Red Enchilada Sauce with Apricots

Amazingly versatile, incredibly easy – make buckets of it and throw it over everything!  It’s quite spicy, so choose your chillies to the degree of heat you prefer. I love it spiced with smoked chilli chipotles – if you can get a hold of them.

The other great thing about this type of sauce is that the ingredients are no fuss and can spice up many a meal. Try serving it inside flour tortillas rolled up and filled with chilli beans, sour cream, grated cheese and fresh coriander (cilantro); as a side dish next to chilli and rice; poured on top of stuffed flour tortillas sprinkled with cheese and baked in the oven (see Enchilada with Chocolate Mole Sauce in the Zen River Cookbook); through pasta as an alternative to Bolognese sauce; in lasagne; as a spicy pizza base when thickened with tomato paste; or even as a veggie-ball dish. Hmm… the options are endless.

In Zen we can practice being amazingly versatile and flexible (not that we always manage, but they don’t call it training for nothing, do they?) But when we do manage and drop our emotional and intellectual baggage, life just tends to get surprisingly ordinary and extraordinarily interesting. Just like an Enchilada Sauce; simple and awesome in the same moment.

Red Enchilada Sauce

1 medium red onion
2 cloves garlic
1 or 2 chillies, such as jalapeño or smoked chilli chipotle (any kind will do)
75 g (⅓ cup) dried apricots or golden sultanas
800 ml (3 cups) canned tomatoes (about 2 cans)
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon chilli powder
Salt to taste

  • Peel the onions and garlic and roughly dice the onion.
  • Place all the ingredients into a pot and whizz until smooth with an immersion blender.
  • Put the pot over a low-medium flame, cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally.


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