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Plum Tamarind Ketchup

Plum Tamarind Ketchup

Plum Tamarind Ketchup (photo by K.K.)

Katie Kwan | Chef's Blade

I love when food begets food. One idea inspires another. Thus was the case with my plum ketchup — eaten with ad hoc fried chicken.

I got this idea after making sweet and sour momos with plum achar. The momos had honey, pork, chiles and masala, so we needed a sweet plum chutney to balance the flavor. The achar was spiced with ginger and cumin and complemented the pork beautifully. Thus I made a lateral jump from chutney to ketchup, wiggle-shifting my flavor profiling from Nepal over to the Americas.

I based my recipe on Brooklyn Farmhouse’s ketchup. I decreased the vinegar and increased the sugars. Alone, this ketchup is good, not great. But together with some fried chicken and truffled honey, it is phenomenal.

Only in retrospect did I realize that when combining this sauce with fried chicken did I make an Americanized version of sweet and sour Chicken. Subconsciously, I was unable to shed those Asian roots. Damn Asian roots. Made for DELICIOUS plum ketchup fried chicken!

Plum Ketchup (Makes 1 cup)
Total time 1.5 hours, Active Time .5 hours

Cook’s note: A blender is needed


- ¼ c boiling water
- ¼ c tamarind brick
- 10 oz black plums, chopped
- 1 T cider vinegar
- 2-3 T honey
- ¾ chopped red onion
- ½ clove garlic, sliced
- 1 cinnamon stick, 6-10 cloves, 6-10 allspice berries, 1 t mustard seeds


Step 1:In a small bowl, combine water and tamarind. Allow to sit for 30 minutes. Mix intermittently to loosed the tamarind from the seeds. Push pulp through a strainer.

Step 2:Combine tamarind pulp, plums, vinegar, honey, red onion, and garlic in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil and reduce to simmer.

Step 3: Place the spices in a small tea strainer or sealed cheesecloth and nestle them into the plum mixture.

Step 4: After 45 minutes to an hour of simmering, remove the spice bag and blend the plum mixture in a blender.

Enjoy on fried chicken with truffled honey!

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