I have tried it all. Affordable, expensive, beyond budget, free with groceries, outrageously cheap – every brand that the market has to offer when it comes to Schezwan sauce. But I have not been impressed too much because I really look for freshness in everything. And the addition of preservatives can only give you so much!
Ever since I started blogging about recipes regularly, I have also started developing more interest in using fresh ingredients, even in case of chutneys and sauces. The difference is so huge in terms of taste, texture, freshness and of course, health! Now I am a big advocate of all things fresh and homemade. There are of course a few things I still buy from the market, but Schezwan sauce is definitely not one of those things.
If you are a big fan of everything Schezwan, this is the chutney for you. Made with hot red chilies and a few very basic ingredients, you can have a big batch of this Schezwan chutney in no time. I always have a jar of this in my fridge to whip up spicy recipes on those days that demand it. So go ahead and make a giant batch for yourself.
Preparation time – 30 minutes
Cook time – 30 minutes
Makes – 200 g
- 50 g dried red chilies
- 1 tbsp vinegar
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tsp sugar
- 4 tbsp vegetable oil
- 15 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- 20g ginger, finely chopped
- Salt to taste
- 1 cup water
- Soak the dried red chilies in lukewarm water for four to five hours. Keep it covered all the while. This step is very essential because we want the chilies to soften.
- Grind the soaked chilies with a little water till a thick and fine paste is formed.
- Heat oil in a pan. Once the oil is hot, add the finely chopped ginger and garlic. Saute for a minute. Make sure you don’t burn it.
- Add the chili paste to the oil and fry on medium flame for about ten minutes. Once it starts releasing the oil, add some water and stir. Cover and cook this for fifteen minutes.
- Take the lid off, add salt, sugar, vinegar and soy sauce. Stir well till you get the desired consistency. Add water accordingly.
- Let it cool completely and transfer to a jar. Refrigerate and use it for up to a month in your recipes to add a good dose of heat.
This chutney is not a sauce, because it is thicker than a sauce would be. You can choose to make it your own consistency. I like mine thick like a pickle, and using just a little also goes a long way in adding the spice element.