Schezwan Sauce

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Schezwan sauce is a terrifically spicy, tangy, and salty condiment made with dry red chilies, garlic, shallots and lots of bright spices. This fusion Indo Chinese recipe of a hot chili sauce compliments any number of recipes and snacks. It is one of the most popular sauces from Indo-Chinese cuisine. Follow my step-by-step instructions with photos and a video for making a batch of this versatile sauce to enjoy with all of your favorite dishes!

overhead shot of schezwan sauce in a white bowl placed on a white plate on a cream napkin

About Schezwan Sauce

Spicy, tangy schezwan sauce also known as schezwan chutney is a versatile condiment that goes great with many delicious snacks. It features a wonderfully pungent combination of hot red chillies, garlic, flavorful sichuan peppers, and salty soy sauce. This recipe can easily be customized to your preferred level of heat for a great dip or bold sauce.

The sauce comes from the Indo Chinese cuisine that originated in Kolkata. This fusion cuisine is a creation of the Chinese community that had immigrated to India and combines the classic Chinese methods of cooking with the Indian spices, herbs and often includes veggies.

Schezwan sauce is a wonderful addition to your meals in a way they simply perk up any plain, bland or boring meal. Make it and refrigerate or freeze to bring more flavors and spice up your everyday meals.

Try dipping your savory snacks like Momos, Spring Rolls, Scallion Pancakes, French Fries or Potato Wedges in this spicy sauce, or bring plenty of bold flavors to your Fried Rice or Noodles with this sauce. Trust me, you will love this condiment if you like spicy food.

Use this basic schezwan sauce to make recipes like Schezwan Noodles, Paneer schezwan and Schezwan Fried Rice

Step-by-Step Guide

How to make Schezwan Sauce

Prepare the peppers

1. Firstly, rinse and then soak the 20 dried red chilies in hot water for about 30 minutes. For a slightly less spicy taste it is recommended that you de-seed the chilies before soaking. You can also remove the stems if you prefer.

I added a mix of two Indian variety of dry red chillies – 15 Kashmiri red chillies and 5 Byadagi red chilies.

red chillies soaking in water

2. Next, drain all the water from the soaked red chilies and remove the stalks if not removed earlier. Break them into pieces and then add them to a chutney or spice grinder, food processor, or a blender.

soaked chillies in blender

3. Add a tablespoon of water at a time – up to 2.5 tablespoons total – and blend to make a smooth paste.

chilli paste in blender

4. Use a mortar and pestle to crush 3 to 4 sichuan peppers coarsely. Set aside. You can choose to skip the sichuan if you like, for a less spicy schezwan sauce.

crushing sichuan pepper in stone mortar

Make Schezwan Sauce

5. Next heat 4 tablespoons of toasted sesame oil, or any other vegetable oil, in a medium-sized pan over medium heat.

toasted sesame oil in a frying pan

6. Lower the heat and add 1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic and 1 teaspoon finely chopped ginger.

Sauté for some seconds on low to medium-low heat until no longer raw. Be careful to not brown or burn, or you’ll wind up with a bitter taste.

ginger garlic frying in bubbling hot oil

7. Then add ¼ cup chopped shallots, and sauté until translucent stirring often on a low to medium-low heat.

shallots frying in hot oil in pan

8. Add the ground red chili paste to the pan.

ground red chilli paste being added to hot oil

9. Stir well to combine.

oil mixed with red chilli paste

10. Then add the crushed sichuan pepper, if using. At this point you can add ½ tablespoon of finely chopped celery as shown in the video.

crushed sichuan pepper in red chilli paste in frying pan

11. Saute the paste for 1 to 2 minutes on a low to medium-low heat, until the oil starts to seep from the chili paste. Add ½ cup of water and stir to loosen the paste into a sauce.

sautéing schezwan sauce

12. Simmer the sauce for about 2 minutes on a low to medium-low heat stirring often.

simmering schezwan sauce

13. Now add all of the following ingredients. Stir and mix. Continue to cook the sauce for 5 to 6 minutes more on low to medium-low heat.

  • 2 teaspoons of raw sugar
  • salt as required
  • ¼ to ½ a teaspoon of black pepper powder
  • ½ a teaspoon of light soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of rice vinegar (or white vinegar, or apple cider vinegar).

