tomato sauce | tomato ketchup (vegan)

Tomato ketchup or Tomato sauce with step by step photos. This is homemade vegan ketchup made from fresh tomatoes. A sauce which only has tomatoes and tomatoes. Low-Fat, Gluten-Free and Vegan.

Recently when we had got a well known Indian brand of tomato sauce, we found the taste some what off and pasty. I was thinking whats with this tomato ketchup. It was like less tomatoes and more like a sugar syrup. Thats when I decided to make homemade vegan tomato ketchup.

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tomato sauce, tomato ketchup recipe

So the next week, I got 3 kilos of organic tomatoes and then made the ketchup from 2.5 kgs from them. Now there is a world of difference in the taste, flavor and aroma of this homemade tomato ketchup and the readymade one.

The homemade ketchup sauce is full of tomato goodness. No pastiness, no sugary taste…. There is tang of the tomatoes and the texture is rich with tomatoes.

This vegan tomato sauce recipe has been adapted from my home science notes. This quite a different recipe and includes ginger, garlic and dry red chilies. The red chilies give a gentle touch of heat in the sauce. The hotness and smokiness is felt first strongly when the sauce is freshly simmered. But as the sauce ages and mellows, the hotness and smokiness become very subtle. If you just taste the sauce directly you might feel it. But when you have the sauce with a snack or any accompaniment, you won’t feel the subtlety.

Raisins are also added in this sauce, hence you need to use less sugar. I have used organic unrefined cane sugar in the sauce.

There is a preservative added to the sauce – sodium benzoate so that its shelf life is more. I have also sterilized the canning jar. 2.5 kg tomatoes yielded 1-litre tomato ketchup.

The sauce will stay nice for about 6 months. But its so good, that there is every probability that it will get over soon. You can serve tomato sauce with varieties of snacks like fritters, patties, cutlet, french fries etc.

You can make the tomato ketchup without the preservative too, but make sure to sterilize the jar properly. You can also halve or reduce the recipe further proportionally. You can make ½ liter or ¼ liter tomato sauce.

How to make tomato sauce

1. Rinse the tomatoes in water and then drain them. Use fresh ripe tomatoes.

tomatoes for tomato ketchup recipe

2. Chop them roughly. Remove the skin or parts which are blemished or spotted.

tomatoes for tomato ketchup recipe

Cooking tomatoes

3. Now in a large casserole or pot or a 4 to 5 litre pressure cooker, add the chopped tomatoes.

tomatoes for tomato ketchup recipe

4. Add the chopped ginger, garlic, raisins and halved dry red chilies.

preparing tomato ketchup recipe

5. Pour vinegar.

vinegar for tomato ketchup recipe

6. Add sugar.

sugar for tomato ketchup recipe

7. I kept the cooker on low flame. Stirred very well and below is the result after 9 mins. You don’t need to add any water.

making tomato sauce recipe

8. Simmer and cook the tomatoes, till they are softened. The tomatoes have got softened after a total of 27 mins. The timing will vary and depends on the pan you use, the intensity of the flame etc.

making tomato sauce recipe

9. When the mixture is slightly hot or warm, then using an immersion blender, make a nice smooth puree of everything. You can also make the puree in an electric blender. Make sure to puree very well. If the puree is done coarsely, its a pain to strain the pulp.

making tomato ketchup recipe

10. Using a not so fine strainer which will allow the tomato puree to pass through, strain the puree with the help of a spoon.

making tomato ketchup recipe

11. Again an important step. You have to really keep on mashing the pulp with the spoon, so that all the puree is drained. The pulp mixture should be somewhat dry and not moist. The leftover pulp below. Straining the puree in batches is a time-consuming task and depends on the size of the strainer you have 🙂

making tomato ketchup recipe

12. The pan of collected tomato goodness. Ready to be made in ketchup.

making tomato ketchup recipe

Making tomato sauce

13. Now keep the pan on the stovetop. Allow simmering for 5 to 6 minutes. Check the taste and add more sugar if required. I had to add some sugar. You can also add sugar towards the end once the tomato sauce has thickened.

