Homemade tomato sauce alias ketchup

by | Aug 16, 2014 | Vegetable dishes

To tell you the truth, I steer clear of store-bought ketchup because I haven’t managed to make me familiar with its artificial taste. Sure, making your own homemade tomato sauce is not as convenient as squeezing a bottle, but once you taste it, you will never want to buy ketchup. The process lasts a few hours, but don’t take fright. Its flavour and the fact that it doesn’t contain additives win against the industrial recipe. It’s the best choice if you are concerned about your health.

Homemade tomato sauce or ketchup
Homemade tomato sauce or ketchup – photo: zserbo.com


  • 5 kg (~11 lbs) ripe tomatoes
  • 200 g (~7 oz) celeriac
  • 5 large red onions
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 5-6 cm / 2 inch piece of ginger
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp thyme
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 7-8 whole allspice corns
  • 1/2 tsp coriander seeds
  • 2 tsp salt
  • a large bunch of basil
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar

Wash and cut the tomatoes up into quarters. Pass them through a special machine called passata machine that removes skins and seeds.

Bring tomato juice to a boil and cook for an hour while stiring occasionally.

Meanwhile peel celeriac, red onions, garlic cloves and ginger. Cut them up into larger pieces and drop them into a food processor to chop. Fry the chopped vegetables in the olive oil until they are tender.

In a mortar crush coriander seeds and allspice corns.

Add the onion-celeriac-garlic-ginger mixture to the tomato juice, then mix in the spices: salt, pepper, chili powder, thyme, allspice and coriander while stiring continously. Simmer gently until the sauce reduces by half.

Add basil leaves, then puree the sauce in a food processor or with an immersion blender. Taste it and if necessary, correct seasoning. Stir in vinegar and sugar.

Place the sauce back on the heat, and while stiring continously simmer until it reduces and thickens to the consistency of tomato ketchup. Spoon the ketchup into sterilized jars, seal tightly and cover them with blankets to cool them slowly. Once the jars got cool, store them in a cool, dark place. After opening refrigerate it.

Become a patron and support my work

If you're enjoying this collection of Hungarian recipes, please, consider making a one-time payment.


Hungarian cottage cheese

This is what Hungarian túró looks like

You often ask me what kind of cottage cheese (or curd cheese or farmer's cheese - call it what you want) I use in the recipes. In Hungary the store-bought cottage cheese is dry and crumbly as you can see in the picture. So if a recipe calls for túró, I mean this type. If you can't obtain túró, you can try to make your own from whole milk. Click on the link below.

Metric system vs cup

In Hungary metric units are in use, all the recipes on this website are based on this system, so a kitchen scale is necessary. Since I’m not familiar with cup as a measurement unit, I convert grams to cups by using an online converter. The values in brackets, therefore, are only approximate volumes, so, please, double-check them before you start cooking.

Pin It on Pinterest