Anchos encurtidos: Sweet and Hot Ancho Chiles

articles Food & Cuisine Recipes

Karen Hursh Graber

Here in Cholula, the market ladies sell pickled sweet-and-hot chipotles known locally as “chipocludos,” a recipe for which was given in this column in the February 2003 issue of Mexico Connect. This recipe, though similar in that it uses piloncillo or brown sugar, is not as picante, and because it uses the much larger ancho chiles, they are suitable for stuffing. We recently attended a wedding reception where these anchos were stuffed with the Veracruz cold seafood medley known as minila, but they are also good stuffed with cheese and placed in the oven just until the cheese melts.


  • 1 ½ pounds ancho chiles (dried poblanos), washed
  • 3 large white onions, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 30 cloves garlic, peeled and left whole
  • 2 cones piloncillo or 2 cups dark brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons whole cloves
  • 2 tablespoons whole allspice
  • 10 sprigs thyme
  • salt to taste
  • 2 quarts fruit vinegar


Make a small slit in the side of each chile. Place the chiles in a bowl and pour boiling water over them. Soak for 15 minutes, drain and set aside to cool.

In a large pot, bring remaining ingredients to a boil and cook until the piloncillo or sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

Add chiles to vinegar mixture, stir to combine and ladle into sterilized jars. Cover and refrigerate. Leave for at least 3 days before using. Makes 2 quarts.

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Published or Updated on: October 1, 2006 by Karen Hursh Graber © 2008
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