Red Chile Sauce from Powder

Red Chile Sauce made from chile powder mjskitchen.com @MJsKitchen

 

My usual red chile sauce is made from New Mexico dried red chiles pods, but every once in a while a reader asks about chile sauce made from red chile powder. So today I’m sharing a recipe for red chile sauce made from red chile powder.  The red chile powder I use is from New Mexico of course; however, this recipe can be used for just about any type of red chile powder. (See Kitchen Notes)  The three sauces you see in the picture below are from three different chile powders:

Red chile sauces from three different powders mjskitchen.com @MJsKitchen

 

 

Red chile sauce from sweet paprika

 

 

Red chile sauce from red chile powder from southern New Mexico

 

 

Red chile sauce from red chile powder from northern New Mexico

 

 

If you’ve read my Red or Green? post from a couple of years, you know that the flavor of chile not only comes from the type of chile pepper (e.g., Big Jim, Anaheim, Cayenne, Chile de Arbol, Urfa Biber) but also from the dirt, the water, the altitude, and the climate of the area in which the chiles are grown.  Chile powder can be affected even more by the process used to make the powder.  For example, looking at the two red chile powders below, would you think that both of these powders are from New Mexico chiles?  Well, they are.

Two New Mexico red chile powders - one from southern NM and one from northern NM mjskitchen.com

The lighter red one in the back is from northern New Mexico and the darker one in the front is from southern New Mexico.  Even though they are both from “medium” heat peppers, the northern chile is actually hotter than the southern chile.  There is also a difference in flavor.  The northern chile yields a somewhat sweet, rich sauce that works nicely with chicken and vegetables dishes.  The southern chile yields a bolder, earthier sauce that is great for beef and chorizo dishes. Both work well for huevos rancheros, tacos, bean burritos and New Mexico red chile enchiladas.  Believe me, I wouldn’t hesitate to use either one of these powders, because they both make a delicious sauce, just different.

The following recipe can be used to make a red chile sauce from just about any red chile powder or combination of chile powders.  Find a chile powder that you like, cook up a batch of sauce and make your favorite enchiladas.  For sources of New Mexico chile powder check out the list of New Mexico chile sources.

Red Chile Sauce made from chile powder mjskitchen.com @MJsKitchen

Kitchen Notes

Red Chile Powder – For the flavor of a traditional New Mexico red chile sauce, use a New Mexico red chile powder.  However, you could use whatever red chile powder is available in your area as long as it’s a powder you like the taste of and one that is spicy, but not too hot.  A Scoville heat unit (SHU) between 500 and 8,000 yields a chile sauce that can be used for enchiladas, huevos rancheros, and for smothering burritos. Any SHU hotter than that should be used sparingly unless you’re a glutton for punishment.  I would probably use the hotter sauces to top off tacos and tostados.

Paprika Chile Sauce – The sauce made with paprika was good, but I had to add some Kashmiri chile powder to it to give it a little kick, something all red chile sauces should have.  Serrano, smoked serrano, or chipotle would also have created an interesting sauce but with a completely different flavor.

Powder Texture – The texture of the powder determines whether your sauce is smooth or gritty.  To test, rub the powder through your fingers. If it feels gritty, then the sauce will be gritty. Run the powder through a spice grinder until you have a finer texture.  A good texture is one close to the texture of flour.

Additional seasoning – To maintain a smooth sauce, I chose to use garlic and onion powders; however, you could mince a clove of garlic and about 1/4 cup minced onion if you’d like. Saute in the oil before adding the flour.

Sugar – If you find the sauce a little bitter, add a little sugar.  It doesn’t take much and can be added at the end.  So be sure to taste the sauce before adding.

So if you can’t find red chile pods, or if you want a really nice red chile sauce in a hurry, then make a red chile sauce from powder from some of that chile powder you have in the pantry.  It’s amazingly fast to throw together, and is quite delicious.

 

This Red Chile Sauce from powder has been shared with the Hearth and Soul Blog Hop  .

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64 Responses to “Red Chile Sauce from Powder”

  1. April J Harris June 23, 2014 at 9:16 am #

    I learned so much from this post, MJ! I had no idea there were so many different kinds of chili powder. Of course it makes sense as there are so many different chilis, but I just never thought about it! Your chili sauce sounds delicious – the spices must smell amazing while they are cooking too! Pinned :-)

    • mj June 23, 2014 at 9:20 pm #

      Thanks so much April! Oh I’m still discovering chiles myself. There are SO many and they are all SO good!!

