Its hard to not laugh while reading the Indian-Chinese section of the menu in Indian restaurants (if they offer this specialty). Only a few dishes served under this heading, may have authentic resemblance to the food prepared in China. Our friend, who is from the Sichaun, was very intrigued by this concept and the variety of innovative fusion dishes. The names are especially interesting – Chicken 65 (with or without the dragon prefix!!), Vegetable Manchurian, and so on…. 😀
Schezwan sauce, a variant of the original Sichuan sauce from the Sichuan province of China, is quite popular in India, and in Indian restaurants here in the US. It is either mixed in while preparing the dish or served on the side as a dipping sauce. Either way, it tastes delicious!!
Know your nutrients: “Indianized” Chinese cuisine, although liked by most Indians, can be unhealthy. You probably already know that its quite greasy, contains high amounts of Sodium, and may contain MSG (ajinomoto) and/or artificial red color. Here’s how you can make your favorite Schezuan sauce in a few minutes, with more control over oil and sodium and no artificial colors. You can use this instead of Sriracha Sauce!
Stay tuned for recipes using this sauce to vet your appetite for Indo-Chinese, in a more mindful manner!
Per serving (1 tbsp): 69 cals |6 g total fat |3 g sugar
Cooking Time: 10-15 mins
Ingredients (5 servings- 5 tbsp)
2 Kashmiri Red chili (soaked in hot water for 30 mins)- These are not spicy chilies; but are valued for the natural red color they impart.
3 large cloves of garlic
1.5″ ginger piece
1/4 yellow onion (US) or 1/2 red onion (India), diced
1/4 cup ketchup
1/4 red chili powder / cayenne pepper (more if you like it HOT)
1/2 tsp sugar (optional, if your ketchup is tangy)
2 tbsp oil (3 tbsp if you want to preserve)
Salt to taste
- Grind the red chilies, onion, ginger and garlic to a smooth paste with 1/4 cup water.
- Heat oil in a non-stick pan and when its warm (not hot), add the smooth paste. Let it boil on medium heat, while stirring it constantly, for 2-3 mins.
- Then add ketchup, sugar, red chili powder and salt and mix well. Let it boil and thicken to desired consistency.
- Transfer the sauce to a bowl for serving or into a small jar for later use! Enjoy~
Note: This sauce can last for 1-2 week in the refrigerator. However, if you want to make a bigger batch and preserve it for a longer period, add additional oil (1 tbsp). I haven’t tried preserving it for a longer time, so I am not sure of its shelf-life beyond 2 weeks. If you try, please do let me know! Thanks! 🙂
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