Chili Powder

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Submitted by HoChiWaWa

A blend of dried chiles and spices commonly used in southwestern cooking, especially chili.



I apologize in advance for this being imprecise, I don't measure much unless baking, I tried to work out amounts but just ask if clarification is needed.

You are going to need a few types of dried peppers, anchos are one of my favs but basically whatever you can find at the local Latin market or in the ethnic section of your grocery store (I used 4 anchos and 5 varying smaller ones). Other than that you need garlic and onion powders as well as dried oregano and basil. Last but not least you will need whole cumin seeds.


First things first, prep those chilies buy ripping open their tops and dumping out their seeds.


The seeds should come out without much hassle.

Next chop your peppers, scissors work really well for this, alas I couldn't find a pair, so I used a knife.


Once you have enough peppers


Fire up your skillet, doesn't have to be cast iron... but it helps.


Toss your cumin seeds into the skillet, you need less cumin than peppers, for the amount of peppers I used it took nearly half a bottle of cumin seeds.


Add the peppers,


and let them toast until warm and fragrant, the cumin seeds may pop a little as they finish, but keep the heat kind of low, you don't want to burn the cumin.

Once that is ready go ahead and drop it into your blender with your other ingredients. (That is the oregano, basil, garlic and onion... just a couple teaspoons of the powders and a tablespoon or so of each of the herbs... just eyeball it)


and blend (low speeds seem to circulate it better). You may have to stop it and stir it to get it all blended.


Pour it into some sort of airtight storage container.


Give it a whiff and smile with pride knowing you'll never have to suffer through bland store bought chili powder ever again.


This shit is really good... seriously... take a look close up.


This isn't as finely ground as you can go but i prefer it this way, you can run it through a coffee mill or just blend it longer probably if you don't like it hearty like me.

Mommie Dearest's Chili guide[edit]

Other dried chiles to consider:

  • Arbol. Small and thin, sometimes labeled "oriental chiles." More heat than flavor; good for spiking your powder blend.
  • Anaheim (California). Rather mild, with lots of flavor and a little sweetness.
  • New Mexico. Large, dark red. Hotter than the Anaheim. This forms the base for my chili powder. I also use them for posole rojo.
  • Guajillo. A step up from the New Mexico. It's got some solid heat. The skins tend to be tougher than other chiles, so if you're using guajillo for sauces, give them extra time to soak.
  • Pequin. Tiny red peppers, a touch of sweetness, and a lot of fire. Usually a bit hotter than arbol chiles, but not always. I'll throw them into a chili powder blend if I have them on hand, or use them instead of dried cayenne pepper for anything else.
  • Poblano. Dark green to black, poblanos have a rich, mellow flavor. Especially good for moles, but ground up into a chili powder blend, they contribute a unique note.

This is only a loose guideline; your results will vary with the chiles available. For example, one batch of Anaheims may be hotter than another. It really depends on the crop. But there's literally hundreds of different chiles you can choose from to make your own chili powder, and it's fun to experiment.

Usually I'll start with a bunch of New Mexico chiles, and add a smaller proportion of anchos and anything else I have on hand. At any given time there's like 5 or 6 bulk bags of chiles in my pantry, so when I run out of chili powder I just whip up something new.