Red Chili (Enchilada Sauce)

Introduction: Red Chili (Enchilada Sauce)

Greetings Instructabots :)

I have ghosted around the site for quite awhile now, been EXTREMELY inspired, and have decided that it's time to stop being so shy (I'm shy enough as it is...). Although I do not feel I am much of a cook, I am eager to share a recipe for one of my very favorite foods...


Perhaps most know it as enchilada sauce? I am not quite sure, it has always been such a staple in my life... one of my favorite ways to eat it is actually to use it as sort of a "salad dressing." It's good over/with enchiladas/enchilada casserole, rice, corn/veggie mixtures, beans, corn (or flour ;) tortillas, cheese, chicken/beef (I am a vegetarian however ;) I can seriously just eat this by itself.

Red chili is also very "customizable," meaning it can be made at various thicknesses (this takes practice- but it's good both chunky and thin, depending on preference & how it's being used), various levels of spiciness and garlicyness, ect. To be honest, I actually "eye ball it;" writing this i'ble forced me to take measurements... and for this reason, I apologize. Play with it and see what you like ;)

Step 1: Ingredients

What you need:

- oil, 8 TBS (I prefer extra virgin olive or coconut)
- flour, ~ 1/2-3/4 cup
-  chili powder, ~ 1/4 cup + 2 TBS
- COLD water, 4.5 cups
-  salt, at least 1.5 teaspoons
- garlic powder, to taste
- cumin powder, to taste

** Note- I recommend wearing old clothes or an apron, red chili stains VERY easily and is really difficult (if possible...) to remove once it stains.

(Again, I apologize for the approximations on measurements...)

Step 2: Make Roux

Heat the oil in a pot. My stove runs from low-6, I put it on 2-3.

Give it a minute or so, don't want it sizzle-popping exactly but starting to bubble. Add flour, stirring while adding. It will take a couple of minutes to brown, it does not need to be stirred the whole time, however be careful, stir often enough that it does not burn. 

Once the flour/oil mixture is browned and bubbling, it's time to add the chili powder. Again, stir as adding the powder. Continue stirring, it will bubble up after a minute, almost looking foamy...

(If the roux seems too thick, simply add a bit more oil. If it seems too oily, add more flour or chili powder.)

Step 3:

Add the water. Pour slowly while stirring constantly.

**Note- the chili can always later be thinned with more water, but it is extremely difficult to thicken if too much water is added. It's best to start with less water, and thin later on if needed.

Step 4: Turn Up the Heat!

Once the water is added, turn the heat up... ~5 on my stove. Continue stirring for a few moments.

Step 5: Salt, Spice, Thicken

Once the water has been stirred in and the heat turned up, it's time to add the salt and spices. Stir in salt, garlic powder, and cumin powder. Again I apologize, I am honestly not sure how much I add... I enjoy mine garlicy though, and usually put just a pinch of cumin.

Now, it's just time to let it cook! Like a gravy, it will thicken up. Once it kind of begins to "roll over" (not sure how to describe the phenomenon exactly, but bubble up from the center and flow outwards towards the edges), it is about as thick as the heat is going to get it** If it seems too thick, this is the time to add some (cold) water, while stirring. Again, I recommend add small amounts slowly... you don't want it to get too watery. 

**Note- if there are leftovers, it will thicken in the refrigerator/once cooled.

Step 6: Ready

Turn the burner off, or down to low if not going to be served immediately (be sure to stir occasionally tho).

It will thicken a bit more as it cools.

This batch I made is not very thick... but still tasted awesome...

(And I apologize, there's still some spots/chunks of garlic powder... I'll get a better pic next time, darn it.)

Step 7: Serve & Enjoy

Here it is, poured over an vegetarian enchilada, some lettuce, and fideo. Awesome :D

Some notes:

- adjust the flour/chili ratio; I like a lot of chili, and I like it spicy, but if you prefer it more of a gravy-ish type, more flour is better
- it's good with other spices: rosemary or oregano in particular
- onion powder can be substituted for the garlic powder (or added just because)
- have milk or something sweet (but NOT carbonated) to drink, if you are crazy like me and prefer it super spicy ;)

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    6 years ago

    No way! I was going to post something just like this soon. :D

    looooooove homemade enchilada sauce


    9 years ago

    Ahh tank you, the sun/line drying step is what I've not tried! Cold water & stain removers do a decent enough job;) but I've def had a few items of clothing ruined over the years. To play it safe I usually just throw an old tshirt on to spare myself the stress mess ;)


    9 years ago

    If you get chile stains on your clothing, I recommend washing in cold water and then line drying, the sun will bleach out whatever the wash left behind. You can also use a stain lifter to pre treat it before the wash, and then line dry in the sun. I've been eating red chile since I was in diapers, and making it since before I could see over the I've had many a clothing get red chile on it. But alas, there is hope to salvage your clothes!