tomato sauce | tomato ketchup (vegan)

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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.

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 ketchup recipe, tomato sauce recipe
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.
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 20 mins

Cuisine American, World
Course: Side Dish
Diet: Vegan
Difficulty Level: Moderate

Servings 1 litre tomato ketchup

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

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

Calories: 270kcalCarbohydrates: 62gProtein: 7gFat: 1gSodium: 1784mgPotassium: 1828mgFiber: 9gSugar: 48gVitamin A: 5740IUVitamin C: 167.7mgCalcium: 84mgIron: 2.6mg

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Dassana Amit

Meet Dassana

Welcome to Dassana's Veg Recipes. I share vegetarian recipes from India & around the World. Having been cooking for decades and with a professional background in cooking & baking, I help you to make your cooking journey easier with my tried and tested recipes showcased with step by step photos & plenty of tips & suggestions.

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153 Comments

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

  1. 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

    1. 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.

  2. 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.

    1. 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.

  3. Hi Dassana

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

    Thanks

    Ramya4 stars

    1. 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.

  4. 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?

    1. 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.

  5. 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

    1. 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.

  6. 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?!

    1. 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.

  7. 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

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

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

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

  9. 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..

    1. 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.

  10. 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

      1. 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

        1. 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.

    1. 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.

  11. 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..

    1. 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.

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

    1. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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

    1. 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.

  15. 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

    1. 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.

  16. 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?

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

  17. 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

    1. 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.

  18. 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

    1. 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.

  19. Its very well explained.vil be making it soon.can I omit the garlic.sterileising procedure I didnt see in the recipe.can you pls help me vith that.thank you very much.5 stars

    1. yes you can omit the garlic. boil water first in a big pot. the amount of water should be such that your glass bottle should get immersed in it completely. then place the glass jar or bottle in boiling water along with its lid. boil for a further 5 minutes. remove the hot bottle & lid with tongs. place them on inverted on a clean cotton towel or kitchen napkin. let them dry completely before you add the sauce.

  20. i am tomato producer Farmer i would like to start tomato ketchup or tomato sauce kindly help me in technical machinery and ave-label market
    Thanks
    Ishwra

  21. Good n easy. I made myself only seeing ingredients on readymade sauce. But I didn’t add preservative . Can it last for long.thank u.

  22. Thanks for sharing the recipe, yet to make but I think I’ll make it just fine. Best wishes and regards.4 stars

  23. Hi, thanks for the recipe. from the indicated quantities of raw materials, how much ketchup (in liters) did you produce. Regards

  24. Thanks for sharing this recipe. last day I tried and it come out well..l also add few basil leaves .
    wish you a Happy Newyear too..5 stars

  25. First of all,
    Thank you for this great recipe.
    Since a long time I wanted to make my own ketchup and I found your narration good.
    I made my changes to the recipe and my 15 months kid loved to eat it alone.
    I used organic jaggery instead of sugar, instead of vinegar I used lemon juice, added few mint leaves, onion and added no preservative.5 stars

  26. Do i need to remove tomato seeds or blend with seeds??
    How long sauce can be stored in glass jar if preservative is not used?4 stars

    1. no need to remove the seeds. as when you strain the seeds are removed. but if you don’t want to seive, then you can remove the seeds.

  27. Nice recipe. But I will make it without preservative. I don’t like sodium benzoate. It’s a well known carcinogen. It causes cancer… So I don’t want to shorten my life, while increasing ketchup’s shelf life… 😉3 stars

    1. everything has a give and take. sodium benzoate is used in many processed foods like pastes, sauces etc. actually we all consume these products even without knowing about it. you can skip the preservative. but then i suggest, to half the quantity of ketchup.

    1. vinegar works as a preservative and also gives a certain taste to the ketchup. you can skip if you want.

  28. Hi Dassana,
    Love your recipe. I would love to try it our but unable to find canning jars. Could you kindly tell me where you sourced yours from ?

  29. I like this recipe it has a lot going for it.
    I did make a few changes. I only used a little over half the sugar, I used crystallised ginger and added 1 stem of celery, stuck it all in a pan and followed instructions. Better than any bought ketchup by miles. Many thanks.
    James.

    1. welcome james and thanks for sharing your variation. i agree homemade tomato ketchup is much better than store bought one.

    2. thanks james for sharing your variation to the tomato ketchup recipe. celery is a wonderful addition 🙂

  30. hello, that was a very useful recipe…. Thanks… I hav a Question… Do I hav to let the steam out completely before closing the lid of the jar???

        1. himantika, the jar is full leaving only little space on the top. so condensation is miniscule. doing this way helps in preserving the tomato sauce.

  31. thanx for such a gud receipe.can i ad water in it whenever desired,bcoz my tomato puree was very hard even before starting final cooking.5 stars

  32. Thanks for your ketchup recipe. U made my day. My kidds love it. I follow your other recipes also. Thanks once again 🙂

  33. Hi, thank you so much for this recipe. Can I use organic jaggery in this recipe istead of sugar?
    planning to make this in half the quantity.

    1. Nimmi, i don’t know how jaggery will go with tomatoes. i have never combined jaggery with tomatoes.

  34. Dear dasanna
    I tried this receipe it came out to be great! I have tried your orange cake which was the best cake I ever made. I used the same receipe for my daughter’s b day and all my guests were full praises… Thank u 🙂

    1. i am not sure how long the ketchup will last without a preservative. i suggest to halve the recipe or make a small batch.

  35. Hello Dassasna,
    I like your recipes so much n the way you explain .
    Can I omit garlic in this recipe?
    Thank you.

    1. you can get in a good grocery store or may be even in medical shops. but it is not essential priya. if you sterilize the jar well and keep the ketchup in the fridge, then no need.

      1. Thank you Dassana! What a flavourful ketchup! I also added a few sprigs of parsley and coriander. Came out really well. 🙂

        1. This is a great recipe! I added some basil leaves to it and it tasted really good! Thanks so much 🙂5 stars