Go Back

Red Chile Sauce

From Evangelina Soza: I remember mi mamá standing at her kitchen table squeezing the boiled red chile pods with her bare hands; this was before she owned a blender. I never quite figured out how she did this because the chiles were extremely spicy, but her hands never seemed to feel the burn. Afterwards she would strain the red chiles by turning a wooden pestle around and around in a conical strainer and pressing down on the chile pods. This would result in the velvety rich chile that she used for so many recipes. Recipe courtesy of Hippocrene Books.
Course Sauce
Cuisine Mexican
Author Evangelina Soza, Yvette Marquez-Sharpnack, Veronica Gonzalez-Smith


  • 8 ounces California or New Mexico red chile pods
  • 6 cups water
  • 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 tablespoon salt


  1. Remove stems, seeds, and veins from the chile pods. Place in a colander and rinse well with cool water.
  2. Add the chiles to a large pot and add enough water so they are just covered. Bring water to a boil. Lower the heat, cover, and simmer for about 20 minutes. After 10 minutes turn the chiles over with tongs to make sure the chiles soften evenly. Drain cooked pods and allow time to cool down before blending. Discard water.
  3. Fill blender with 3 cups of water, half of the cooled chile pods, 3 tablespoons flour, 2 cloves garlic, and half of the salt. Blend until smooth. Strain sauce through a fine sieve to remove skins and seeds; discard skins and seeds. Repeat blending and straining process with remaining water, pods, flour, garlic, and salt. If necessary, season with more salt.
  4. This sauce can be made in advance and
kept in airtight containers in the refrigerator or freezer. Red chile sauce can be stored in the refrigerator for up to one week or frozen for up to six months.
  5. Makes 6 to 7 cups.