Skip to content

California Hot Sauce From Dried Chilies

California Hot Sauce

I’ve been trying for some time to duplicate the flavorful hot sauce served in our favorite California Mexican restaurant. My daughter says that I have achieved that goal with this recipe!

Makes about 4 cups.


  • 10 dry arbol chili pods (chile de arbol)
  • 5 dry California chiles (see below)*
  • 8 canned whole tomatoes, drained
  • 2 c fresh water
  • 2 Tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp Mexican oregano
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 c chopped cilantro (or 1 Tbsp dry cilantro)
  • 3/4 tsp sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
  2. Place the arbol chili pods and the dry California chiles on a baking sheet. Roast 8 minutes. Remove promptly to prevent scorching them.
  3. Place the chiles in a saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil. Remove from burner and cover pot.
  4. Allow the chiles to stand in the hot water 10 minutes to soften.
  5. Promptly remove chilies, using tongs, to a plate; cool until you can handle them. Remove stems and seeds. (If you want a very hot sauce, leave some seeds in.)
  6. Place chiles in a blender or food processor with the water, lime juice, onion powder, garlic powder, cumin, oregano, salt cilantro and sugar. Process until the texture of a good restaurant hot sauce. Place in bottles and seal tightly. Refrigerate and use within a week or two. Excess may be frozen for up to a few months.

*California chiles are also known as Anaheim chiles or New Mexico chiles.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *