Indo Chinese Szechuan Sauce Recipe

Ready to eat: 55 min
Nia Bennett | Apr, 22 2019

When I think of Szechuan sauce, my heart instantly races to chicken lollipops, manchurian, momos. Szechuan sauce is a popular street sauce or a dip used for Indian or Chinese starters. This Indo-Chinese recipe is so popular that you won’t find a place in India that doesn’t serve it.

Indians love experimenting with flavours but ironically this recipe was developed by a Chinese community in India. They designed it to cater to the Indian palette.

This Szechuan sauce doesn’t use Chinese Sichuan peppers. Instead, it relies on the Indian Kashmiri chili for its rich colour and mild heat.

I have a lot of fond memories ordering Chinese from the local takeaway and asking for extra sauce because their Szechuan sauce was almost otherworldly. I also went through an embarrassing phase where I had all my noodles, rice and even popadoms with this sauce on the side. In was in my early 20s that I decided to experiment and find the exact recipe that would come closest to that takeaway and ladies and gentlemen - this is it!

This Indo-Chinese Szechuan sauce is divine and if you've never had one, I would urge you to give it a go. The sauce goes wonderfully with fried rice, noodles or dumplings. But my favourite part about this sauce is it's great to oomph up any leftovers.

Ingredients

Serves: 6

  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 8 Kashmiri red chilies (soaked in water for 20 minutes)
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 6 Cloves garlic , finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp ginger, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 2.5 tablespoons vinegar
  • 6 tablespoons ketchup
  • 1/4 cup water
  • Salt to taste

Method

Prep: 20 min > Cook: 35 min > Ready to eat: 55 min

  1. Add oil to a pan, once hot add chopped ginger and garlic. Saute on a low flame till the raw aroma disappears and then add the chopped onions.
  2. Allow the onions to cook on a low flame for 2-3 minutes or when it’s lightly caramelised. While the onions are cooking, discard the chili infused water and and grind the chilies with two tablespoons of water into a paste.
  3. Once the onions are light brown, add ground chilies, soy sauce, vinegar, ketchup, salt and 1/4 cup water.
  4. Bring this to a boil and simmer till the sauce thickens. When the sauce is the right consistency, the oil would have separated.
  5. Switch off the flame and allow this to cool for 30 minutes. Once the sauce has completely cooled down, transfer to an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to 10-12 days.

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