Homemade Spicy Ketchup

Makes about 1 1/2 cups

This is not as sweet as commercial ketchup; but it's great with our Vegetarian Burger.


  • 1 (28-ounce) can plum tomatoes

  • 1 ½ teaspoons olive oil

  • 1 small onion, finely chopped

  • ½ jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped

  • 1 medium clove garlic, minced

  • 3 tablespoons packed dark-brown sugar

  • 4 whole cloves

  • ¼ teaspoon ground mace

  • ½ teaspoon whole cardamom seeds

  • ½ teaspoon whole black peppercorns

  • 2 whole star anise

  • 1 dried bay leaf

  • 1 small cinnamon stick

  • 1 tablespoon dry mustard

  • 1 ½ tablespoons cider vinegar

  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • 1 ½ teaspoons freshly squeezed lime juice

  • ½ teaspoon salt


  1. Pass tomatoes and their juice through a food mill or large-holed strainer into a bowl. Discard solids, and set tomatoes aside.

  2. Heat olive oil in a large heavy saucepan over medium-low heat. Add onion, jalapeno, and garlic, and cook until translucent, about 15 minutes. Add tomatoes and brown sugar, and stir to combine.

  3. Cut a double thickness of cheesecloth into a 7-inch square. Place cloves, mace, cardamom, peppercorns, star anise, bay leaf, and cinnamon stick in the center. Fold the sides of the cheesecloth around the spices, roll up, and tie with kitchen string. Add sachet and mustard to the tomato mixture, and cook over medium-low heat until mixture is reduced by two-thirds, about 25 minutes.

  4. Stir in vinegar, cayenne, lime juice, and salt. Reduce heat to low, and cook for 10 minutes. Remove sachet of spices, squeeze out into ketchup, and discard.

  5. Transfer ketchup to a bowl, and let cool. Cover, and refrigerate until ready to serve.

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