Banana ketchup is a staple Filipino dipping sauce. It is probably more popular and more consumed than tomato ketchup. A lot of Filipino dishes are best eaten with this sweet condiment.
It is hard to come by here in London and if ever I manage to get my hands on one, it doesn't seem to be as nice as I remember. I thought of making my own and upon research chanced upon some recipes.
How interesting to find that banana ketchup is actually not just a Filipino thing. Some recipes had raisins and tomato in it so I imagine that there must be a chutney like taste going. However, Filipino banana ketchup is what I had in mind.
I was unable to find a recipe that I liked so decided to do it the fun way: by experimenting. I used plantain because there's no saba (cardaba) bananas here. The bananas has to be the starchy variety such as the two mentioned. It also has to be semi ripe. It has to be sweet and just a bit sour.
Banana ketchup is not as acidic as tomato ketchup. The taste of bananas is actually not at the forefront. I thought only garlic and onions can add that interesting twist of flavour, and I was right. I added some chopped chillies to make it spicy although it also has to have lots of ground black pepper. It was a lovely golden colour until I decided to add some food colouring to make it look like the real thing. Maybe I'll skip that part next time.
By the way, don't put it in a bottle like I did. Once refrigerated, it behaved like ketchup should and needed a lot of coaxing to get it out. A wide mouth jar is less troublesome. Lesson learned.
1 semi-ripe plantain or two cardaba bananas (saging na saba)
1 3/4 c. water
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tbsps. cider vinegar
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
2 1/2 tsps. salt
1/2 red chilli, chopped
1/2 onion chopped
food colouring (optional)
Slice the plantains and put in a saucepan.
Add the rest of the ingredients, bring to a boil and simmer for 20 minutes or until all of the ingredients are cooked.
Puree with a hand blender until smooth.
Taste and adjust the seasonings. Add food colouring if you wish. A little bit of red and yellow would result to a red orange colour, the usual colour of banana ketchup.
Leave to cool then transfer to a wide mouth jar. Store in the refrigerator.
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