January 24, 2017

Homemade Chili Powder

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Homemade Chili Powder

Lately, I have been making my own powdered spices. It started with cumin. I can't eat any store-bought cumin powder in jars because it tastes raw as if I'm eating dirt or something. Cumin seeds IMHO should be toasted first before grinding to release their aroma and flavor. The store-bought spices, including the expensive ones, are also almost always stale and lacks flavor.

I make my own ginger powder, Indian curry powder, and now chili powder too. I used 2 kinds of mild Mexican dried chiles - guajillo and ancho. The chiles are readily available at the Korean grocery stores. An 8-ounce bag of guajillo costs $4.00, a 3-ounce bag of ancho, $2.00. It takes a bit of work but the flavor is way better than commercial ones and I can adjust the heat to my taste.

Dried Chiles

You can use hotter chiles if you prefer or vary the amount of chiles. Cumin also can be adjusted. You'll need a cheap coffee mill that grinds spices to a fine powder [mine is a Proctor Silex that I bought for $10.00 more than 6 years ago]. I have a second one that I use exclusively for grinding dried up vanilla pods.

Chili Powder
2 tablespoons cumin seeds
4 dried chile guajillo
2 dried chile ancho
1 teaspoon hot smoked paprika (Spanish pimentón)
½ teaspoon sweet smoked paprika (Spanish pimentón)
1 teaspoon cayenne powder
½ teaspoon garlic powder, optional
  • Heat a small stainless steel pan on medium; toast cumin seeds until fragrant and slightly colored, stirring with a spatula to prevent burning. Let cool; grind to a fine powder; set aside.
  • With gloved hands and a pair of scissors, cut out stems of chiles, discard stems. Cut chiles open along one length; discard seeds and white ribs. Cut into 1 inch pieces. Bake in a preheated 325°F oven for 8 to 10 minutes.
  • Remove from oven and let cool completely. They should be crispy.
  • Grind in batches to a fine powder.
  • Mix together with cumin powder and rest of ingredients. Store in a glass jar with tight lid.
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