During the Thanksgiving weekend,I casually sat and reflected about many scattered matters. My other two options were to clean the whole house or fold a pile of washed clothes, I decided to take the tough way out and sat thinking for the longest time. Then purely by chance I remembered the pink tomato sauce ! This sauce is now long forgotten, replaced by the omnipresent tomato ketchup that you pour out of a bottle at will. But back in the times when you made almost everything from scratch because it was your only option, this sauce was a popular accompaniment for meat cutlets served in wedding feasts at Arthinkal. The sauce has personality, it is sweet with the right amount of zest, has beets in it, therefore it is pink !
Beetroot - tomato sauce
Peeled cubed beetroot - 1 cup
Blanched , seeded tomatoes-chopped - 3 cups
Minced onion - ¼ cup
Green chilly skin finely chopped - 1 tbsp
Garlic - 2 cloves
Cloves - 2
Cinnamon stick - ½ inch length
Sugar - 3 tbsp
Salt - ½ tsp or to taste
Vinegar - 3 tbsp
Cheese cloth - A small piece
Coarsely crush garlic. Keep the crushed garlic, cloves and cinnamon on the cheesecloth, and tie the cloth up together to make a bundle. Mix beetroot, tomatoes, onion, green chilies, the spice bundle and salt in a saucepan, add a cup of water.Bring it to a boil, keep boiling for 5 minutes. Turn the heat to low and
keep the pan covered for 30 minutes or till all the beetroot pieces are tender. Turn off the heat, and keep the pan covered till the mixture cools down to room temperature. Remove the spice bundle. Puree the rest of the mixture till very smooth in a blender. Pour the puree back into the sauce pan, add sugar, adjust the salt and cook with constant stirring till the sauce becomes thick- it will take about 5-10 minutes. Add vinegar, mix well and allow the sauce to cool. When the sauce cools down transfer to clean dry bottles and store refrigerated for up to one week. This recipe yields ~ 2 cups of sauce. Serve with meat cutlets.