multipurpose tomato sauce recipe

Tomato ketchup has corrupted the palate of a whole lot of people. It has become the taste enhancer for everything they eat and the taste of real food gets masked with tomato ketchup.

Ironically, people seem to avoid sugar in their beverages and rightly in most cases, but they slather most of their food with ketchup on the other hand, not realising they are eating a lot of sugar along with a fair range of chemicals in the ketchup. I would prefer to have a bit of sugar in my tea and coffee instead and of course a better tasting tomato sauce as a condiment if I need some.

I have shared a home made tomato ketchup recipe earlier and have got really good feedback for that. Another tomato, tamarind and red chili chutney has earned many fans over the years. Many other homemade dips make even better condiments than ketchup and not too time consuming. It is actually not too difficult to keep making such condiments at home and keep ketchup away from our lives.

The tomato sauce that I am sharing today is great for pastas, for pizza, for potato wedges and fries and even when smeared on omelets, parathas or sandwiches, wraps etc.

It needs dry powdered ingredients apart from tomatoes and red bell pepper for the ease of making it but you can use fresh garlic and onions if you wish. The taste will be slightly different in that case but still great if you balance the chili heat to your preference. 

(makes about 300 ml thick sauce)

400 gm ripe tomatoes, better if you use mixed varieties (chopped, white parts removed if any) 
200 gm red bell pepper (chopped, white parts removed)
1/2 tsp dry thyme
1/2 tsp dry oregano 
1 tsp dry parsley 
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tbsp onion powder
1 tbsp smoked paprika 
1 tsp hot chili powder if you like (I do) 
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar or any vinegar you like
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

Pressure cook the tomatoes and bell pepper pieces together with salt and 1/4 cup water.

Cool the cooked mixture. 
Liquidize the tomato and bell pepper mix when cold. Add all the powders and blend well.
Transfer to a pan. Heat in a pan till the sauce comes to a simmer. 

Add 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar. 

Now add 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, mix well, cool down.
Transfer to a sterilized bottle and refrigerate. You can add lesser olive oil if you have to use this sauce in a generic way. I add the sauce directly to boiled pasta mostly and no additional oil is required, even as a spread on any kind of bread the sauce works better if the oil content is good.
Use this tomato sauce in whatever way you like.
I have been using it mostly for pasta but as a spread on my multigrain chapati wraps too. 

If you abhor tomato ketchup like I do, you would love some of these chutneys that are quick to make and add more zing to life than the junk ketchup.

Tamatar ki meethi chutney

Date and tomato chutney

Angoor ki chutney

Plum chuntey

Mango chutney 

Sweet chili tamarind sauce 

Date ginger and tamarind chutney  

You don't need any ketchup when there are so many chutneys, sauces and dips in your repertoire, for every season and for all sorts of food.