making tomato ketchup recipe

14. Still simmering.

how to make tomato ketchup recipe

15. After 20 minutes and the tomato ketchup is thickening.

how to make tomato ketchup recipe

16. Done and thickened to the right consistency after a total of 40 mins right from the time the pan was kept on the stovetop. Keep on stirring often. You can thicken it more if you want. After cooling, the tomato sauce thickens a bit, so keep that in mind too.

preparing tomato ketchup recipe

17. How to check the doneness, spread the tomato sauce on a plate. There should be no water droplets from the sides. You can see a slight separation happening. This is alright. But if you want a thick ketchup sauce like the readymade ones, then you have to cook more till the tomato ketchup coats a spoon and remains like that.

preparing tomato ketchup recipe

Storing tomato sauce

18. A jar is already sterilized and kept aside. (how to sterilize is mentioned in the recipe card details above). Do this before you start making the tomato ketchup.

preparing tomato ketchup recipe

19. Dissolve 1/4 tsp of sodium benzoate with 1 tsp hot water in a small bowl.

preparing tomato ketchup recipe

20. Add this sodium benzoate mixture to the hot tomato sauce.

preparing tomato sauce recipe

21. Stir very well.

tomato ketchup recipe, tomato ketchup, tomato sauce

22. Pour the hot tomato sauce in the sterilized jar keeping half to one inch space on top.

tomato ketchup recipe, tomato ketchup, tomato sauce

Cover tightly and keep it at room temperature till it cools or for a whole day. Then refrigerate it and you can Serve the tomato ketchup after 1 or 2 days. You can serve it with snacks like samosa, pizza, kabab, veg noodles, bread roll, veg burger.

tomato ketchup recipe, tomato ketchup , tomato sauce
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tomato sauce | tomato ketchup

4.6 from 30 votes
Homemade tomato sauce or tomato ketchup made with fresh ripe tomatoes, raisins and dry red chilies from scratch.
tomato ketchup recipe, tomato sauce recipe
Author:Dassana Amit
Prep Time:20 mins
Cook Time:1 hr
Total Time:1 hr 20 mins
Course:side dish
Servings (change the number to scale):1 litre tomato ketchup
(1 CUP = 250 ML)


  • 2.5 kg tomatoes or approx 5.4 lbs tomatoes
  • 3 to 4 grams garlic - 15 to 16 medium garlic cloves
  • 3 to 4 grams ginger - 3 pieces of about 3 inch ginger
  • 5 to 7 dry red chilies - deseeded and halved
  • ½ cup golden raisins
  • ½ cup apple cider vinegar or white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon rock salt
  • 6 to 7 tablespoon organic unrefined cane sugar or regular sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon sodium benzoate dissolved in 1 teaspoon hot water


preparation for tomato sauce

  • Rinse the tomatoes well in water.
  • Slice the top eye parts of the tomatoes. Roughly chop the tomatoes.
  • Discard spotted parts or peels.
  • Peel and rinse the garlic, ginger. Later roughly chop them.
  • Halve and deseed the dry red chilies.
  • Rinse the raisins and keep aside.

cooking tomatoes

  • In a huge pot or casserole or a 4 to 5 litre pressure cooker, take all the chopped tomatoes.
  • Add the ginger, garlic, red chilies, raisins, vinegar, salt and sugar.
  • Mix well and keep the pot or cooker on a low to medium flame on the stove top.
  • Keep on stirring at intervals.
  • When the tomatoes soften, switch off the fire. The softening takes about 25 to 27 minutes.
  • When the mixture is slightly hot or warm, blend the puree with an immersion blender or in a regular blender. If using a regular blender, then don't add too hot of the tomato mixture.
  • Make a smooth puree.
  • With a strainer which is not very fine, strain the puree very well directly into a pot or a large sauce pan.
  • Strain very well. now you can sterilize the jar.

sterilizing jar for storing tomato sauce

  • First rinse the jar. in a large sauce pan heat water till it reaches its boiling point - meaning it has begun to boil.
  • Immerse the jar and its lid in the hot water. continue to boil the water along with jar for 8 to 10 minutes.
  • Remove the jar with the help of clean tongs and place the jar inverted on a thick towel kept on the kitchen tabletop. let the jar dry naturally.