TIP: For a more sweeter sauce, opt to include 1 to 2 tablespoons of tomato ketchup at this step.

adding salt, seasonings to schezwan sauce

14. Turn the heat off. Once the schezwan sauce cools at room temperature, pour it into a small jar or bowl. Cover tightly with a lid and refrigerate.

If the sauce looks very thick, add a few tablespoons of hot water to thin it a bit.

prepared schezwan sauce in pan

15. Serve schezwan sauce as a spicy dipping condiment with your favorite snacks, or you can add it to recipes that require schezwan sauce, such as the schezwan fried rice, noodles, stir fried veggies, stir fried tofu, schezwan dosa, schezwan idli, paneer schezwan etc.

overhead shot of schezwan sauce in a small bowl with chopsticks and schezwan fried rice on a black and white checkered napkin

Tips + FAQs

How can I make a spicier or more mild version of this schezwan sauce recipe?

I have used a mix of the mildly hot Indian variety of Kashmiri red chilies and byadagi chilies. They give a good color, flavor and taste good, too. Depending on your taste buds and spice tolerance, you can choose chilies with lower heat or medium heat, or add more chilies for greater spice.

How long will homemade schezwan sauce keep well?

Scratch-made schezwan sauce stays good in the refrigerator for about 2 to 3 weeks in an airtight container. For the best tasting and longest-lasting sauce, I recommend adding a bit of oil to the top of the sauce before sealing the jar.
You can also freeze this sauce to last longer.

How can you enjoy schezwan sauce as a dip?

A few snack suggestions to dip in spicy homemade schezwan sauce include potato wedges or veg cutlet, french fries, spring rolls, dumplings or momos. It also goes quite well with savory fried Indian snacks like cheese pakora or veggie pakora, or samosa.

Some More Popular Condiments!

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overhead shot of schezwan sauce in a white bowl placed on a white plate on a cream napkin

Schezwan Sauce

4.86 from 48 votes
Schezwan sauce is a spicy and pungent sauce made with dry red chillies, garlic, shallots and spices. It is a fusion indo Chinese recipe of a hot chili sauce to perk up your meals.
Prep Time 35 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 50 mins

Cuisine Indo Chinese
Course: Side Dish
Diet: Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Difficulty Level: Moderate

Servings 1 small jar
Units

Ingredients

For Soaking Chillies and Making Paste

  • 20 dry red chilies – less hot or medium hot. I added a mix of 15 kashmiri and 5 byadagi dry red chilies
  • hot water – as needed to cover the chillies
  • 2 to 2.5 tablespoons water or as needed, for blending the red chilies

Other Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons toasted sesame oil or any vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic or 15 small to medium-sized garlic cloves
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped ginger or 1 inch ginger
  • ¼ cup finely chopped shallots or 1 small onion – finely chopped
  • 3 to 4 sichuan peppers – crushed, optional (skip if you don' have)
  • ½ tablespoon finely chopped celery – optional (skip if you don't have)
  • ½ cup water – to be added later
  • 2 teaspoons raw sugar or organic unrefined cane sugar or brown sugar – please add as required. For a more sweeter taste, you can even add up to 3 teaspoon sugar.
  • ¼ to ½ teaspoon black pepper powder or as required
  • ½ teaspoon light soy sauce or as required
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar or white vinegar or apple cider vinegar
  • salt as required

Instructions

Preparation

  • Rinse and then soak the chilies in hot water for 30 minutes.
  • You can also de-seed the chilies and remove their stems before you soak them.
  • Drain all the water. Remove the stems and then break the chilies. Add them to a chutney grinder or blender. Add water and make a smooth paste of the red chilies.
  • Crush the sichuan peppers coarsely in a mortar-pestle.

