Tomato Ketchup with Cinnamon

The other day, a friend who works in the food business, left me this big box of tomatoes. Since then, they've been sitting in my kitchen, staring at me. Then it dawned on me. This was a great opportunity to make something from scratch that I usually would just grab from the shelf in the supermarket without giving it another thought. 

It combines really well with fries and burgers and as children we would love to put it on spaghetti. Yes, Ketchup! (I know the latter is kinda gross but hey, kids have different taste, right?)

So, I ventured out into the web looking for ketchup recipes that were a little more distinguished than just pureed tomatos and stumbled across a Jamie Oliver recipe that got me intrigued. I liked that he added other vegetables, such es fennel and celery snd seasoned his ketchup with ginger and chili. I also love the combination of tomatoes with cinnamon and so I decided to adapt and expand Jamie's ketchup version. So this is what I did.


  • 1 - 2 red onions (depending on size)
  • 1/2 bulb fennel
  • 3 sticks celery
  • 2 - 3 cm piece of ginger
  • 1/2 red chili
  • olive oil
  • 1 bunch fresh basil
  • 1 tbs ground coriander
  • 2 cloves
  • 1 tsp ground pepper
  • 1 tbsp ground cinnamon 
  • sea salt to taste
  • 1 kg tomatoes 
  • 350 ml cold water
  • 200 ml cider vinegar
  • 70 g brown sugar


  1. Peel and roughly chop the onions and ginger. Slice and dice the fennel and celery. Deseed and roughly chop the chili. Pick the basil leaves, set aside and chop the stalks. 

  2. Heat a large saucepan and add a good splash of olive oil. When it's hot, add all the chopped up vegetables and the cloves. Let it steam on medium heat for a couple of minutes, stirring once in a while. 

  3. In the meanwhile cut up your tomatoes. When the veggies are softened add your tomatoes and the cold water. Add the coriander, cinnamon, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and let it simmer until your sauce is reduced by half. 

  4. Toss in the basil leaves and with a hand blender finely purée your sauce, making sure there are no major lumps left. 

  5. Using a sieve, you can now strain your sauce to make it more smooth. I personally prefer my ketchup more on the lumpy side, so I sieved mine once, and afterwards added some of the sieved out pulp again. But this is purely a matter of taste, so feel free to play around and find your own preferred consistency. 

  6. Put the sauce in a clean saucepan and add the vinegar and sugar. Bring to a boil and simmer on low heat until you have a slightly thickened ketchup-y consistency. At this point make sure your seasoning delights your taste buds, if not, adjust with more salt or sugar or anything else that goes. There are no limitations. 

  7. Sterilize a couple of bottles (either by boiling them or by putting them in the oven for 10 - 15 minutes). 

  8. Whilst your ketchup is still hot, fill into the bottles, close tight and store in the fridge. Unopened, it should keep well for up to 6 months.