making tomato sauce

  • Keep the pot or pan with the strained tomato pulp on the stove top,
  • On a low to medium flame, simmer the pulp till it starts thickening and reaches a ketchup like consistency. Takes about 35 to 40 minutes.
  • Heat 1 tsp of water in a small bowl. add 1/4 tsp of sodium benzoate to the hot water.
  • Stir and dissolve the sodium benzoate. the preservative should be dissolved in the water.
  • Pour the sodium benzoate solution to the hot tomato ketchup. stir very well.
  • Pour the hot tomato sauce in the sterilized jar. close tightly with the lid.
  • Let the tomato sauce cool and be kept aside for some hours or a day. Then keep it in the refrigerator and use after 1 or 2 days.
  • Serve tomato sauce with any snack or appetizer.

Nutrition Info (approximate values)

Nutrition Facts
tomato sauce | tomato ketchup
Amount Per Serving
Calories 270 Calories from Fat 9
% Daily Value*
Fat 1g2%
Sodium 1784mg78%
Potassium 1828mg52%
Carbohydrates 62g21%
Fiber 9g38%
Sugar 48g53%
Protein 7g14%
Vitamin A 5740IU115%
Vitamin C 167.7mg203%
Calcium 84mg8%
Iron 2.6mg14%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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Dassana Amit

Dassana Amitnamaste and welcome to which i started in feb 2009 and is a pure vegetarian blog. i have been passionate about cooking from childhood and began to cook from the age of 10. later having enrolled in a home science degree greatly enhanced my cooking & baking skills and took it to a different level which i now share as foolproof recipes. i was formally trained both in mainstream indian as well as international cuisines.

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153 comments/reviews

  1. If I don’t want to add sodium benzoate then wait to do

    • halve the recipe and make a small batch. then you can skip adding sodium benzoate. also sterilise the canning jars very well.

  2. I made my first ever batch of ketchup with this recipe. It has turned out amazing and i don’t think we will be seeing the store-bought variety at our home anytime soon! Thank you for the wonderful recipe.5 stars

    • thanks vinita for the feedback as well as rating. once you make ketchups and sauces at home, you will not buy from outside. homemade ones are always better.

  3. Inspite of adding vinegar is it necessary to add sodium benzoate as well ??

    • yes, otherwise there are chances that the tomato ketchup can get spoiled.

  4. Thank you ????????????5 stars

    • Welcome Roveena

  5. Hi, I made this recipe with 1 kg tomato but I think I used vinegar more than required and now sauce is very sour. I added some more sugar to balance the sourness but it is still the same. Can you please suggest something to reduce the sourness.

    • you can cook some more raisins in water. when they are warm, puree them in a mixer-grinder. then add this puree. i think this will remove the sourness.

  6. Hi Dassana

    Can I skip garlic in this recipe, since I don’t eat onion/garlic. In such case what should be the proportions?


    Ramya4 stars

    • yes you can skip garlic. use the same proportions of the other ingredients. you can add about ¼ teaspoon of asafoetida (hing) to mimic the garlic flavors. but its optional.

      • Hi shall i use vinegar at the end(after preparing sauce)….??

        • no. vinegar is added when you add ginger, garlic, red chillies etc.

  7. What can i use instead of vinegar.5 stars

    • you can add lemon juice

  8. Hello.. without the preservative how long will it stay?

    • i guess 1 week.

  9. Hello. When I use sodium benzonate as instructed how long will my shelflife be? Can i then fill them in plastic bottles? I am starting a tomato sauce business in Tanzania and I have a few questions. Do you offer consultation services?

    • with sodium benzoate the shelf life increases for a long period and the ketchup can easily stay for 6 months to 1 year depending on the quantity of the ketchup. nowadays the store brought ketchup is filled in plastic bottles as the costs reduce with using plastic bottles. however, i do not recommend plastic bottles for any kind of storage. also i am afraid, i do not offer any consultation services.

  10. U r writing 3-4 gms of ginger or 3 inch pieces but 3-4 gms is less.what to do4 stars

    • just take 3 inch pieces of ginger.

