Whether it’s ketchup or red sauce to you, one thing we can be sure about is that ketchup has earned its rightful place on tabletops across the globe. Tangy, rich and a little bit sweet, we all have our ketchup-must foods — chips, burgers, goujons, you name it. If you fancy something a little different, why not try one of the clever twists on the ol’ red stuff below:
In a stainless-steel pan, combine 500g rhubarb stalks, 150g jam sugar, 100ml apple cider vinegar, 1 x 3cm piece of peeled, grated fresh ginger, 50ml orange juice and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes. Use a stick blender to whizz into a smooth purée. Pass through a fine sieve, then pour into a sterilised bottle or jar, seal and store in the fridge until needed.
Beetroot and chilli ketchup
Preheat the oven to 200˚C/180˚C fan/gas mark 6. Place 1kg whole, unpeeled beetroots in a large piece of foil and drizzle with a little oil. Wrap up tightly, wrap place on a baking tray and roast for one hour or until soft when pierced with a knife. Allow to cool, then peel and chop. In a large saucepan, heat 2 tbsp rapeseed oil and cook 3 chopped shallots, 3 crushed garlic cloves and 1 tsp cumin for 5-6 minutes until softened. Add the beetroot, 2 chopped red chillies, 180ml red wine vinegar and 1 tsp each salt and black pepper. Simmer gently for 20 minutes. Use a stick blender to whizz into a smooth purée, then add 70g brown sugar. Bring to the boil, then turn to a low heat. Cook gently for five minutes. Pour into a sterilised bottle or jar, seal and store in the fridge until needed.
Banana mango ketchup
Heat 2 tbsp vegetable oil in a pan over a medium heat. Cook 1 small chopped onion for 5-6 minutes until softened. Add 1 chopped mango, 2 crushed garlic cloves, 1 chopped jalapeño, 1 grated 2cm piece of fresh ginger and ½ tsp turmeric and cook for 30 seconds. Stir in 4 mashed bananas, 120ml white wine vinegar, 2 tbsp honey, 2 tbsp white rum, 1 tbsp tomato purée, 1 tbsp soy sauce and ½ tsp salt. Bring to a boil, then turn the heat to low, cover and cook for 15 minutes, stirring often. Remove from heat and allow to cool for 10 minutes. Use a stick blender to whizz into a smooth purée, then stir in enough water to thin to your desired consistency. Season to taste. Pour into a sterilised bottle or jar, seal and store in the fridge until needed.
Ketchup first originated in China and was something akin to a fish sauce, used as a seasoning. From there it made its way to Singapore, where British colonists first encountered what locals called “kecap”. Back in England, it evolved into a popular condiment made from foods like mushrooms or pickled walnuts; the first published recipe for “kachop,” dates from 1727 and was similar to today’s Worcestershire sauce. Tomato ketchup only became the default in the 19th century in the United States, where it was
first made with tomatoes, sugar, vinegar and spices.