Take the stems and leaves off the tomatoes and wash well. Cut the base of the stem out of the tomatoes, and cut into wedges. (If you're using cherry tomatoes, you probably won't need to cut them.)
Put the cut up tomatoes in a blender and purée. Purée enough so that you can't see the skins or the seeds anymore.
Put the puréed tomatoes from Step 2 and 1/2 the sugar into a pot, and start simmering. Start on medium heat, and when it starts to thicken, turn down to low heat. Skim off the scum diligently.
When the purée has reduced to about half its original volume, purée the onion and garlic and add it with the bay leaf to the pot. Continue simmering.
Keep cooking until the sauce falls with a heavy plop from a spatula when you scoop it up. Add salt, the remaining sugar, grated ginger, vinegar and the ☆ spices to season.
Pour the piping hot ketchup into sterilized jars right up to the rims. Screw on the lids, turn the jars over, and leave for 10 minutes.
After 10 minutes, put the jars in 50°C lukewarm water. After a while, add cold water little by little to cool the jars. By cooling the jars quickly, the red ketchup won't turn brown.
However, don't cool them too fast or the jars will crack.
Sterlize the jars. You can do this in boiling water, or pour boiling water over them. I sterilize the jars by microwaving dry ones for 3 minutes at 700 W, and disinfect the lids with alcohol.
I made a half-batch this time. It filled 3 jars with the white lids. Store in a cool, dark place. Store opened jars in the refrigerator.
Story Behind this Recipe
I bought a 4 kilo box of tomatoes for a great price which was great, but my husband and I couldn't eat them all.
The key is to purée the tomatoes so that you can't see the seeds or skins any more. If the skins bother you, you can peel the tomatoes by dunking them in boiling water briefly. Once the tomatoes are puréed, you just need to simmer them patiently. When the purée thickens, it may splatter, so set the heat to low. The ketchup is piping hot when it's packed into jars, so be careful not to burn yourself!