For spicy ribs or chili con carne, this chili powder recipe provides flavor and aroma that's impossible to get from commercially prepared chili powders. Freshly ground whole peppers, spices and herbs are the secrets of this fantastic flavor.
Making fresh chili powder is easy to do. You'll need a spice mill to grind the peppers and other ingredients, and a tightly sealing bottle or jar to store the powder. It's always best to make just what you need as you need it, but there always seems to be a bit left over that you'll have to store. I keep my storage jar in the freezer, which helps in retaining the chili powder flavors.
The most common large peppers used in chili powder are the ancho, the pasilla, and the New Mexican chilis. Smaller peppers that can be used in chili powder include dried cayenne peppers, chiltepins, and piquins. Chipotle peppers are smoke dried red jalapenos, and add complexity to the blend. Many of these can be found in larger grocery stores or in local Latino stores. If you can't find them locally, you can order them online.
An electric spice mill is your best tool for making chili powder. An electric blender will be handy for pre-grinding the larger pods. Smaller peppers can be added directly to the spice mill and ground into powder.
The large peppers need to be broken up by hand and coarsely ground in a blender before grinding in the spice mill. Make sure the peppers are dry enough to easily break by hand before grinding. If not, place them in an oven set on low heat until dry.
This recipe includes three different types of peppers, along with a few other spices that when freshly ground, make a complex, flavorful chili powder.
Grind all ingredients in the spice mill until well mixed. Use your chili powder immediately for best flavor, or store in a small, tightly sealed glass container.