I love Indo-Chinese stuff. And I have told that a million times on this blog. While I love my fried rice and noodles, what makes Indo-Chinese food great for me is the Schezwan sauce. A good Schezwan sauce makes a great Schezwan fried rice or noodles.
I have tried Schezwan fried rice from hi-fi posh restaurants to the local places here and there is a distinct flavor difference. This sauce is spicy, fiery red and garlicy. But I have tasted versions with plain vinegar and raw garlic that I wanted to make my own at home. And no, the bottled up packaged stuff is equally bad too. So what started as an experiment few years ago has been worked upon time and again, the version I am sharing today is almost perfect for me. It is easy, simple and makes the most flavorful chilli garlic sauce at home.
Since I am talking about Schezwan sauce, I have to share this story from a couple of years ago. I had got all my family fully excited on homemade Schezwan sauce and a super good fried rice. I also made my mother in law peel like some 30-40 cloves of garlic while I was dealing with shallots myself. After an hour of prep work, we realized that there would be power outage for the entire day. The rice was cooked and all other stuff prepped up. I could see everyone’s face sinking down but what could we do? My MIL did the unthinkable. She hand-ground the Schezwan spice mix in a large mortar and pestle (Ammi-kal) not minding the burning fingers from touching the red chillies and garlic. Yes, I am married into a sweet sweet family! 🙂
Now onto the recipe!
To make Home Made Schezwan Sauce | Easy Schezwan Sauce Recipe
What I used –
- Dried Red Chillies, 8-10
- Garlic Pods, 15-20
- Shallots, 5-7
- Natural Vinegar, 1 tbsp
- Soy Sauce, 1 tbsp
- Tomato Sauce, 2 tbsp
- Sugar, ½ tsp (optional)
- Salt, as needed
- Sesame Oil/Vegetable Oil, 1 tbsp
- Water, as needed
Prep Work –
1. Peel the garlic pods and soak them along with dried red chillies in ½ cup of warm water for 30 mins at the least.
2. Peel the shallots and chop very finely. Set aside.
How I made –
1. Grind the soaked garlic, red chillies into a smooth paste in a mixer-blender. Set aside.
2. Heat oil in a thick bottomed pan. Add finely chopped shallots. Fry until translucent and add the prepared red chilli garlic paste.
3. On a low heat, keep cooking the mixture until the raw smell is gone and oil starts to separate from the edges. Add salt, sugar (if using), soy sauce, natural vinegar, tomato sauce and mix well.
4. If the mixture is too thick, add some water and keep cooking until the mixture is glossy and sauce like. Depending on the thickness, add water – boil until desired consistency is achieved. Remove from heat.
5. Let it cool down completely. Store in it an air tight container in the refrigerator for upto 2 weeks and use for fried rice or noodles. Can be used as a side for momos too!
- I used spicy variant of red chillies and that’s why used only lesser number of chillies. For good color and less spice, use Kashmiri chillies.
- This Schezwan sauce is not overly spicy. Increase the number of red chillies and skip sugar if you want a spicy version.
- Keep the sauce refrigerated for longer shelf life.
- Sichuan peppers give a distinct taste to the sauce, I couldn’t find any and didn’t use.