Did you know that chili powder is not just one chili ground up? It’s typically a combination of chiles with oregano and spices ground to a powder. My Homemade Chili Powder is easy to make, and fresh is always better then store bought!
For years I’ve been making this in small batches to keep the flavor fresh. Recently Don, a reader here, told me about the Chimayo chili pepper in New Mexico, and after reading about it, decided to order some of the famous chili powder online.
It arrived and the bright red color reminded me of freshly ground cayenne. Now cayenne registers at 30,000 – 50,000 Scoville units (how the heat is measured for chiles. You can read more here when I wrote about Choosing the Right Chile). The Chimayo measures at 4000-6000 Scoville units, so it is not so hot and overwhelming. Lots of flavor though.
So naturally I played around and added it to my Homemade Chili Powder recipe and it’s a great addition, though completely optional.
I toast dried ancho chili pods for a few seconds on each side over high heat until slightly fragrant and they start to puff up a little. Let them cool and remove the stem and shake out any seeds. The more seeds the hotter it will be.
Use a food processor, spice grinder or like I do, my Vitamix and pulverize those cooled chiles into a powder.
Add the Mexican oregano (regular oregano works fine too) and garlic and cumin powders. Pulse and that’s all there is to it.
This is my go to Homemade Chili Powder and is great used in any recipe that calls for chili powder like my Chili Con Carne, BBQ Chicken Chili, Chili Mac and Cheese Casserole or my favorite, Grilled Monterey Chicken and for other homemade spice blends, check out my entire collection here. Enjoy!
- 12 whole dried Ancho chiles
- 2 tsp Mexican oregano (regular oregano works fine too) (See Note 1)
- 2 tsp garlic powder
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tbsp Chimayo chili powder (optional)
- In a skillet toast the dried ancho chili pods for a few seconds on each side over high heat until slightly fragrant and they start to puff up a little. Let them cool and remove the stem and shake out any seeds. The more seeds the hotter it will be.
- Use a food processor, spice grinder or like I do, my Vitamix and pulverize cooled chiles into a powder. Work in small batches if using a spice grinder.
- Add the Mexican oregano (regular oregano works fine too) and garlic, cumin powders and Chimayo chili powder (optional). Pulse several times to combine and blend. Store in an airtight container. Makes 1/2 cup total.
- Mexican oregano is a relative of Lemon Verbena and is native to Mexico. Similar in that it’s pungent like Mediterranean oregano, Mexican oregano has notes of mild licorice and citrus. Mediterranean oregano is a member of the mint family and most often is used in Greek and Italian recipes. Mediterranean oregano is the one most found in spice racks and supermarkets.