Meet basic formulas to Chinese sweet soy sauce, American BBQ sauce, Lebanese garlic sauce and Afghani kabab sauce
Meet basic formulas to Chinese sweet soy sauce, American BBQ sauce, Lebanese garlic sauce and Afghani kabab sauce

We've chalked out some infinitely customizable sauces that can turn boring food into flavourful meals using pantry staples.

Each of these hold plenty of room for alterations so you're free to turn them into dips, marinades and stir-fry sauces.

We've doctored up a bit of our favourite store-bought sauces as a base; adjusting flavours with a little bit of this and a dash of that for our rice, noodles, meat gravies and dips to side with meals.

Here they are:

Chinese sweet soy sauce:

Base formula: sugar syrup + soy sauce + aromatic spices = sweet soy sauce

This needs:

  • 1.5 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup water, divided into 1/4 cup and 1/2 cup
  • 1 full bottle (500ml) Shangrila soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Shangrila vinegar
  • 1 piece star anise
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 4 slices crushed or chopped ginger root
  • Half a stick of cinnamon
  • Water upto one full cup (divided into quarter cup and half cup exactly)

Optional: About 4-5 curry leaves

Method: In a large empty (preferably non-stick) wok or pan, caramelize the sugar with exactly a quarter cup of water. Yep, the process is identical to how we turn sugar into regular syrup (read: sheera) for most desi desserts.

Take it off the stove once the sugar has turned to a dark bright amber. Be careful not to burn it.

Add half a cup water to this and whisk it all lightly to combine the two liquids together.

Put in all of soy sauce, star anise, cinnamon, ginger garlic, vinegar, few curry leaves and give it all a nice stir.

Bring the sauce to a quick boil for a few seconds. Simmer for about 15-20 minutes.

Once done, strain the ingredients out. Let cool and store in (a preferably air tight) jar in the fridge for future use.

American BBQ sauce recipe:

Base formula: tomato ketchup + aromatic spices + sugars + vinegar = BBQ sauce

This needs:

  • 1/2 tablespoon oil
  • 1/4 medium cubed onion
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 cup Shangrila tomato ketchup sauce
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Shangrila worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon mustard
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 teaspoon Shangrila red hot sauce
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper

Optional: 1 teaspoon red chili flakes

Method: Heat the oil in a nonstick pan and cook the onions to the point where they turn pale pink. Throw in the garlic and reduce the heat to a low.

Add in tomato paste, cumin, tomato ketchup, mustard, vinegar, red hot sauce and the remaining ingredients. Simmer for about 10 minutes to reach to a consistency that is thick enough to resemble a sauce.

Once the tastes are adjusted, blend it all to a fine paste until smooth. Dilute the sauce within the blender (with water) in case you need to keep it a little runny.

Let cool and store in (a preferably air tight) jar in the fridge for future use.

Lebanese garlic sauce recipe

Base formula: garlic + vinegar + oil + cream = garlic sauce

This needs:

  • 1 full garlic bulb
  • 2 tablespoons Shangrila vinegar or 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 and a half cups regular oil (canola or sunflower oil recommended)
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream

Optional: 1 tablespoon fresh parsley and 1 tablespoon jaggery or brown sugar

Method: Blend together all the garlic with salt.

Add in the oil by gradually drizzling it into the food processor (begin with half a cup). Pour in 1 teaspoon of lemon juice each time the blender takes a break to add oil. Repeat the process until the result is light and fluffy.

Add in the cream and blend again until it all reaches a consistency similar to mayo. Mix in fresh parsley with a spatula.

Place in a jar, and store in the fridge for future use.

Afghani Kabab sauce recipe

Base formula: yogurt + aromatic spices + chinese sauces = afghani kabab sauce

This needs:

  • 2 onions, medium sized
  • 1/2 teaspoon Shangrila vinegar
  • 1 and a half teaspoons Shangrila red hot sauce
  • 2 cups plain yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar or crushed jaggery
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 teaspoon ginger and garlic paste
  • 1 pinch turmeric powder
  • 2 tablespoons ground cumin and coriander seeds

Optional: 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro or 1 table spoon green chutney

Method: Blend all ingredients in a blender and cook on a low flame for 5-10 minutes. Adjust tastes and let thicken.

Place in a jar, and store in the fridge for future use.

Ditch the yogurt in this recipe to turn it into a spicy meat rub.


This content is produced in paid partnership with Shangrila Seasonings.

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