  11. Hi Dassana,
    Made the ketchup using 1 kg tomatoes and not using the preservative. My first time making ketchup and also the best that I have tasted. Thank you so much. I don’t think I need to look for any other recipe after this!!!!Now that I have the best ketchup recipe I am getting greedy to know if the procedure can be made easier?..can all the ingredients be puréed at the beginning ,strained and then simmered till done? Also ,how do we know that the ketchup has spoilt?will there be any change in smell/colour/consistency?do throw some light on this front. Thank you again?5 stars

    • thanks ashwini. homemade ketchup is so good. i can vouch for the taste and consistency of a homemade ketchup. to know if the ketchup has spoiled, the color will darken. it will become dark red or a kind of maroonish red. the aroma will also change and some rancidity will be felt in the aroma. the taste will also change. you will get an aftertaste in the ketchup. kind of a metallic like taste. i don’t know how to describe the taste. but the taste change is felt.

  12. Hi Dassana,
    If we are using existing old glass bottles from the kitchen can you give us some tips as to how to choose one that would be good for storing the ketchup?Eg. Thickness of the jar etc,as i am scared if these bottles would crack up during the process of sterilisation in hot boiling water?!

    • Ashwini, Most jam and sauce glass bottles are already sterilized. So I don’t think there should be a problem. But having said that I would suggest to buy a 2 to 4 set of canning jars. These are good not only for ketchup and jams but pickles and masalas can also be stored in them. You can buy them on amazon.

  13. I have prepared the sauce, but I don’t want to add the preservative. Can I freeze the sauce and how long would it stay good?5 stars

    • you can freeze the sauce. freezing will ensure that is stays good for a couple of months.

  14. How long can it be be used without sodium benzoate?

    • it will be good for about a month.

  15. ma’am can we store it in stainless steel container? I don’t have glass jar

    • you can. but do sterilize the steel can. also the ketchup has to be added hot in the steel can or jar.

  16. Thank you so much for the recipe ma’am…. the sauce turned out to be awesome… got the perfect consistency and taste…impressed 🙂

    • thats great and thanks for sharing this sanjai. homemade tomato ketchup tastes much better than store brought ones.

  17. thank you so much dassana ji for spending time to explain me.. 🙂

    • welcome sanjai.

  18. thanks for the recipe ma’am.. Going to try it… My parents don’t let me take store bought ketchup , saying it’s unhealthy…. is this home made ketchup healthy?
    and could you kindly explain how to sterilise the jar, if sodium benzoate is to be avoided..

    • welcome sanjai. homemade is definitely better than store brought ones. you can avoid sodium benzoate. you will need canning jars then to prepare the ketchup. if you do not have canning jars, then i would suggest to halve the recipe. with the canning jars, first rinse the jar very well in water and let it dry naturally. then add the tomato ketchup leaving half inch space from the top. seal with the lid. heat water in a large pan or pot. let the water come to a rapid rolling boil. place the jar gently in the water and boil it for 30 to 40 minutes.

      if halving the recipe, then just boil glass jar in hot boiling water for 15 to 20 minutes. remove and let it dry naturally. then add the hot ketchup. seal with the lid and let the ketchup cool at room temperature. then you can refrigerate.

  19. Hi…ur receipe is grt…I tried it and it tasted awesome…ty…can u plz tell me which brand canning jar have you used and whr is it available4 stars

    • thanks sheetal. the brand is bormioli rocco and i bought these from

      • Thnx dassana…can u also tell me whether these jars (Bormioli Rocco) r reusable or not Along with their lids???…I ve googled abt them but still not convinced …it would be of grt help if u could guide me
        These ball n Kerr mason jar lids come in 2 pieces and also they r not reusable ….I want to buy jars which can be reused…plz help if u can…ty?4 stars

        • sheetal, i have reused these jars many times. the lids are also reusable. they are made of thick glass with metal lids. so very durable while canning.

        • Thanks for replying dassana ?

        • welcome sheetal 🙂

  20. Hi Dassana,
    Can I use potassium metabisulphite instead of sodium Benzoate?

    • deepti, you can add potassium metabisulphite. just add the same amount as mentioned in the recipe, if you follow the recipe completely. if you halve the recipe, then a pinch of potassium metabisulphite can be used.

