Schezwan Sauce » Dassana’s Veg Recipes

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Schezwan sauce is a terrifically spicy, tangy, and salty condiment that compliments any number of recipes and snacks. It is easy to make from scratch using dry red chilies, garlic, and lots of bright spices. Follow my step-by-step instructions with photos and video for making a batch to enjoy with all of your favorite dishes!

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overhead shot of schezwan sauce in a white bowl placed on a white plate on a cream napkin

About This Recipe

Spicy, tangy schezwan sauce also known as schezwan chutney is a versatile condiment that goes great with many delicious snacks. It features a wonderfully pungent combination of hot red chillies, garlic, flavorful sichuan peppers, and salty soy sauce. This recipe can easily be customized to your preferred level of heat for a great dip or bold sauce.

The sauce comes from the Indo Chinese cuisine that originated in Kolkata. This fusion cuisine is a creation of the Chinese community that had immigrated to India combining the classic Chinese methods of cooking with the Indian spices, herbs and vegetables.

Schezwan sauce is a wonderful addition to your meals in a way they simply perk up any plain, bland or boring meal. Make it and refrigerate or freeze to bring more flavors and spice up your everyday meals.

Try dipping your savory snacks like Momos, Spring Rolls, Scallion Pancakes, French Fries or Potato Wedges in this spicy sauce, or bring plenty of bold flavors to your Fried Rice or Noodles with this sauce. Trust me, you will love this condiment if you like spicy food.

Use this basic schezwan sauce to make recipes like Schezwan noodles, Paneer schezwan and Schezwan fried rice

Step-by-Step Guide

How to make Schezwan Sauce

Prepare the peppers

1. Firstly, rinse and then soak the dried red chilies in hot water for about 30 minutes. For a slightly less spicy taste it is recommended that you de-seed the chilies before soaking. You can also remove the stems if you prefer.

red chillies soaking in water

2. Next, drain the chilies and then remove the stalks. Break them into pieces and then add them to a chutney or spice grinder, food processor, or a blender.

soaked chillies in blender

3. Add a tablespoon of water at a time – up to 2.5 tablespoons total – and blend to make a smooth paste.

chilli paste in blender

4. Use a mortar and pestle to crush the sichuan peppers coarsely. Set aside. You can choose to skip the sichuan if you like, for a less spicy schezwan sauce.

crushing sichuan pepper in stone mortar

Make Schezwan Sauce

5. Next heat 4 tablespoons of toasted sesame oil, or any other vegetable oil, in a medium-sized pan over medium heat.

toasted sesame oil in a frying pan

6. Add 15 cloves of garlic and 1 inch of ginger, all finely chopped. Saute for just a minute or two until no longer raw. Be careful to not brown or burn, or you’ll wind up with a bitter taste.

ginger garlic frying in bubbling hot oil

7. Then add 4 or 5 chopped shallots, and saute until translucent stirring often.

shallots frying in hot oil in pan

8. Add the ground red chili paste to the pan.

ground red chilli paste being added to hot oil

9. Stir well to combine.

oil mixed with red chilli paste

10. Then add the crushed sichuan pepper, if using. At this point you can add ½ tablespoon of chopped celery as shown in the video.

crushed sichuan pepper in red chilli paste in frying pan

11. Saute the paste for 1 to 2 minutes, until the oil starts to seep from the chili paste. Add ½ cup of water and stir to loosen the paste into a sauce.

sautéing schezwan sauce

12. Simmer the sauce for about 2 minutes on a low heat stirring often.

simmering schezwan sauce

13. Now add all of the following ingredients. Stir and mix. Continue to cook the sauce for 5 to 6 minutes more.

  • 1 or 2 teaspoons of sugar
  • a pinch of salt to taste
  • ¼ to ½ a teaspoon of black pepper powder
  • ½ a teaspoon of soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of rice vinegar (or white vinegar, or apple cider vinegar).
adding salt, seasonings to schezwan sauce

14. Turn the heat off. Once the schezwan sauce cools down, pour it into a small jar or bowl. Cover tightly with a lid and refrigerate.

prepared schezwan sauce in pan

15. Serve schezwan sauce as a condiment with your favorite snacks, or you can add it to recipes that require schezwan sauce, such as the schezwan fried rice, noodles, stir fried veggies, stir fried tofu, schezwan dosa, schezwan idli, paneer schezwan etc.

overhead shot of schezwan sauce in a small bowl with chopsticks and schezwan fried rice on a black and white checkered napkin

Tips + FAQs

How can I make a spicier or more mild version of this schezwan sauce recipe?

I have used a mix of the mildly hot Indian variety of Kashmiri red chilies and byadagi chilies. They give a good color, flavor and taste good, too. Depending on your taste buds and spice tolerance, you can choose chilies with lower heat or medium heat, or add more chilies for greater spice.

How long will homemade schezwan sauce keep well?

Scratch-made schezwan sauce stays good in the refrigerator for about 2 to 3 weeks in an airtight container. For the best tasting and longest-lasting sauce, I recommend adding a bit of oil to the top of the sauce before sealing the jar.
You can also freeze this sauce to last longer.

How can you enjoy schezwan sauce as a dip?

A few snack suggestions to dip in spicy homemade schezwan sauce include potato wedges or veg cutlet, french fries, spring rolls, dumplings or momos. It also goes quite well with savory fried Indian snacks like cheese pakora or veggie pakora, or samosa.

Some More Popular Condiments!

If you made this recipe, please be sure to rate it in the recipe card below. Sign Up for my email newsletter or you can follow me on Instagram, Facebook, Youtube, Pinterest or Twitter for more vegetarian inspirations.

Schezwan sauce is a spicy and pungent sauce made with dry red chillies, garlic, shallots and spices. It is a fusion indo Chinese recipe of a hot chili sauce to perk up your meals.

Prep Time 35 mins

Cook Time 15 mins

Total Time 50 mins



Servings 1 small jar

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This schezwan sauce recipe post from the archives (June 2014) has been republished and updated on 10 June 2021.


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