Making schezwan sauce

  • Heat toasted sesame oil or any other vegetable oil in a frying pan.
  • Lower the heat. Add the garlic and ginger first and sauté for some seconds till their raw aroma goes away. Don't brown them.
  • Add the chopped shallots and then saute them stirring often till translucent on low to medium-low heat.
  • Add the ground red chili paste and combine thoroughly.
  • Then add the crushed sichuan pepper and finely chopped celery (if using). Sauté for 1 to 2 minutes more till you see oil releasing from the sides of the sauce.
  • Add ½ cup of water and mix well. Simmer for 2 minutes stirring often on a low to medium-low heat.
  • Add salt, sugar, pepper, soy sauce and vinegar.
  • Stir and continue to cook further for 5 to 6 minutes more on low to medium-low heat.
  • Switch off the heat and set the pan aside. Check the taste and add more salt, sugar or pepper as required.
  • Once the sauce cools at room temperature, transfer it in a small jar or bowl. Cover tightly with a lid and refrigerate.
  • Serve schezwan sauce as a condiment with snacks or you can also add in recipes like schezwan fried rice or noodles, vegetable schezwan or veg balls in hot garlic sauce or schezwan dosa.
  • It stays good for about 2 to 3 weeks in an air-tight container in the refrigerator.

Video

Notes

  • For a sweeter taste consider adding 1 to 2 tablespoons of tomato ketchup to the sauce. 
  • Use a mix of dried red chilies that give a good bright color and are moderately spiced. If you use chilies that are very hot or pungent the sauce will also become very spicy. I suggest to either use a mix of Indian varieties of Kashmiri red chili and byadagi red chilli as I have done. Or only use Kashmiri red chilies as shown in the video.
  • You can also add some celery as seen in the video recipe.
  • The recipe can be scaled to make a small or big batch.
  • To preserve the sauce for a longer time, add a layer of oil about ½ inch on top of the sauce. Always refrigerate this sauce and don’t store at room temperature.
  • Note that the approximate nutrition data is for the entire amount of schezwan sauce made from this recipe.

Nutrition Info Approximate values

Nutrition Facts
Schezwan Sauce
Amount Per Serving
Calories 622 Calories from Fat 513
% Daily Value*
Fat 57g88%
Saturated Fat 8g50%
Polyunsaturated Fat 24g
Monounsaturated Fat 22g
Sodium 1359mg59%
Potassium 451mg13%
Carbohydrates 29g10%
Fiber 5g21%
Sugar 17g19%
Protein 3g6%
Vitamin A 2673IU53%
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) 1mg67%
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) 1mg59%
Vitamin B3 (Niacin) 1mg5%
Vitamin B6 1mg50%
Vitamin C 11mg13%
Vitamin E 1mg7%
Vitamin K 21µg20%
Calcium 53mg5%
Vitamin B9 (Folate) 28µg7%
Iron 2mg11%
Magnesium 28mg7%
Phosphorus 71mg7%
Zinc 1mg7%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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This schezwan sauce recipe post from the archives (June 2014) has been republished and updated on 10 June 2021.

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Welcome to Dassana's Veg Recipes. I share vegetarian recipes from India & around the World. Having been cooking for decades and with a professional background in cooking & baking, I help you to make your cooking journey easier with my tried and tested recipes showcased with step by step photos & plenty of tips & suggestions.

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170 Comments

      1. sugar is added when salt, soy sauce, pepper is added.
        thanks. i have updated in the post.

  1. I love all your recipes. Tips given buy you are really very helpful. Whenever I want to make something, I always follow your recipes. Thank you so much for sharing ????5 stars

    1. thanks rashmi for this lovely comment. glad to read it. thanks again and happy cooking.

  2. Hello,
    How may garlic should one use if they’re the bigger ones ? Where is live at the garlic pods are really big. Should I still be using 15 pieces of garlic then ?

  3. Really easy and wonderful dear dassana…thanks for th schezwan sauce recipe….tastes exactly like the store bought one didnt know it is quite simple….tnx a ton 4 ur dishes5 stars

  4. wow !! yummy Schezwan Chutney recipe ..thanks for the recipe. i will definately try today.5 stars

  5. thanks DA for yummy recipes.For schezwan sauce can i substitute vinegar with 1tbsp lemon juice

    1. you can use lemon juice. i would suggest to add half tablespoon first. if the tang is less, then you can add half tablespoon later.

    1. its stays good for a few weeks. if you want to keep it longer then just cover the sauce with a layer of sesame oil.

