Since the past few months the husband has been trying his hand at making Indo Chinese dishes and making great progress at it! Now it is one thing to make Chinese food with ready made sauces and yet another to make the base sauce from scratch. Ofcourse, the soya sauce has to be store bought but you can make a very versatile sauce that can help you make a zillion things in a jiffy. What's more, its free of preservatives and you can refrigerate it for upto 3 months without any problem.
In our house Roshan is the one who makes most of the condiments - from pickles to sauces to pastes, he is my handy man for all the savoury stuff. My area of expertise is limited to the sweet stuff - from wines to jams and preserves to chutneys, I am the 'sweet' person :)
There are tons of dishes that you can whip up with this sauce without limiting yourself to Indo Chinese cuisine. You can create fusion food and also flavour pulaos with this sauce. If creativity is your second name then this sauce is a must in your fridge.
There is nothing better than homemade condiments that smell fresh and taste wholesome! Making condiments from scratch also mean that they don't reek of preservatives and don't have an ingredient list that is a mile long! So what's your excuse? Go make some! You can thank me later!
Homemade Schezwan Sauce
- 20-25 long dry red chillies (Kashmiri or Byadge), deseeded
- 150 grams (3 whole pods, each pod consisting of 9-10 fat cloves) of garlic, peeled & finely chopped
- 2 inches ginger finely chopped
- 5 teaspoons of dark soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons of sweet soy sauce * see notes
- 1 teaspoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon rice vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon Chinese 5 spice powder (substitute with any warm spice blend like garam masala) * optional
- 2 tablespoons of tomato ketchup / sauce
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 cup warm water
1. Soak the deseeded chillies in enough warm water to cover their surface for 1 hour and then grind them using water sparingly (only as much as required), to a smooth, fine paste.
2. Heat oil in a heavy based non stick pan/wok/kadhai and add the garlic and ginger and fry them on a low heat till raw smell vanishes.
3. Add the ground chilli paste and fry on a low heat till the oil starts to separate.
4. Add the other ingredients such as dark soy sauce, sweet soy sauce, sugar, salt, rice vinegar, Chinese 5 spice powder (or garam masala), tomato ketchup and mix well and cook for 10 -15 minutes. Add the warm water a little at a time during the process and continue to cook till the oil starts to separate. Addition of water is to achieve the desired thickness of the sauce so use only as much as required.
5. Remove the sauce from heat and allow to cool completely. Store in a clean, dry glass bottle and refrigerate. Use as required.
1. If you don't have sweet soy sauce just substitute it with 2 teaspoon of dark soy sauce + 2 teaspoons brown or white sugar - so for this recipe you will use a total of 7 teaspoons of dark soy sauce + 2 teaspoons sugar
2. The sauce can be stored in the refrigerator for upto 3 months and used in preparing different types of Indo-Chinese dishes. Make sure the container used is preferably glass or ceramic, is sterile and you store the it in the back of your fridge shelf (right behind where it is the coolest)