By chili powder, I mean a powder to make chili or add a Mexican flavor to chicken, a roast or blackened dishes. Really, the options are endless. This is not a super spicy cayenne type product.
I have found that trying to buy chili powder is expensive and unless you buy the same type every time, you get all sorts of different mixes and the flavor is completely different. In addition, most of them are ground in bulk, so they are not fresh and the flavor has long since faded.
I think making your own is much preferable and you can adjust the powder to your own taste. Here is my recipe for a medium heat chili powder.
You will need a spice grinder, which is just a small coffee grinder, but one reserved just for grinding spices. I can promise you that you will not want to use the same one for coffee and spices! Krups makes a good one, which is sturdy and not expensive.
You will need to buy the dried chilies and I have the perfect place, The Spice House in Chicago. www.thespicehouse.com
4 oz whole Guajillo Chili Peppers
4 oz of Ancho Chili Peppers
2 oz Pasilla Negro Chili Peppers
4 Tbsp freshly ground whole cumin seeds, just order a 4oz bag
2 Morita Red Chipotle Chilis, just order a 1 oz bag
Once you have assembled all of the chilies. you will need to cut off the hard stems, as you do not want them in the chili powder. A good pair of kitchen scissors is perfect for this. Once the chilies have all been prepped. Add the Guajillo, Ancho, Pasilla and Chipotle into a large food processor and grind them thoroughly.
Step two, you will transfer the ground chilies in small batches to the spice grinder and grind them down to a powder.
Step three, grind the cumin seeds until they are completely powdered.
Now just combine all of the ingredients into an airtight jar and you have your own chili powder. Remember, you can adjust the heat by adding in Chilies de Arbol or more Moritas.
It really doesn’t take that long once all of the ingredients are assembled and remember you are making a lot of chili powder, so it will last you quite a while.
Notice that I have not included garlic powder or salt, as almost all other prepared chili powders do, so you will need to add fresh garlic and of course salt to whatever dish you are making.
I leave out the garlic powder, because I find it bitter and that it tastes too processed. I leave out the salt, because I want to control the level of salt without having to limit how I use the chili powder.