Do you say ketchup? or catsup? Either way, this recipe for Banana Ketchup was inspired after tasting it on a trip to St. Lucia and it is quick, easy and delicious!
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Gary and I love to cruise. Well, in truth, I love cruising more than he does. I just like that you can go to a lot of different places and only have to unpack once. Plus, they make certain areas, like the Caribbean affordable.
Lately, we’ve been cruising the Caribbean. The last week of January, our friends Mike and Regina joined us on a 7-day Southern Caribbean cruise out of San Juan, Puerto Rico on the Carnival Valor, with ports of call to St. Thomas, Barbados, St. Lucia, St. Kitts and St. Maarten.
In this post, I’ll be talking about our trip to St. Lucia. This was the port we were most excited about. On of of my former massage clients raved about her stay on the island, and we’ve wanted to go ever since.
The only challenge was figuring out how to best enjoy the limited time we had. Gary (and Regina and Mike) wanted to take a Catamaran to see the island’s famous Pitons and good snorkeling. That idea didn’t really appeal to me. I wanted to go on the Scenic Views tour. So we decided to split up for the day.
Gary was a little hesitant with me going off by myself. I had to remind him that when I was single I used to travel by myself all of the time plus when we went on our cruise in December, I went to Tulum by myself while he joined some of our friends on a Catamaran (are you seeing a pattern here?)
We agreed to meet back on board after our respective tours and compare notes. So off I went in an air conditioned bus (thank goodness for the air conditioning). We began our tour in colorful and historic Castries.
Our first stop was Morne Fortune, which is 900 feet above sea level, where we could see captivating view of Castries & surrounding areas.
Then we were able to relive history at Sir Arthur Lewis Community College where we saw old military barracks, war cemetery, and gun powder battery.
I even got to see the Pitons off in the distance. The Piton Mountains rise 2600 feet above the sea! These unique, cone-shaped volcanic peaks have been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site and are St. Lucia’s most famous landmark.
Our next stop was Caribelle Batik. We got to see an artist demonstration of how they do batik.
Then we were welcomed into a private residence, Stony Hill, a well manicured property edged by a tropical garden and breathtaking views of the Rodney Bay area.
We had time to stroll through the gardens and admire these amazing views.
We also go to see what fruits and vegetables they grew on the property and enjoy a complimentary fruit juice and local snacks.
One of the snacks was a fried fish and they had banana ketchup to dip it in. Banana ketchup, YUM!
It was so good! I wanted to buy a bottle to take home but we flew from Florida (where we live) to San Juan with only carry-on luggage I couldn’t bring it back because the bottle is larger than the allowable 3 oz. So I did the next best thing. I looked at the ingredients and made a mental note and vowing to make it when I got home.
We met back at the cruise ship and compared day trips. We couldn’t have made a better decision for each of us – me choosing the island tour and Gary choosing the boat excursion.
Then it was business as usual: sitting on the deck watching the sun and the island disappear in the horizon. It’s a lovely way to end the daylight hours.
It was hard to pull away from the beach–I could have spent another few days there, easily. But my disappointment at having to leave was at least dimmed by having with a clear view of the Pitons.
This Banana Ketchup is based on my best recollection of the ingredients and looking a various recipes on the internet. I think it turned out pretty close.
- 2 Tablespoon olive oil
- ½ cup finely chopped sweet onion (about 1 small onion)
- 2 medium cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon dried green chili (See Note 1)
- 2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
- ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
- ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
- 2-3 large ripe bananas
- ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 Tablespoon raw local honey
- 1 Tablespoon tomato paste
- ½ teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
- Water, as needed
- In a medium bowl, mash bananas using a potato masher. You could also put them in a food processor or high speed blender.
- In a medium saucepan, heat oil in over medium heat until shimmering. Add onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until onions have softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, green chili powder, ginger, turmeric, and allspice and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
- Stir in bananas, vinegar, honey, tomato paste, and salt; bring to simmer. Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook for 15 minutes, stirring often. Remove from heat and let cool for 10 minutes.
- Transfer ketchup to a food processor fitted with a steel blade and process until smooth, about 1 minute. Thin with water as needed to reach a ketchup-like consistency. Season with additional salt to taste.
- Transfer to an airtight container.
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