  2. Nami | Just One Cookbook April 29, 2014 at 1:35 am #

    While I go crazy for matcha powder, you’re one crazy lady for chilis. :D Green and orange/red. That’s our team color. ;) I got an expert in chili department. The colors are so vivid and beautiful….

    • mj April 29, 2014 at 11:45 am #

      Oh yes – you are the queen of matcha!!! :) I like the Red and Green team colors – just perfect for us!! Thanks! :)

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  4. JC Marc April 23, 2014 at 3:53 pm #

    Love your site and your delicious creations. I have been making red chili (for family tamales and chili con carne) for years. Our family tradition has always been to soak the chili powder in HOT broth for about 45 minutes, stirring and mixing periodically. We use the broth from the boiled beef for tamales. Then I do make a roux (we use lard-ouch). Then I add the liquified red chili to the roux, stir, add more liquids, which is equal parts hot water and beef broth. I don’t salt until about halfway through cooking process, as broth has salt. I have always preferred using powder over pods. Love this posting! Thank you for sharing your delectable foods.

    • mj April 30, 2014 at 8:33 pm #

      Thanks JC for your nice comments and for sharing your method of making red chile sauce from powder! I’ll have to try your method soon. It’s interesting that you rehydrate the powder first in hot broth. I’ve always used pods, but am definitely moving in the direction of using powders. It’s so much faster!

  5. ChgoJohn April 18, 2014 at 10:54 pm #

    Your knowledge of all things chile, MJ, is very impressive. I’d like to give this a try though the heat is something I’ll have to monitor. Though my palate has improved, it’s still has a way to go for some of these sauces. All in due time … :)

    • mj April 30, 2014 at 8:27 pm #

      Thanks John! There are some chile powders out there that are mild but still quite tasty. Hope you can find one that’s not too hot.

  6. Nancy-SpicieFoodie April 15, 2014 at 8:24 pm #

    MJ, you are the chile queen! You always have so many great uses for it and now this — wow! I’ve never attempted chile sauce from power. Must try it!

    • mj April 15, 2014 at 8:45 pm #

      Thanks Nancy! I think you’ll love chile sauce from powder. It’s so much easier to make than sauce from pods.

  7. Ramona April 15, 2014 at 5:06 am #

    Mmmm.. sign me up for all the chili sauces you have there! I am in love. :)

  8. Charles Smith April 14, 2014 at 5:53 pm #

    Wow, you really know so much about chillies MJ – I just love your powder pics too… gorgeous, rich colours! Really informative post too. Thanks so much for sharing it… I’ll remember it next time I’ve got a chilli sauce on the menu!

    • mj April 14, 2014 at 7:49 pm #

      Thanks Charles! I’ve always been the type of people that wants to learn more about things I like. So I’m always learning. :)

  9. Swathi April 11, 2014 at 3:46 pm #

    Love the sauce and great it is made from, powder. I will make this one.

  10. wok with ray April 9, 2014 at 8:24 pm #

    I love chili but that’s how far I can go. I can’t talk about it like the way you do and I am really enjoying your knowledge and expertise on the subject. Love the vibrant colors of those powders. Very nice. :)

    • mj April 9, 2014 at 10:02 pm #

      Thanks Ray! Well, when you love chile peppers as much as I do, it’s not hard talking about them with a passion. :)

  11. Viviane Bauquet Farre April 9, 2014 at 7:45 pm #

    A very useful recipe, MJ — and now I’m craving that heat! Thanks for sharing.

    • mj April 9, 2014 at 10:00 pm #

      Thanks so much Viviane!

  12. Terra April 9, 2014 at 1:49 pm #

    You know how much I love when you make delicious homemade spice mixtures! This is being saved in my favorites, it would be rockin’ on our grilled treats! Hugs, Terra

    • mj April 9, 2014 at 10:00 pm #

      Thanks so much Terra!! It’s great on grilled meats. Hope you enjoy!

  13. Soni April 8, 2014 at 4:56 pm #

    Ooh just look at the color of the sauces!!!I’ve never tried New Mexico chili powder, but will look for it in the stores now!

  14. Sissi April 8, 2014 at 1:27 pm #

    It sounds amazing! The photographs are so beautiful… as a chile lover I cannot take my eyes off the first one. I love your bowl! (I think it would be perfect with Asian dishes actually ;-) ). I will try one day your recipe with Korean chile powder. It would be an excellent addition to my chile recipes!

  15. Evelyne@cheapethniceatz April 8, 2014 at 1:05 pm #

    I am always so impressed by your vast knowledge of chiles and the varieties. Interesting facts here with what can influence the look and taste. And this recipe is so versatile to have. Makes me want to experiment with different chile powders too.

    • mj April 8, 2014 at 8:56 pm #

      Thanks so much Evelyne! I hope you do experiment with different chile powers I’d like to read what you learn.

  16. Kelly @ Inspired Edibles April 8, 2014 at 9:35 am #

    Heeheeh, between you and our friend Sissi, I feel like I’m living parallel lives ;-). Thank you for showing us this method MJ – such a better deal (in every respect) than bottled sauces and so easy to achieve too. And what a colour! Yay for New Mexico red chile. I just happen to have started a new board on Pinterest yesterday handily entitled ‘sauces’ :) – guess where this lovely is going!!

    • mj April 8, 2014 at 8:51 pm #

      Isn’t that the truth! Sissi and I have decided that we’re soul mates living on opposite sides of the planet. :) Oh Kelly – this is SO much better than bottled sauce! Thanks for pinning this. Now I need to go check out your new board.

  17. Sanjeeta kk April 8, 2014 at 9:27 am #

    Aha..this is a recipe to treasure for sure! Red chilly powder is the most commonly used spice in my home and to think of converting the same into such a wonderful sauce is amazing.

    • mj April 8, 2014 at 8:48 pm #

      Thanks Sanjeeta! Oh, I bet some of your Indian chili would be really good in this sauce!

  18. Katerina April 8, 2014 at 3:07 am #

    First of all the color is stunning and second thanks for showing how it can be done!

    • mj April 8, 2014 at 8:47 pm #

      Thanks Katerina!

  19. Raymund April 7, 2014 at 8:43 pm #

    Thanks for sharing this tips, I will try to make my own version. Now I can control what goes on it :)

    • mj April 8, 2014 at 8:43 pm #

      Thanks Raymund! You know that it’s always better to make your own.

  20. Liz April 7, 2014 at 5:22 pm #

    I know this would be SO much better than the stuff I buy in a can ;) I want to come eat at your house!!!!

  21. Joyti April 7, 2014 at 12:45 pm #

    The sauce sounds amazing. And what a beautiful color!

    • mj April 7, 2014 at 4:34 pm #

      Thank Joyti!

  22. Daphne April 7, 2014 at 4:02 am #

    Good Morning MJ, I do love a little “heat” in my food and I will certainly be trying your recipe for red chilli sauce as this is something I have never made before. The oregano I use, is dried oregano which I grew in the garden last summer…. it has a strong flavour and I wondered if that would be alright to use in the sauce as I notice you mentioned that Mexican oregano would be better… this of course, I cannot buy locally here in England.
    The chilli powder I will be using, is made by a friend of mine who lives in India. The chillis are collected and then taken to the village chilli grinder. The handle is turned, over and over again until the chillis are turned into powder.
    Thank you for all the information about chillies….. it was fascinating to read, as I had not realised how altitude and water can effect a chillies flavour.
    Best Wishes to you.
    Daphne

    • mj April 7, 2014 at 11:45 am #

      Thanks so much for your comments and the information about the Indian chilli! I bet that’s going to make a great sauce. Yes, regular oregano works just fine. I grow both types so I use them in specific dishes. However, most of the time they are interchangeable and this is one of those times. :)

  23. Amy (Savory Moments) April 6, 2014 at 5:24 pm #

    This is a great method for making homemade chile sauce! It’s amazing to me how many different types of chiles there are and the range in flavors and heat.

    • mj April 7, 2014 at 4:31 pm #

      Thanks Amy! I agree – I love trying new chiles, chillies, and chilies. :) Every time I turn around, another one pops up.

  24. Jodee Weiland April 6, 2014 at 1:56 pm #

    MJ, this recipe looks fabulous! This is something I have really wanted to do and now I am going to for sure. I love hot sauce on so many different things, so this sounds delicious to me! Thanks for sharing your recipe!

    • mj April 7, 2014 at 4:28 pm #

      Thanks Jodee! And thanks for all of the shares!

  25. Mette April 6, 2014 at 5:43 am #

    I’ve never thought of making sauce from powder, but what a brilliant idea.

    • mj April 6, 2014 at 11:18 am #

      Thanks Mette!

  26. nutrition tip of the day April 5, 2014 at 2:51 pm #

    Heya i’m for the first time here. I came across this board and I find It really useful & it helped me out a lot. I hope to give something back and aid others like you aided me.

    • mj April 6, 2014 at 11:17 am #

      Thanks for stopping by!

  27. Choc Chip Uru April 5, 2014 at 2:36 pm #

    I am a massive chile fan delicious sauce :D
    I love it!

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

    • mj April 6, 2014 at 11:17 am #

      Thanks so much Uru!

  28. Debra April 5, 2014 at 12:12 pm #

    I do a similar process to make green chile sauce from powder. I love all your chili posts MJ…always informative.

    • mj April 6, 2014 at 11:16 am #

      Thanks so much Debra!!

  29. Tessa April 5, 2014 at 8:13 am #

    Great photos MJ! I’ve never tried to make red chile sauce from scratch. I have all the ingredients sitting in my pantry and am now asking myself why I’ve been buying the canned sauce all this time… Next time I make enchiladas, I am trying this recipe. Thank you MJ!

    • mj April 6, 2014 at 11:15 am #

      Thanks Tessa! If you have chile powder in your pantry, you really should give this a try. It’s so easy. You’ll never buy enchilada sauce again. :)

  30. Angie@Angie's Recipes April 5, 2014 at 5:22 am #

    We too love chilli! Used to make noodle stir-fry with chili sauce…so dang tasty. Thank you for sharing, MJ.

    • mj April 6, 2014 at 11:14 am #

      Thanks Angie! Your noodle dish sounds wonderful! There’s one I make from Season with Spice that we have for lunch quite often. It’s so tasty.

  31. Treat and Trick April 5, 2014 at 12:23 am #

    We love chili in our diet and can’t live without it. Am using chili from India, thanks for the recipe.

    • mj April 6, 2014 at 11:11 am #

      Thanks!! I’ve been getting some chili from Turkey lately that I love. Need to jump on and start playing with Indian chilies soon. :)

  32. Lydia Rose April 4, 2014 at 5:01 pm #

    I too always have NM Chili on hand, Hatch chili in freezer and red pods and powder in pantry. Thank God I live close to an endless supply as I live in NM.

    One quick question if I may. I grew up with red chili frequently on the table. As I got older my grandmother made sure I learned to cook all her dishes, (thank you Nana).

    My grandmother never used vinegar, so of course I don’t either. If I eat any sauce that has it as an ingredient I can taste it and don’t like it.

    So finally the question. What is the purpose of the vinegar? What does it bring to the party?

    Enjoy your postings and have tried several of your recipes. Keep them coming.

    Thank you.

    • mj April 4, 2014 at 5:35 pm #

      Lydia, thanks so much for your comment and your question! It’s a great question.

      Like you wonderful Nana, I never use vinegar in my red chile sauce from pods either. However, I have always found that the sauce from powder to be a bit “flat” and in need of just a touch of acid. 1 tsp. of vinegar does the trick and my husband, who is also very sensitive to vinegar and not a fan of it, couldn’t taste it. Since you do seem to be quite sensitive, omit the vinegar, taste the finished sauce, and if you think the sauce is missing something, then squeeze some lime juice into the sauce. Lime juice would accomplish the same thing that the vinegar does. Hope this answers your question.

      I’m thrilled that you have tried several of my recipes!!! Thanks for letting me know! And Yes, I will keep them coming! :)

  33. Maureen | Orgasmic Chef April 4, 2014 at 3:37 pm #

    Obviously my search for chile powder will result in either yes or not and no idea where it’s from but I’m definitely going to try this recipe. What an interesting post!

    • mj April 4, 2014 at 5:23 pm #

      Thanks Maureen! You know – I never thought of red chile being associated with Australia. I can see I’m going to have to do a little research. :)

  34. John@Kitchen Riffs April 4, 2014 at 9:27 am #

    Great post! I always have New Mexico chile powder on hand, and often not the pods. I’m so going to make this! This looks wonderful — thanks.

    • mj April 4, 2014 at 5:22 pm #

      Thanks John!!! I know where you live so to know that you always have NM chile powder on hand is quite thrilling! :)

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

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