Pooja Motl | Author. Healthy Food Chef. Mother-Daughter STEM Advocacy. Value and Virtues of Motherhood.

Homemade Ketchup
4 servings or 8 oz / 10 minutes

When I first started changing what I ate and reading labels religiously, I found that some of the biggest failings in the grocery store were condiments. That was tough on me. My husband constantly reminds me that when we first met, I used to finish up a bottle of ketchup in our fridge in just about under a week. It’s true. I was a ketchup fiend. (I still am).

Condiments are some of those foods we actually need some help with – they take a long time to make, usually require many ingredients, and are invaluable to a flavorful diet. Back in the day, before Heinz invented their famous bottle of ketchup, the making of ketchup was a grueling task left usually for the woman of the household – tomatoes had to be picked then stewed, then strained, and then spices and vinegar were added. When Heinz first advertised its bottle, it claimed it to be “Blessed relief for Mother and the other women in the household!”. I like to research the original versions of recipes before I go for the development of my own. In short, ketchup consists of 3 main ingredients: tomatoes, vinegar, and spices. Interestingly, ketchup was not originally sweetened. This happened only in America sometime in the 19th century. Original spices included mace, nutmeg, allspice, cloves, cinnamon, ginger, and black pepper. In this recipe I rely heavily on fresh ginger, fresh garlic and garlic powder to keep the ketchup as spicy and savory as possible before adding in the honey – which I also temper quite a bit. I hope you enjoy this. Store it in your fridge and it should keep for a few days.

Nothing beats homemade condiments


  • 1 T tomato paste
  • ½ cup jarred strained or pureed tomatoes
  • 1 t balsamic vinegar
  • 1 t apple cider vinegar
  • 1 t lemon juice
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • ¼ t ground allspice
  • ¼ t garlic powder
  • ¼ t ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon grated or finely minced ginger
  • pinch chili powder
  • 3 garlic cloves, pressed or finely minced
  • 2 t honey (more to taste)


  1. Add all ingredients to a small saucepan and simmer over low heat for 10 minutes, stirring frequently.
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