How to Make Your Own Chili Powder

Making your own chili powder is simple to do, and yields results that are fresher and more interesting than what you'll find in the supermarket. Using a combination of chiles creates a flavorful and complex seasoning that you can customize to your own taste. Toast dried chiles, then pulverize them in a coffee or spice grinder to make powder.

Various types of chiles contribute different qualities to a blend. chefj begins with a base of 80 percent ancho, guajillo, New Mexico, or California chiles, and adds mecos or moritas for a smoky note and chiles de arbol, cascabels, habaneros, or pequins for heat.

Blended chili powders often include cumin and Mexican oregano, and while some hounds prefer to add these ingredients separately when cooking a dish, smtucker has had "great success" with Alton Brown's chili powder recipe, which combines three varieties of chile with garlic powder, cumin, oregano, and paprika. cajundave likes a blend of equal parts ancho and guajillo chiles with toasted ground cumin and Mexican oregano. He prefers to buy and combine ground chiles because it's not possible to grind them as finely at home.

Control the amount of heat in your chili powder by including or removing the seeds of dried peppers. "The seeds and inner membranes contain not only lots of flavors, but heat, too," pine time says. For a milder blend, remove all the seeds; to make it spicier, leave some or all of them intact.

Discuss: I want to blend my own chili powder (or is it chile powder?)