Chili Tomato Szechuan Sauce

A versatile Szechuan style spicy and tangy sauce for all occasions

Chili Tomato Szechuan Sauce recipe
Total Time (Mins): 
Prep Time (Mins): 
Cook Time (Mins): 

Medium Ripe Tomatoes: 5
Finely chopped Garlic: 4 tsp
Garlic Cloves: 5
Finely chopped Ginger: 1 tsp
Peeled Ginger: 1 inch
Finely chopped Red Onion: 1 large
Red chilies: 6
Tomato Ketchup: 1 tsp (optional)
Dark Soya Sauce: 1 tbsp
Red Chili Powder: 1 tsp
Coriander Stalks finely chopped: 2 tbsp
Sugar: ½ tsp
White Vinegar: 1 tbsp
Oil for Frying: 4 tbsp (preferably sesame oil)
Salt to taste 

Cooking Method: 
Skill Level: 

1)  Remove Stem and soak red chilies in hot water for half an hour.  
2)  Grind together red chilies, blanched de skinned tomatoes (refer tips), garlic pods and peeled ginger into a fine paste.
3)  Heat oil and add chopped ginger. After 30 seconds, add chopped garlic. 
4)  After a minute, add chopped onion and fry until translucent. 
5)  Add tomato and red chili paste. 
6)  Add salt and fry until the oil separates. 
7)  Add tomato sauce, red chili powder, soya sauce, sugar, and vinegar. 
8)  Fry for 1 minute.
9)  Add coriander stalks and fry well. Remove from heat and store the dish in an air tight container

Common Mistakes: 

1)  Do not fry garlic, ginger and onion for more than the prescribed time. Stop it when the mixture turns translucent. 
2)  If worried about the heat of the chili, soak it in hot water, remove its seeds, and adjust the quantity of the chili powder
3)  Blanching tomatoes keeps the bright color intact. Refer our knowledge article on blanching to know more. 
4)  Frying the sauce till the oil separates takes away the raw taste of the tomatoes
5)  The sugar is added to balance the sourness of the tomatoes and the heat of the chilies.
6)  Coriander stalks contain intense flavor hence used for the dish
7)  Soy sauce, vinegar, and tomato ketchup contribute salt to the dish. Therefore, adjust the salt accordingly.


Blanching Tomatoes

Make a cross of one inch at the base of the tomatoes. In a pot of 1.5 litre of boiling water, add 1/2tbsp of salt. Place the tomatoes and when it starts to boil, wait for 2 ½ minutes. When the skin swells and shows sign of peeling, remove it from the heat and drop it in ice cold water. De skin the tomatoes and chop. Use it now for the recipe. 

Alternative Ingredients: 

1) Can do away with the tomatoes for making Szechuan chili paste, but tomatoes add depth and balance the heat of the chilies. But if you cannot use tomatoes due to health reasons, grind soaked red chilies and skip garlic and ginger. Don’t forget to use chopped garlic and ginger for frying. Add 1 cup of water and cook until thick. Dissolve 1 tbsp of cornflour in 2 tbsp of cold water and add to the dish. The rest of the ingredients remains the same.

2) Can substitute tomato ketchup for tomato paste

3) Can substitute white pepper powder for red chili powder

4) Sesame oil gives the sauce a nutty flavor, but you can be substitute it with regular vegetable oil


Stays fresh in the refrigerator for up to a week. Serve it as a spicy addition to a variety of dishes.

Dish Type: