Note: Dried chili pods can be found in the Mexican food section of your grocery store. They are sometimes sold in bulk form in food bins.
1. Rinse the pods under cold running water and remove stems and seeds from chili pods.
2. Place 8 whole pods in saucepan. Use any combination of California chili pods, which are mild, and New Mexico chili pods, which are spicy. If you are serving this to children and prefer it mild, you can omit the New Mexico chilies altogether and use only California pods. This recipe is very versatile. Add enough water to cover and bring to a boil.
3. Remove from heat and allow them to rest and rehydrate for at least 15 minutes. When cool, add the pods and about 1-1/2 cups chili water to a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.
4. In same saucepan, melt 2 T.lard or shortening. Add 2 T. flour and stir until well blended and bubbly, creating a roux.
5. Through a sieve, pour the blended chilies into the warm roux in saucepan.
6. Whiskthe roux until smooth. Add 1 small 8-oz. can of tomato sauce, 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon sugar and bring to a simmer until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes. Discard the tough chili skins from the sieve. Voila! Continue with enchilada assembly per your recipe.