Red Chile, Garlic, and Shallot Sauce
Its saucy, fiery, orange-red color is a clue to its dragon-breath-like quality, puffing wisps of burning heat in every single drop. My version tries to calm the flames by incorporating shallots and a tiny bit of sugar, but you will be the judge of their effectiveness. This is often the second sauce layer in some of the chaats, India’s popular street foods.
Total Timeunder 2 hours
Make Ahead RecipeYes
Five Ingredients or LessYes
Taste and Texturegarlicky, hot & spicy
Type of DishCondiments, sauces
- 1 cup boiling water
- 20 dried red Thai or cayenne chiles, stems removed
- ¼ cup thinly sliced shallots or red onion
- 1 teaspoon white granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon coarse kosher or sea salt
- 6 medium-size cloves garlic
Pour the boiling water over the chiles in a small bowl, and set aside until the chiles have softened and the water has turned light reddish-orange, 1 to 2 hours. (I have certainly forgotten it and left it overnight, and everything has worked just fine.)
Drain the chiles, reserving ¼ cup of the liquid.
Pour the reserved liquid into a blender jar, and then add the chiles and all the remaining ingredients. Puree, scraping the inside of the jar as needed, until it forms a smooth, orange-red, pulpy paste.
Transfer this knock-your-socks-off-hot sauce to a tightly sealed container and refrigerate it for up to 5 days, or freeze it for up to 1 month.
2008 Raghavan Iyer