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Yield Makes about 1 cup
Notes: This homemade Moroccan hot sauce has more complexity than super-hot purchased versions. Our sauce is medium-hot; add more cayenne for extra heat. Make this sauce up to 5 days ahead; cover and chill. Dried ancho chilies are available in well-stocked supermarkets and in Hispanic grocery stores. (Sometimes mistakenly labeled pasillas, anchos are triangular; true pasillas are long and skinny.)


  • 2 ounces dried ancho or California chilies
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 11/2 teaspoons cayenne
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper

How to Make It

  1. Snap off and discard stems of 2 ounces dried ancho or California chilies (see notes). Shake out and discard seeds. Rinse chilies and cut or break into about 1/2-inch pieces. Soak in 1 cup hot water until soft, about 20 minutes. Lift chilies out (reserving soaking water) and transfer to a blender or food processor. Add 1/3 cup of the reserved water, 3 tablespoons each lemon juice and olive oil, 1 tablespoon paprika, 1 1/2 teaspoons cayenne, 1 teaspoon ground coriander, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper; whirl until smooth. If thicker than desired, blend in 2 to 3 more tablespoons reserved water.