- 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)