I love sticky sauces. But I don’t make them enough because of the sugar content. If you buy these bottled, you can be sure they are made with corn syrup or some such processed food item. While making them at home, I never seem to add enough sugar. I just can’t!
Another thing I love is citrus flavors. Orange dressings, orange flavored cakes and biscuits, orange based stir frys – I have done them all. But never a sticky orange sauce because of the sugar problem. I decided to try another route this time and go with a semi homemade option. The resulting sauce is yummy – sweet, tangy and spicy all at the same time, it is a feast for orange lovers. And I didn’t even add any of that zest!
This Orange Anise Sauce recipe is something I will be making for years to come. The best place to get a star anise is probably your neighborhood Indian grocery. Or maybe the international foods aisle in Walmart. You can also just order it online from a place like Amazon.
The recipe is as follows –
Orange Anise Sauce Recipe is a sticky orange sauce that is semi homemade. The sweet and spicy flavors are a perfect complement to grilled tofu or paneer.
- 3 cups orange juice
- 1 star anise" ingrt
- 1 whole dry red chili
- ½ tsp dry ginger powder
- Pinch of white pepper
- Salt to taste
- We start with any store bought orange juice of choice. Go with your favorite brand – Tropicana, Minute Maid, Simply Fresh, yada yada yada. I chose Tropicana since that is the only decent one available here in Pune.
- Add about 3 cups of orange juice to a sauce pan. Add a whole star anise and dry red chili. Bring to a boil and let it simmer. Add the ginger and pepper. Do Not add salt now.
- *the star anise is a very very strong spice. It tastes like licorice or fennel. Even one star is enough to flavor a large stockpot full of rice. If you are new to the flavor, just tear off one or two petals and try using them first until you know you like the flavor.
- Let the orange juice simmer slowly until it reduces. It will take a while. We want to boil it down until it gets sticky and starts coating the spoon. I am not sure what temperature you should have here since I don’t own any fancy candy thermometers. But if you’re into that, you can note the point here now and then use it next time.
- The sauce will reduce to less than 1 cup before it starts coating the spoon. After this,it is mostly guesswork the way I do it. We don’t want to end up with orange candy or brittle, just a sticky sauce! Season with a pinch of salt now and switch off the heat.
- The sauce will thicken as it cools down and become more sticky. But it should still be spoonable. You can take the anise and chili out at this time to have just a mild flavor. If you store the sauce with the spices in it, the flavor will get very strong over time.
- Serve this sauce any way you like – as a dipping sauce, or use it along with grilled tofu, or even use it to top steamed vegetables. This is a unique flavor that will transform a boring meal into something exotic with hardly any effort on your part. I used it as a dipping sauce with my Sweet Corn Scallion dumplings, and also with grilled paneer.
Ready to try it out? Make sure you remove the anise once the sauce is done.
This is the first recipe I am posting for Meatless Monday. So I would like to welcome all Meatless Monday readers and hope they like this simple recipe. Looking forward to know what you think.