Hot and pungent sauce with a hint of tanginess and sign of sweetness; bursting with many flavors, many well-balanced flavors is Schezwan Sauce. This is an Indo-Chinese sauce prepared using red chilies, garlic, ginger, along with a little sugar, vinegar, black pepper powder, etc. The Schezwan Sauce recipe is all about balancing the flavors. This recipe of Szechuan sauce works great for me. However, you can adjust the flavors by adding less or more of the given ingredients. This is the best part of this recipe. It is totally customizable. The schezwan sauce can be served with momos, spring rolls, etc. Further, it can also be served with Indian snacks such as pakora, tikki, etc. Schezwan chutney can be used to make schezwan rice, schezwan noodles, etc. The schezwan sauce stays good for 3-4 weeks in the refrigerator. Very close to schezwan sauce is the schezwan chutney. It is less hot, less smooth and equally tasty. I shall soon share schezwan chutney recipe.
Dry Whole Red Chilies: A variety of dry red chillies is available in the market. Kashmiri red chilies work great for this recipe. These are more red, less hot and very flavorful. However, you can use any chilies which you have. Even I did not have the Kashmiri red chillies, so I used the regular ones. You can even combine the regular ones with Kashmiri red chilies.
Sichuan Peppers: These are added for the authentic taste. However, if Sichuan peppers are not available, skip these. I have used black pepper powder in this recipe instead of Sichuan peppers.
Garlic and ginger: Different recipes use a different quantity of ginger and garlic. However, this recipe worked for me. Along with ginger and garlic, celery is used. I have used coriander stems instead of celery.
Seasoning and flavoring: I have used salt, sugar, black pepper powder, vinegar, soy chutney to season the schezwan sauce.
Oil: Enough oil is added to make schezwan chutney. Oil gives a longer shelf life to this sauce.
Schezwan Sauce can be used as a condiment or as a dip. It can be used to make a number of dishes such as schezwan rice, schezwan veg noodles (Maggi included), schezwan dosa, etc. I shall soon post recipes using schezwan sauce on the blog.
Keep it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It will stay good for up to 4 weeks. You can freeze it and keep it good for up to 8-9 months.
Balance of flavors is the key to a good schezwan sauce. For a perfect one keep the following in mind:
1. For best results use a combination of Kashmir Red Chillies (gives more color and less heat) and byadagi red chillies (give more heat). For example in this recipe where 20 chilies have been used, you can use 15 Kashmiri red chillies and 5 byadagi red chilies.
2. Remove the seeds of the chilies before soaking. It will reduce the heat of the sauce and will give a better (smooth) texture to the sauce. Although this is very much optional.
3. Soak in hot water for enough time. Do not rush with this step.
4. While making the sauce use the water in which the chilies were soaked.
5. Make sure to cut the garlic, ginger, and onion finely.
6. Balance the flavors as per your liking. There are a number of flavoring agents in this recipe. In such a case it is important to strike a balance. For me it is perfect. But you might like it a bit more sweet or tangy. After making the sauce as per this recipe, taste it and adjust it as per your liking.
1.This recipe makes approximately ¾ cup schezwan sauce.
2.Get all the ingredients ready.
3.Make sure to soak 20 dry red chilies in hot water for 30 minutes.
4.Transfer the soaked chilies into a grinding jar.
5.Add in 1-2 tbsp of water.
6.Make a smooth paste.
7.In a wok or pan heat 3 tbsp of oil.
8.Add 1 and ½ tbsp finely chopped garlic.
9.And 1 tbsp finely chopped ginger.
10.Cook for 30-40 seconds on high flame.
11.Next add in 1 small finely chopped onion.
12.Cook for a minute, till the onions become translucent.
13.Next add in the paste of red chilies.
14.Cook for a couple of minutes, till the oil oozes.
15.Add in ½ a cup of water.
16.Cook for 2 minutes.
17.Add in 1 tbsp of celery.
18.Next goes in ½ tsp of soy sauce.
19.Also add in ¼ tsp of black pepper powder.
20.Next goes in 2 tsp sugar.
21.Add in salt to taste.
22.Add 1 tbsp of vinegar.
23.Cook on low flame for 5-7 minutes.
24.Check and adjust the seasoning and consistency.
25.Store in air tight bottle.
PREP TIME 15 minutes
COOK TIME 12-15 minutes
TOTAL TIME 30 minutes
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