I have decided that for some of the things I use a lot of (ketchup being one) that I will try to make my own.
Like I knew making a tomato paste was a easy one! All I had to do is wash tomatoes, chop them, and cook until the liquid in the tomatoes have drained out. Then blitz it once or twice using a blender and cook it again till it forms a paste!
There is a little bit of labour involved, a bit time consuming too but it’s totally worth it. This tomato paste goes into making my own ketchup, pasta sauce, pizza sauce, in my soups, chili’s and many more… So go ahead set aside some time and get this done at home, and store it in refrigerator for few months.
Here’s how I made my homemade tomato paste-
Good quality fully ripe tomatoes – 3 kgs
Kosher salt – 1 tbspn
Olive oil – 1/2 cup
1. Rinse tomatoes. Chop them roughly.
2. In a non stick pan add chopped tomatoes and cook on high heat stirring constantly for about 4-5 minutes.
3. When you see juices from the tomatoes being released and tomatoes start to turn soft, reduce heat to low and continue to cook until tomatoes thickens and all water in the pan disappears. Remember to stir at regular intervals(at 5 minutes interval) and scrap down any caramelized tomatoes on the sides of the pan. It took me about 55-60 minutes until tomatoes thickened with no fluids in it.
4. Remove the pan from stove and let the mixture cool down for some time. Transfer them to a blender and pulse it 3-4 times until you get a smooth puree.
5. Now pass the tomato puree through a sieve and try to mash it with back of a spoon to get maximum puree. Keep the tomato skin and seeds, do not thrown away them. I made tomato rasam using the residues. Use the residues in soups, rasams, chutney’s
6. Transfer the thick tomato puree into the same pan and place it back on stove. Simmer the heat and with constant stirring continue to cook till the puree thickens and turns into a paste. It took me about 35 minutes to get the paste. Again do not leave the tomatoes without stirring for a long time, keep stirring at regular intervals.
7. Sterilize glass storage bottles, dry them completely and keep them ready.
8. Once you see oil separating out from the thick paste switch off flame and let it cool down completely before you transfer to the bottles.
9. Using a clean dry spoon transfer the paste into sterilized bottles until they are 3/4 filled. To make the paste last a month or two longer, cover it completely with a layer of olive oil and a sprinkle of sea salt(this tip is from wikihow)
10. Alternatively you can pour tomato paste in baking cupcake/muffin pans, freeze it, remove from the pan after it is frozen, place the frozen tomato paste into a zip lock bag with date labelled.
11. Coming up next how to use the homemade tomato paste in making homemade ketchup, homemade pasta sauce, pizza sauce. Till then go ahead you them in your soups, stews, chili and more.. ENjoy!
1. Thickening the puree to paste can be done in oven too. Heat oven to 120 Centi, pour the puree you got from step 5 into a oiled baking pan and cook it for 2-3 hours or until it has thickened. Remember to stir in at every 30 minutes interval.
2. Proper storing of tomato paste is very important. Use sterilized completely dry bottle with tight lids. And always use clean and dry spoon. After you have removed some of the paste from the bottle, remember to add some more oil on top until the paste is fully covered in oil.
3. Use good quality fully riped tomatoes for best results.