  6. i forgot to add sugar is it ok?or can i add now its already as become cold.?5 stars

    1. you can powder the sugar and then add. or just warm it up and then add sugar, so that the sugar dissolves. or mix the sugar in a bit of warm water very well. then add this sugar solution to the schezwan sauce.

  7. This recipe is so much like the traditional Rajasthani chilly and garlic chutney.

  8. Thanks a lot for the receipe. I tried this and it tasted just like restaurant food.

  9. Thank you so much for all the wonderful sauces recipes. They are great and comes handy. Your site is just awesome. So many yummy recipes. Thank you ?

    1. welcome rhea. glad to know that you liked the recipes and the website.

  10. i have tryed today but it becum to much very much spice cant tell so much spice it was wanna try it again…

    1. schezwan sauce is spicy. add a puree of 1 large tomato and cook it with the sauce. add some sugar also just to make the sauce lightly sweet and it will balance the tang of the tomatoes also.

  11. I made this sauce today. Turned out very good. My food processor did not do a good job of grinding the red chilies. Next time I’ll use my vitamix because I’m definitely going to make it again.5 stars

  12. I have made this sauce three times till date and everytime i made it, my wife loved it. Thanks for sharing such a wonderful recipe. I skipped celery since my wife doesn’t like it but still this is so yumm… Thanks once again and GOD bless!!5 stars

    1. Welcome Kunal. Glad to know that you both like the schezwan sauce recipe. Thanks for your positive feedback and best wishes.

  13. This is really helpfull for me first of all check than i will do how to make5 stars

    1. you can use fresh red chilies. add about 10 to 12, depending on the heat intensity. if less hot, then add about 12. if medium then add 10.

    1. nick if you place them in the freezer it could last for up yo 2-3 months also. hope this help’s you.

  14. Your all recipes are just wonderfull u r just amazing. I wanna make one request please DASSANA please i want pav bhaji masala recipe please make it available as soon as possible please i waiting eagerly

    1. thankyou aisha πŸ™‚ surely have taken your request for pav bhaji masala recipe on our file πŸ™‚ will try posting soon.

  15. you have created a treasure trove of recipes… have tried umpteen of them and each turned out as per your photographs… great work!!

    Thanks for sharing…

    1. quite pleased to know this kunal thankyou for your kind and positive words πŸ™‚

  16. I have tried many of your recipes at home and it turned out to be awesome….i love ur work, keep adding more recipes. Thank you for it.

    1. thankyou amit for your positive words πŸ™‚ surely we would keep sharing more recipes.

  17. I only just found your page. Your recipes are really great. Do you have recipes for diabetics.
    Thank you.3 stars

    1. thanks jennifer. there are some diabetic recipes but i have not grouped them in one category. i plan to do so in some time.

  18. Hi,
    I always refer to ur recipes whenever I need them n my family loves the result.
    Just a suggestion when u mention any spices add their Indian names ….so that while cooking v don’t have to search for a dictionary.
    Thanks.5 stars

    1. pleased to know this ekta thankyou so much for your honest opinion πŸ™‚

  19. Hi dassana,ur recepies are very nice.I want perfect french fries recepy like hotel .please post the recepy.

    1. if you want you can add 1 to 2 tbsp of tomato sauce. fresh tomatoes are not added.

  20. Hi mam, love each and every recipe u post and also the detailed explanation about the recipes πŸ™‚ , I have a doubt that what variety of red chillies have to be used…are they dry red chillies?

  21. I dont have the sichuan pepper. Can i add the regular black pepper in making the sauce ?5 stars

    1. skip the sichuan pepper. no need to add black pepper as we are already adding black pepper in the recipe.

  22. hii..:) can schezwan sauce be used in making dry veg manchurian gravy? as i don’t hv red chilly sauce..pls suggest .

    1. maitry, i think they will not give you the color and spiciness in the recipe.

    1. no need. just cover the schezwan sauce with a layer of oil. its stays good for a long time.

  23. Hey!! I tried this recipe and the sauce has turned out extremely well… thanks alot πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚5 stars

  24. Hi this receipe was really well explained n thanks for that…

    I need a receipe of veg spring rolls or veg Chinese rolls…

    If u can help me with the receipe pls4 stars

  25. Very well written, and those photos help a lot. I am going to try is today. Thanks for sharing it. God bless you

    1. welcome reshma. thanks for sharing your encouraging feedback and for your prayers.

