Schezwan chutney, a product of the Indo-Chinese confluence during the colonial rule in India, is a fiery condiment made of red chillies, shallots and garlic. Taking inspiration from the Sichuan province in China, schezwan – a misspelled name for the type of food that came from this Chinese province, is the long-standing condiment that is somehow, only available in restaurants and supermarkets in India. While the origins of this sauce might be hazy, it would be safe to say that when the Hakka Chinese migrated to Kolkata, they brought along the food they would typically eat back home.

A result of this, combined with tweaks to suit the Indian palette, is how Indo-Chinese cuisine came to be in the 1700s. Other culinary influences from Hong Kong and Korea found their way in, at a later stage. The condiment has now featured on everything from noodles to stir fries and even dosas, all credit to the booming street food culture in our country. From the thousands of recipe variations available online, what makes this one unique is the addition of dried cranberries to the mix. Interestingly enough, due to the tart-sweetness that they bring to the chutney, it balances the flavours and yet, retains the hit of spice rather delicately. You could also slather this chutney to make a gooey, spicy grilled cheese for times when you decide to indulge your guilty pleasure.

Recipe:

Ingredients:

Also Read: 

Schezwan Chilli Chicken: A Quick And Flavoursome Chinese Chicken

  • 5 Kashmiri red chillies
  • 7-8 Guntur/spicy red chillies
  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
  • ¼ cup garlic
  • ¼ cup dried cranberries
  • 2 star anise
  • 2-inch piece ginger
  • 2 tablespoon coriander root, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar/apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons salt

Method:

    

  • Soak the cranberries and chillies in hot water, separately for a couple of hours.
  • Add the soaked berries and chillies, along with the other ingredients to a blender jar and blitz until you get a smooth paste. Eat with chakli, slather on sandwiches or dosas, or make a spicy schezwan fried rice with veggies and meats of your choice.

Note: You can add or reduce the number of chillies for this recipe depending on your levels of spice tolerance. This chutney keeps well in an air-tight jar for a couple of weeks.