We’ve had a couple of emails lately from people asking how to make chilli powder so we thought we’d put together a bit of a guide. Below is a summary of the main chilli powder ingredients used and instructions telling you how to make your own powder.
Making Chilli Powder
First of all you need to wash and dry your chillies. Next simply remove the stems, cut in half and possibly remove the seeds. Leaving the seed in will tend to increase the heat levels of your chilli powder but can add a slightly bitter taste. (I usually take the seeds out and opt for flavour over heat. Unless you are using very mild chillies the powder should be hot enough anyway!).
The first stage is to dry your chillies out. Unless you have a food dehydrator place the chillies flat on a baking tray and place in the oven at about 150 degree Celsius for about 3-4 minutes. Check and remove any chillies that are dry. You will probably have to leave any larger peppers in for longer as different varieties and sizes of chilli will take different times to dry. Be sure to keep checking regularly though as you do not want to burn them.
With most chilli powders i make I add a small amount of cumin (usually about 1 part cumin to 10 parts chilli). To do this simply add your cumin seeds to a hot dry pan (no oil) and toast for a few minutes. If your pan is not they’ll only take 2-3 minutes to toast. As soon as the seeds start to darken remove from the heat and grind in a pestle and mortar.
Once your cumin and dried chillies have cooled add them to a chilli grinder, old coffee grinder or blender and pulse for about 30 seconds. Again depending on your mix they might need longer than this so adjust the time accordingly.
Which Variety of Chillies to Powder
As mentioned above by changing the varieties of chillies you use in your powder you can drastically change the flavour. Try adding some chipotles (smoked jalapenos) for a real smokey flavour or habaneros foir a fruity yet hot taste. The great thing about chilli powder is you can play around with different combinations depending on what types of chillies you have to hand.
Storing Chilli Powder
Generally chilli powder can be stored for well over a year if stored correctly. Store you powder in an air tight jar or pot and keep it out of the light, ideally in a dark cupboard. If you end up making large quantities of chilli powder then you can successfully freeze it. When doing so be sure to put it in an airtight freezer bag (doubling up on bags is a good idea).