  26. thnx fr giving these wonderfull n yummiieeee recipes….plz conti with new ideas…God bless u…4 stars

  27. It is very clear steps to understand and prepare sauce. I have learnt many dishes from your website. Thanks for sharing

  28. Nice recipes wld like to get updated vth good ones n even more as im a foodie by heart n i love the flavours n food trial…thnks fr lovely recipe.4 stars

  29. Oh..thanks a ton!! I have tried it almost 10times till now.. But finally got it right today! Thanks to you. Amazing recipes very simplified and very well written. The photos help a lot too..thank you amit dasaana for sharing.5 stars

  30. i got each and every reciepe on this web its so amazing for my child to have his favourite dishes.

  31. Hello there! I am so delighted with ur blog recipes.. Well, written as per instruction wise..absolutely simple for us mom’s to understand..
    well detailed too! U just made szechuan sauce easy to make..
    Your hardwork and ur kindness for sharing what uve learnt cooking wise is worth a…. 5 star!5 stars

    1. thanks juliette for this positive and kind feedback. feels good to read such sweet words.

  32. it is one of the best website for indian recipes …….. very helpful for me thnks dassana amit….. : )2 stars

  33. recipe is very very well explained at this site, without watching any vedio and waiting for net to buffer its easy to watch it here. loved it and going to try for my first recipe from net. happy4 stars

  34. I always make chinese food like rice, noodles, finger chips, spring roll. but can’t make schezwan sauce but now after read this recipes I make sauce perfect. thanks for this kind of help to us4 stars

  35. Thank You for sharing these wonderful recipes. I am looking forward to cooking them soon.

  36. Hi Dassana,

    Thanks a ton for this recipe. It turned out excellent. You have to promise never to stop posting recipes for the better good of the Culinary world πŸ™‚

    I made the sauce and made the schezwan fried rice (also from your blog). Absolutely delicious.

    Thanks again.
    Keerthi

    1. hi keerthi, thanks for the feedback. i won’t promise as once a person like me gives me a promise, then i have to keep it. but i will keep on updating the blog with new recipes.

  37. Thank you so much dear for the schezwan sauce it’s great recipe very helpful in cooking thanks a lot Dassana5 stars

  38. Dear Amit

    I love cooking and whenever I am stressed I cook. Your recipes are easy and in very organised. I have been following your blog for quiet sometime and really wanted to put a word of appreciation for your efforts.. god bless and tons of thanks..
    Neha

  39. Yes very good opportunity to learn about recipes.
    given recipes are perfectly shown.

  40. Hello…very detailed recipe.thanks for putting it.also till how long we can keep the sauce.5 stars

    1. if you add lots of oil, the stays good for a couple of weeks in the fridge.

  41. Very very clearly way of explanations for mentioned recipes.Thanks for guidance.5 stars

  42. Thanks a lot for your advice dassana. I will definitely remember that though I already know that in cooking you should always use the ingredients as your gut feeling says but still I will rather like to take your or my mother’s advice as I am a new learner. πŸ™‚
    I will definitely let you know how my efforts would come out. πŸ™‚
    and once again thanks for giving the ideas on the quantities of ingredients of mentioned recipes. πŸ™‚5 stars

  43. Hi dassana, what are byadagi chillies???
    Can I use 20 Kashmiri red chilies instead???
    I have one big big request to you. Do you remember I told you that I may need your help with the ingredients of some more recipes of yours for my birthday party as I am a new learner and not so good with measuring the quantity of ingredients???? So can you please please please tell me the quantity of ingredients of the recipes- babycorn jalfrezy, khaman dhokla and Punjabi kadhi for 12 people.
    hope this would not cause much trouble for you.
    Thanks a lot in advance. πŸ™‚5 stars

    1. byadagi chilies are from the state of karnataka and give a bright color and mildly hot. you can use kashmiri red chilies. no issues. khaman dhokla might be a problem for 12 people. but you can just double up for baby corn jalfrezi and punjabi kadhi. it would be difficult for me to write down for both the recipes. just double up the recipes.

