Curry Ketchup Recipe

Photographs: Joshua Bousel

Heinz + curry powder = curry ketchup. Done.

Sure, you can go that route, but as I found out by making my own ketchup, you can get something a whole lot different and more flavorful if you start by scratch. So when I decided I wanted curry ketchup, I built the recipe from the ground up to create a sweet tomato condiment with layers of complex spice that goes beyond what a two-ingredient sauce could deliver.

Of course the main seasoning is yellow curry powder, but a packet of cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, and cloves that simmered in the sauce while it thickened imparted subtle background notes that built upon the Indian influence of this ketchup.

The end result was a fresh sweet tomato base contrasted against an earthy spice and a little kick of heat that went incredibly well with the batch of roasted sweet potato wedges I cooked up at the same time.

Recipe Facts

Active: 20 mins
Total: 80 mins
Makes: 2 cups

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  • 1 (3-inch) cinnamon stick
  • 1 (1-inch) piece of fresh ginger, thinly sliced
  • 5 cardamom pods
  • 5 whole cloves
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped medium (about 1 cup)
  • 1 teaspoon of minced garlic (about 1 medium clove)
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons yellow curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon hot paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground mustard
  • 1 (28 ounce) can tomato purée
  • 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt


  1. Place cinnamon stick, ginger, cardamom, and cloves in an 8-inch square piece of cheesecloth and tie close.

  2. Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat until shimmering. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened but not browned, 5 to 8 minutes. Add garlic, tomato paste, curry powder, paprika, and ground mustard and stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add tomato purée, brown sugar, vinegar, salt, and cheesecloth packet; stir to combine. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened to the consistency of ketchup, 45 to 60 minutes.

  3. Remove cheesecloth bundle and discard. Transfer ketchup to jar of a blender and purée until completely smooth.

  4. Wash and dry saucepan, then place a fine mesh strainer over top. Pour ketchup in strainer and, using a spatula, push through all of the ketchup.

  5. Taste ketchup and adjust seasonings if necessary. Pour ketchup into a jar, seal, and store in refrigerator for up to a month.

Special equipment

Cheesecloth, Blender