  21. The recipe looks really promising.. Just a few things I’d like to ask before trying..

    1. If I wish to add basil leaves/ mint leaves/ saunf (fennel seeds?) to the recipe, at which step should they be added?
    2. If I don’t strain it through the sieve, will it affect the shelf-life?
    3. Can I start with tomato puree instead of chopped tomatoes?
    4. Without preservative or sterilization, how long can I store it? [actually I was thinking of preparing a small batch for 15-20 days life…as a first trial]

    Too many questions, I know.. please excuse..

    • no problem ruchi. answers below.

      1. the leaves should be added just when the tomatoes are cooked. add them and simmer for one to two minutes.
      2. yes it does.
      3. you can, but then you need to add the ginger-garlic paste, red chili paste or red chili powder and raisin paste.
      4. you can store for a month or two. if the jar is properly sterilized, then it can go even to 3 months. for longer preservation there is a method. but you have to use canning jars which are boiling proof. clean the jar and then let it dry naturally. then add the ketchup in it leaving 1/2 inch space from top. seal the lid. heat a big pot of water and let it come to a rolling bowl. add the jar and boil it for 20 to 30 minutes for a small jar.

  22. Hi can I use plastic jar for storing sauce?

    • plastic jars cannot be sterilized easily. so better to use glass jars.

  23. I have a doubt.if we pour the hot sauce in the bottle and close it,the steam will condense and fall into that create any problem? The ketchup came out very tasty.Thank you very much for sharing.

    • thanks and welcome indu. the steam does condense. but steam is at a temperature more than the temperature of boiling water which is 100 degrees celsius. and at this temperature there will be no micro organisms. so even if the steam condenses and falls, no problem.

  24. Hey.. Thanks for a v useful recipe.. I keep reading yo recipes n also try dem.. Truly gud.. I hv a query.. Can v pressure cook d tomatoes instead of open cooking..4 stars

    • thanks kathyayini. yes you can pressure cook the tomatoes.

  25. Not using the chemical how long sauce can be preserved?

    • about a month to 45 days in the fridge. sterilize the jar or bottle very well.

  26. hi
    i want to avoid using any chemicals – so can i avoid using sodium benzoate?

    • avoid, but sterilize the jar or bottle well.

  27. Can we add salt if required after taking pulp . And in ice creams where cream is needed can we add butter and whole milk as a substitute or is their any substitute

    • yes you can. butter should not be added. and milk also won’t work. but condensed milk can be added. though the proportions of sugar will change and the recipe too.

  28. can we use normal plain salt instead of rock salt

    • yes you can.

  29. The receipe is very well explained… Thank u
    Can we use brown sugar in d receipe and can we increase d quantity of lemon or vinegar to increase shelf life instead add of adding preservatives4 stars

    • welcome sheetal. you can use brown sugar. if you use more vinegar and lemon then the taste will become sour. i suggest to sterilize the bottle very well and then add the ketchup.

  30. Hi Dassana,
    I’ve been cooking south Indian food till recently. I want to try making the sauce at home. But I’m not sure which vinegar to use. Could you please recommend the type of vinegar to use? If you haven’t already, could you make a post on types of vinegar and which ones to use in different cooking styles?

    • you can use regular white vinegar in this recipe. any fruity vinegar like apple cider vinegar will also do.

  31. Dear Dassana…. thanks for your recipe. My friend… a cancer patient loves tomato sauce but can not take it since all available brands contain preservatives. Now, he can have his favourite tomato sauce without preservatives. Ofcoursem the container should be sterilised the way suggested by you. Thanks again. Be blessed.1 star

    • thanks endee. prayers for your friend. you can even can the sauce for extra care. add the sauce in sterilised jar or bottles. close the lid tightly. drop the bottle in hot boiling water and allow the jar to be in the boiling water for 5 minutes. you can use mason jars for this method. more details on canning this way will be available on google.

  32. very useful recipe

    • thanks palash

  33. At the right time when fresh tomatoes are available a plenty we all should try it. I liked the procedure and i’ll soon try it. Thanks a lot for it. But if sodium benzoate is not available.. are there any other alternative preservative…? if there is then how should we use it..?4 stars

    • thanks debasis. i don’t know any another alternative preservative. make sure that you sterilize the jar well, if you don’t use any preservative.

  34. its just fantastic…

    • thanks srinibash