      1. Okay I will double up the recipes just wanted to know your suggestions. πŸ™‚
        thanks a lot for the suggestions. πŸ™‚
        I will give you the feed back.
        In case of khaman dhokla I am thinking that I will make 3 or 4 batches of dhoklas and then they will be sufficient for 12 people. What is your opinion about that??

        1. am glad rajashri. one suggestion and advice in cooking is to eyeball the ingredients and use the method of andaaz (estimation). when i cook at home, i don’t measure the ingredients. only when i have to cook for the blog, i measure the ingredients. also rely on your intuition or gut feeling while cooking. it helps. you will become a masterchef if you get the knack of this πŸ™‚

          do give the feedback. indian cooking can always be rectified if something goes wrong. like for eg if the kadhi becomes thick, you can add water and thin it slightly. yes 4 batches will be sufficent. the recipe serves 3 to 4 people. so for 12 servings, 4 batches will be fine. i think even dhokla can be doubled or tripled. you can increase the eno amount in the recipe. for four servings you can add 6 tsp of eno fruit salt. kadhi and jalfrazie are pretty easy to prepare. kadhi you need to double. it will serve 12 people. as the recipe serves about 5 to 6 people. babycorn jalfrezi, you will have to tripe or quadruple. in baby corn jalfrezi, you can add the sauces and spices as per your taste. for schezwan sauce, you can even add tomato sauce to get a slight sweet taste.

  44. Hi,
    Very nice and tempting recipes,
    Can u plz give me irani hotel type Bun Maska Recipe
    Thank you

    1. welcome wilson. i have to try making buns at home. otherwise you can buy buns from market and apply butter on them. the buns are slightly sweet.

  45. Hi Dasanna
    Enjoyed trying out your recipes. The family loves it. If possible, please may I have Burmese Atho food recipes-.Atho veg noodles to be specific. Thanks. Ramya

    1. thanks ramya. i have not heard of atho noodles. so i will have to explore and try the recipe.

  46. Hi dassana i love your recipes …. delicious n tempting… I just love the way you present them with detailed explanation n instructions…. I just love you n your hard work….
    I read this momo recipe… I like it so much.I’m going to make it tomorrow morning … You’ve written 20 red chillies but haven’t told how much kashmiri and how much byadagi chillies should we take so can u please tell me the proportion…..5 stars

    1. thanks snehal. glad to know that you like the way recipes are presented. i have updated the recipe details. 15 kashmiri and 4-5 byadagi chillies.

    2. thanks for your reply dassana… can u pls share fruit salad with melted ice cream recipe and egg or eggless chocolate cake in microwave oven….5 stars

      1. welcome snehal. i have noted down your recipe requests. so probably will try to add in some months.

    1. the variety of sichuan pepper in goa and maharashtra is a bit different, but having the same essential characteristics more or less. and these are called as tirphal or teppal.

  47. Nice recipe….better than store bought ones which are dunked in additives…meanwhile I tried ur onion rava dosa…Punjabi mango pickle….tomato ketchup…gajar ka halva….tava paneer…paneer makhani….and all came out superb5 stars

    1. thanks anitha for this positive feedback on the recipes you tried. yes, home made sauces, jams, pickles, juices, breads etc are always better and healthier than store bought one.

  48. Made this today came out tasty…only problm was d colour..i took red chillies..after i soaked them..they left some colour…wen i grinded them..the paste was pale red…n after putting in oil n simmering it turned dark yellow nt at all appealing to look…i put red chilli powder too so that it looks bright but nothing helped….

    Wat do u think i did wrong…wat should i do to make it bright…how did u achieve such a bright colour…pls help

    1. masu, which chillies you added. the color depends upon the quality and type of red chillies. both kashmiri red chillies and byadagi give a good red color. normally, it should not happen like that. i make schezwan sauce often and i never had such an issue. in your case, you can also add 1-2 tbsp of tomato sauce and that will also deepen the color.

    1. hi richa, try some super stores and check the section of garam masala or whole spices. the super store i have here, does keep as a stock of sichuan pepper.

      1. Does Sichuan pepper corns looks like black pepper corns or are you talking fresh sichuan peppers like chillies.I am little confuse.Please clarify my doubt.

        1. sichuan peppers are bigger than black peppercorns. i am not using them like chilies. hope i have managed to clear your doubt.