Schezwan Sauce (Sichuan Sauce)

Schezwan Sauce or Sichuan Sauce
Schezwan Sauce or Sichuan Sauce

The word Schezwan (Indian for Sichuan) is synonymous with spicy and you will find Indians who love hot and spicy food ordering Schezwan Fried Rice or Schezwan Noodles by the tons in places that serve Indo-Chinese food. In fact, many an Indian is known to change the colour of sweet Corn Soup from pale white/yellow to red by adding Schezwan Sauce to it generously. 🙂 This is when we are not adding dark soy sauce to it!

You will find Dark Soy Sauce, Vinegar with Green Chillies, and Schezwan Sauce served as accompaniments at most Indo-Chinese eateries.

Anyway, I digress. I love the Schezwan Sauce for its spiciness; that appeals to the Andhra in me. In my home, you will often find my brother and me eating Chakli with Schezwan Sauce. It is a combination to die for, believe you me.

While we normally buy Schezwan Sauce, this is time we decided to make it at home and what a treat it turned out to be. You can make a largish batch of the sauce and store it for a few weeks.

How to Make Schezwan Sauce (Sichuan Sauce) at Home

Ingredients

  1. Kashmiri Red Chillies – 15
  2. Regular Red Chillies – 5 (optional)
  3. Garlic Pods – 10 to 12
  4. Ginger – 4″ Piece
  5. Sugar – 1 tsp
  6. Soy Sauce – 1 tbsp
  7. Vinegar – 1 tbsp
  8. Sesame Oil – 1/4 Cup
  9. Salt to Taste

Method

  1. Soak the chillies in 2 Cups of water for 1 hour.
  2. Peel and chop the garlic pods into very small pieces.
  3. Peel and chop the ginger into very small pieces.
  4. Take the chillies out of the water and grind into a coarse paste along with a little water in which chillies were soaked.
  5. Heat the sesame oil.
  6. Add the ginger and garlic and fry till the garlic just starts to change colour.
  7. Add the chilli paste and mix well.
  8. Over medium heat, fry the mix till the oil starts to leave the sides.
  9. Add the sugar and mix well.
  10. Add the soy sauce and vinegar.
  11. Over medium heat, stir-fry for 5 minutes.
  12. Turn off the heat.
  13. Add the salt and mix well.
  14. Let the Schezwan Sauce cool.
  15. Store in an air-tight container and refrigerate.

Tips

  • Kashmiri Red Chillies give the Schezwan Sauce its distinctive colour and provide the necessary volume.
  • Add regular chillies for the “heat” or spiciness. You could also use 2 tbsp store-bought red chilli sauce instead of regular spicy red chillies. If you use chilli sauce, add it in step 10.
  • If you make this sauce with regular red chillies, you will find that it is too spicy and too pale in colour.
  • If you are making a smaller batch for immediate use, you can reduce the amount of oil to just what is needed for frying. I add 1/4 cup so that the sauce can be preserved.
  • Use sesame oil (preferably filtered and not refined) as it lends the sauce a very distinct flavour.