step 1: Wash thoroughly in hot soapy water, rinse and drain.

    Step 2: Place on oven racks, with space between them and heat at 120C for 10-15 minutes. Or you can put jars in a large pot of boiling water for 10 minutes then drain upside down on a clean tea towel and dry in the oven.

    Step 4: Sterilise metal seals in boiling water for 5 minutes and then leave in water. DON'T TOUCH THE INSIDE after you've rinsed and boiled them.


    There's no need to remove every scrap of skin on peppers. Just slide the peeler along the flat and rounded parts of the pepper, and ignore the indentations that are tricky to peel. Then cut in half, remove the top, seeds and membrane. 

  9. PRO tip:

    As there is no bad stuff in this use a clean spoon EVERY time you take some.

    Otherwise tiny little bacteria will get in the jar and start to grow into fungus.

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