|For the ketchup|
|2 tbsp||(1 oz)|
|1 tbsp||(0.47 oz)|
|1 dash||(0.01 oz)|
Remove the pits from the dates and soak in water together with the sun-dried tomatoes for at least one hour. Then drain off the soaking water.
The author lists 3–5 dates for 250 mL ketchup. You can adjust the number of dates, depending on how sweet you want the ketchup to be.
Preparing the ketchup
Wash the tomatoes and bell peppers and remove the seeds. Purée in a blender together with the dates, sun-dried tomatoes, and the remaining ingredients. Salt and pepper to taste.
The original recipe calls for kala namak (black salt) instead of sea salt.
The optional addition of ¼ handful of wild rose petals gives the ketchup a distinctive flavor.
Tastes delicious as a dip with veggie noodles or wraps (see pp. 24 and 36 of the same cookbook).
If you prefer to eat a combination of raw and cooked foods, you can use the ketchup as a dip for sweet potato chips or on vegetable burgers.
This raw ketchup made with fresh and sun-dried tomatoes and red bell peppers is sweetened with natural dried dates instead of refined sugar.
Yield: The recipe for 10 servings makes about 250 mL ketchup.
Sun-dried tomatoes: The drying process removes moisture from the tomatoes and blocks the “growing” of microorganisms. This allows the tomatoes to be stored for a longer period of time. It also increases the concentration of aromatic substances, which is why dried tomatoes have a very intense flavor.
Bell peppers: The most widely used variety of peppers in Europe and the United States are bell peppers (Capsicum annuum). Most varieties change colors as they mature from green to red, yellow, or orange, depending on the carotenoids present. This is because the green leaf pigment called chlorophyll, which is primarily used to generate energy in photosynthesis, decreases over the course of ripening, revealing the orange-red colors that indicate the presence of carotenoids. Green bell peppers are therefore the least ripe and have a more bitter flavor than red and yellow bell peppers, whereby the latter are generally somewhat sweeter.
Ripeness of tomatoes: Ripe red tomatoes are safe to eat fresh. However, unripe tomatoes may contain the compound tomatine, which if consumed in large enough quantities can cause symptoms such as nausea.
Storing dates correctly: Dried dates can be stored considerably longer than fresh dates. Whereas fresh dates need to be used within a few days, dry dates can be stored for up to a year. They should be kept in an aerated, dry place at cool temperatures. Storing them in a basement works best.
Sweetness of the dates: Dates are a good source of many nutrients. Thanks to the fiber they contain, they can also stimulate digestion. If you soak dates in water before blending, they will be creamier. If you don’t use the soaking water, they lose some of their sweetness. This means that you can adjust the level of sweetness.
Wild rose petals: The optional addition of ¼ handful of wild rose petals gives the ketchup a distinctive flavor.
Ketchup for chips: If you would like to serve your homemade ketchup with raw sweet potato chips, the following link will take you to a recipe for the chips: Raw Sweet Potato Chips