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Enchilada Sauce : Using Dry Chiles

The authentic way of making Mexican Enchilada sauce involves the use of dry chili peppers. We have used dry California chiles (Anaheims) and dry guajillo chiles. You may reduce the number of chiles in the sauce to make it milder, but this is a medium enchilada sauce in terms of heat.Enchilada Sauce : Using Dry Chiles

Makes about 3 cups.


  • 3 c water
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 dry guajillo chili peppers, broken into bits
  • 2 dry California chili peppers, broken into bits
  • 1 c tomatoes, chopped (canned or fresh)
  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 c onion, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp dry oregano
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 Tbsp all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp mild chili powder (American style)


  1. In medium saucepan over medium heat, bring the water to a boil. Stir in the salt, dry chili peppers and tomatoes. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer 20 minutes.
  2. Strain out the solids and discard, reserving the chili cooking liquid. Set aside.
  3. In a medium saucepan over medium low , warm the vegetable oil and saute the onions for about 4 minutes. Stir in the garlic, oregano, cumin and flour and blend well for about 30 seconds. Stir in the reserved chili cooking liquid and continue stirring until the sauce thickens. Add in the mild chili powder and a bit more water if needed. Remove from heat and use immediately or cover tightly and refrigerate for up to a week.

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