Homemade Chili Powder Recipe (4 Ingredients)


Chili powder is so common in American kitchens that it's hard to imagine cooking without it. Even people who only have a ton or two of spice have a chance of it. But did you know that it actually is one? Blending Of spices, not just ground chilies?

There are all kinds of reasons to make your own chili powder. The most obvious is that you've run out and need something for a prescription. Another reason is customization and freshness. I've made my own chili powder for both of the above scenarios, and I love it so much I can't imagine going back. It gives an extra layer of liveliness to my marinades, fajitas, casseroles and (of course) chili. It still hits all the familiar notes that everyone expects in a well-balanced chili powder.

Whether you're sticking with common pantry spices or showcasing chilies you've grown, dried, and ground yourself, this is a chili powder formula you can come back to time and time again.

Origin of Chili Powder

Chili powder was created to make chili accessible. Spice mix is ​​a convenience product first popularized by William Gabbard in 1896. Gebhardt, a German immigrant who ran a cafe in the back of a saloon in New Braunfels, Texas, was what we would now call a large diner. In his free time, he traveled around to sample the regional cuisine. He decided to grind whole dried chilies and mix them with other standard chili spices, none of which were easy to come by in other parts of the United States.

Gebhardt's Eagle brand chili powder made these previously unknown spices widely available, and eventually, chili became a popular American food with a million variations, including Cincinnati chili and Kansas City chili, which Can be enriched with barbecue meat.

Just Recipes / Shilpa Iyer

Ingredients of Chili Powder

There are as many ways to make chili powder as there are garam masala or five spice blends. The basic rule is that the main ingredient is always dry ground chilies with optional additions appearing here and there:

  • Ground Chills: I will tell you more about them below. Regardless of the chili powder recipe, ground dry chilies make up most of the mixture.
  • Cumin: Cumin adds an earthy element, but no heat. After ground chilies, it is the most important flavor factor in chili powder. The taste of chili is incomplete without it.
  • Garlic Powder: While most chili recipes call for fresh garlic, garlic powder adds a character that is milder than fresh garlic.
  • Onion Powder: As above, though many chili powder recipes do not call for onion powder.
  • Dried Oregano: The lone dried herb in chili powder, oregano has a pungent, almost medicinal flavor that complements other strong spices. Mexican oregano is best, but your standard Italian oregano will work just fine.
  • Coriander: Another optional ingredient, ground coriander seeds add some floral notes for a hint of contrast.
  • Allspice: Ground allspice berries add a slightly peppery and earthy note. I love it in my chili powder mix for that special something.
  • Cloves: I would say cloves are very, very optional. Simultaneously bitter and sweet, it adds complexity to meat-heavy dishes. A little goes a long way.
  • Salt: Some commercial chili powders contain a little salt, but I don't add any to mine. Salt-free chili powder makes it easy to add exactly as much chili powder as I want without making the recipe too salty.

Dry Chili Selection

Chili powder isn't called chili powder for nothing. Since it's mostly made from dried chilies, the type you use has a huge impact on the overall flavor. Here are a few of your options. What chiles should I use? It depends on what ground peppers I have around.

  • Paprika Familiar and works fine. Did you know that the paprika you buy in grocery stores is actually a mixture of dried peppers, specifically paprika? Your typical paprika is plain, earthy, and adds only negligible heat, making for a solid all-purpose chili powder. Smoked paprika makes a chili powder that's sweet and, yes, a little smoky.
  • New Mexico Chiles Fruity, with a warmth that is clear but nuanced. They make my favorite chili powder.
  • chili pepper Is it hot? Use it sparingly to complement your other dried chilies and add a laser-like element of one-dimensional but powerful heat.
  • Ancho chiles They're the ones William Gabbard used in his original chili powder twist. Their heat is mild, and their flavor is mildly smoky and fruity.
  • Dried chipotles Add deep, smoky heat. Use with caution.

Just Recipes / Shilpa Iyer

Toasting and grinding whole chiles

You can buy many varieties of whole dried chilies, which can be both wonderful and versatile. If this is your first time trying dried chilies (or a combination of dried chilies), I would suggest mixing a small batch of chili powder.

Toasting the dried chilies first helps to bring out their flavor. You can find the tutorial in step 1 and 2 of this recipe. Allow toasted peppers to cool completely before grinding, as they become more brittle and grind better at room temperature.

Simple tip!

Wear a mask. While you are grinding the dry chilies. Grinding dry chilies and mixing in chili powder will create a dust that gives your sinuses a major workout. If your chilies are hot and your eyes are sensitive, safety goggles aren't a bad idea either. Wear disposable gloves when handling dried chilies.

Ways to use chili powder

Chili, obviously. I use my homemade chili powder just like I use the stuff from the store. This includes tossing sweet potato fries with them before putting them in the oven and sprinkling some macaroni and cheese in between to make it even better. And I always add it to my mom's famous Creamed Taco.

Homemade chili powder recipe

Recipe Note: For a finer texture, I prefer to use ground dried oregano, especially since dried Mexican oregano is broken into coarse pieces. I pulverize mine in a mortar and pestle. If you don't have one, you can use a spice grinder or crush the oregano between your fingers.

I double the recipe because it makes about 1/4 cup, which is how much chili powder I add to a typical batch of chili.

If you want to toast and grind whole dried chilies, you can find more detailed instructions above.

Just Recipes / Shilpa Iyer


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