Homemade Chili Powder the Easy Way
Chili powder is the name given to any spice mix containing plenty of chili peppers. Cayenne peppers and red peppers are a common ingredient but you can also get ancho chili powder, green chili powder amongst others. If you want to know how to make chili power, you can choose from almost any hot pepper including chipotle, New Mexico, pasilla, cayenne and many more for your homemade chili powder recipe.
What Does Chili Powder Contain?
A chili powder recipe can be made from powdered chilies and nothing else or it might contain other herbs or spices, such as oregano, cumin, salt, or garlic powder. Cinnamon, cloves, black pepper, mace, turmeric, nutmeg, and coriander are featured in some homemade chili powder recipes. Usually, a chili powder containing powdered chilies only is spicier than one containing a variety of ingredients.
Chili powder is used plentifully in Indian cuisine and also in American cuisine, in dishes such as chili con carne. The first commercial chili powder blends in the United States were created by DC Pendery and William Gebhardt in the late nineteenth century and these blends were made especially to enhance chili con carne recipes.
You might be wondering why you would want to know how to make chili powder when you can buy it readymade. There are several reasons actually. First of all, homemade chili powder is of great quality. It is fresh and you know exactly what it contains. You do not need any special equipment to make your own chili powder and it is fun to do. If you live somewhere where fresh chili peppers are not always available, making your own chili powder means you always have a ready supply and you can choose your own ingredients for it.
Chili Powder Recipes
Learning how to make chili powder is largely about experimentation. Chili powder should be made to your own personal taste. A basic chili powder recipe might contain mild chilies, hot chilies, and other ingredients for flavor. For example, you could combine four dried poblano chilies and three dried New Mexico chilies for mildness, four cayenne chilies for heat, two teaspoons of ground Mexican oregano for a soft flavor and two tablespoons each of garlic powder and toasted cumin seeds for extra flavor.
This is just an example chili powder recipe. You can vary the chilies if you want to. Chipotles are nice to use, for example.
You will need to preheat your oven to 300 degrees F and remove the seeds and stems from the chili peppers. Cut each one in half, using scissors, and flatten them. Dried chilies still contain moisture and you will find them pliable. Old, dried out, brittle chilies are not what you should be using if you want to make chili powder at home.
Put your chilies on a baking sheet and bake them for four or five minutes. The small ones will be done first and the big ones will need another five minutes or so. You can break off any parts of the chilies, which are done and put the rest back in the oven.
When your chili peppers are crisp and toasted, you need to break each one into pieces and put them in a blender. Pulse them until you have chili powder. You can toast your cumin seeds by putting them in a dry skillet over a medium heat and stirring them. They are ready when they have turned a darker shade. Grind them with a mortar and pestle and add the cumin, garlic, and oregano to the blender.
Pulse everything together and you will have one cup of chili powder. You can store your homemade chili powder in an airtight container such as a glass jar with a tight fitting lid.