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Is ketchup a commonly used condiment in the Indian kitchen?

Yesterday I attended a wonderful Indian festival here in Tokyo and on my first trip around the food booths, I picked up samosas, pakoras and shish kebabs. These were ordered from 3 different booths and they were all served with a side of ketchup, for the shish kebeb it was actually squirted down the whole length of the kebab. A later purchases of more pakoras at yet another booth was not served with it though.

Are these foods normally served with ketchup? I have never been served them this way in a restaurant.

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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traditionally, you would find a chutney made from dates & tamarind along with a spicier option usually with cilantro as a base.

i believe ketchup started catching up especially in the cities as a condiment. this was to replace the dates/tamarind chutney

with its sweet and tangy flavor and very little prep (open bottle & pour) it started replacing the sweet/sour chutney

don't know if I am stretching the definition of condiment but ketchup is also used as a flavoring agent for noodles, certain curries with onion / tomato pastes. I believe it brings in a nice flavor of tanginess and works like addition of acid (lemon / lime) but with different traces

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We eat samosas with ketchup in my family...fine, I only eat them like that! :wub:

Pakora, bhajis, etc., we only eat with coriander or tamarind chutneys. I'll eat my samosas with chutney too, if we have some around (otherwise ketchup!).

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Is ketchup a commonly used condiment in the Indian kitchen?

The short answer in my little experience is no.

I have used it in the kitchen only once a long time ago when I prepared Sweet & Sour Pork following an American Chinese cookbook which used easily available ingredients. It turned out surprisingly good.

Then growing up ( 60's), tomato ketchup/sauce was always around the house, though not specifically in the kitchen. We used it in everything that did not taste good to us kids. The dal ( lentils), the raita EVERYTHING!

The tradition seems to continue as everytime I visit New Delhi I find it hilarious when we go out for pizza and my nieces reach for the ketchup.

It's not used much in cooking though, these days when you are rushed or out of crushed tomatoes you might grab that jar of spaghetti sauce but never ketchup.

That said, I have seen tomato ketchup/sauce used in some proffessional Indian kitchens. Chefs are using it in their butter chicken sauces and also doctoring the ketchup with cayenne,spices and sometimes broiled mustard seeds and curry leaves to prepare Indianised sauces for their appetizers.

Bombay Curry Company

3110 Mount Vernon Avenue, Alexandria, VA 22305. 703. 836-6363

Delhi Club

Arlington, Virginia

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ha ha...yes....i know that old one-two some lazy cooks do using ketchup as the base. my sister makes this tangy stir fry paneer dish that tastes suprisingly good. i could never figure out the ingredients and i badgered her into revealing the secret finally --- it was ketchup with all kinds of spices, heated up, and then she'd add paneer. i have no clue how she'd make the ketchupy taste go away though.

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Is ketchup a commonly used condiment  in the Indian kitchen?

Yesterday I attended a wonderful Indian festival here in Tokyo and on my first trip around the food booths, I picked up samosas, pakoras and shish kebabs. These were ordered from 3 different booths and they were all served with a side of ketchup, for the shish kebeb it was actually squirted down the whole length of the kebab. A later purchases of more pakoras at yet another booth was not served with it though.

Are these foods normally served with ketchup? I have never been served them this way in a restaurant.

Everyone may not agree with me on this one but I think ketchup is a a perfectly fine condiment for samosas and pakoras. Even in the India of the 70s and 80s it was fairly common for samosas and pakoras to be served with ketchup in a lot of homes. I have had the same issue pop up with non-Indian guests who are served pakoras. They ask me what they are commonly served with at homes in India and when I mention ketchup as an option, they seem amused and sometimes a little disappointed.

Having grown up in a vegetarian household, I have only had kebabs in restaurants which tend to serve them with some sort of chutney so I am not sure if they are served with ketchup at home.

However, I do draw the line at serving dosas and idlis with ketchup. IMHO, that just does not work.

rkolluri

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ha ha...yes....i know that old one-two some lazy cooks do using ketchup as the base. my sister makes this tangy stir fry paneer dish that tastes suprisingly good. i could never figure out the ingredients and i badgered her into revealing the secret finally --- it was ketchup with all kinds of spices, heated up, and then she'd add paneer. i have no clue how she'd make the ketchupy taste go away though.

That's called chilly paneer. It's Indian chinese. In iIndian chinese lot of ketchup is used to give food texture and color along with sweet and sour taste. I am not necessarily fond of it.

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Ketchup is one thing, but my Ismaili Muslim co-worker insists that Potato chips are a traditional topping for veg. curries in Tanzania, Kenya and other parts of Africa where her family hails from. Wha?

chips morphed from the aloo lachhas (shoestring type potatoes)

often used as topping....

much easier,

milagai

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      Post your questions here -->> Q&A
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      Introduction
      These breads are the taste of home for me -- wholesome breads prepared with simple ingredients and simple cooking methods. There are many different types of breads in North India. They can be prepared in the tandoor (clay oven, as is done in many restaurants), dry roasted, cooked on a griddle, or deep-fried. They can be prepared plain, or stuffed with savory or sweet filling, or just topped with mouthwatering garnishes.
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