Take the 2-minute tour ×
Seasoned Advice is a question and answer site for professional and amateur chefs. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I'm having trouble converting the chili recipes I find to use something other than of-the-shelf chili-powder. Thanks to a simply wonderful local spice shop, we have several different kind of chili-flakes. We've already learned that grinding them and substituting 1:2 with powder is ("$@$^@ ow, pass the milk") not correct. What is the ratio-neighborhood we should be exploring for this substitution?

share|improve this question

2 Answers 2

up vote 8 down vote accepted

Chili powder is typically a blend of ground chilies and other spices (and maybe even herbs).

I'd go with a blend of:

  • paprika (smoked if you can find it)
  • cayenne
  • cumin
  • oregano
  • garlic powder

You can also try mixing in onion powder, other chilie powders, and black pepper. Some pre-mixed blends also include salt. If you have access to other dried chilie powders, you might consider using ancho or new mexico chilies for a 'dark' chili powder, as opposed to the more red powder you'll get from the cayenne. (but cayenne's more available)

Search online for recipes -- you'll find lots of variation out there.

share|improve this answer
1  
It is a lot better to use Mexican oregano rather than traditional Mediterranean oregano. See thekitchn.com/thekitchn/… for the difference. –  ThinkingCook Oct 3 '10 at 14:41
    
So that's why "chilli powder" is never spicy! –  Arafangion Oct 4 '10 at 14:02
    
@Arafangion: It depends - you can get powders based on different ground chilies, and some are hotter than others. But yes, in general, it's about flavor, so it's not just heat like red pepper flakes. –  Jefromi Oct 20 '10 at 19:02
2  
I don't know how likely it is, but you might be able to find dried whole peppers, and grind them yourself to get some more good flavor in there. –  Jefromi Oct 20 '10 at 19:03
    
I believe I've seen ancho powder at Target. @Jefromi, Whole Foods (in Louisiana) has had whole dried chiles in the past, although I haven't seen them in a while. –  rcollyer Oct 21 '10 at 3:14

Coriander, cilantro, and sage are more standby's for a good chili powder as well. Nanami-togarashi is an asian chili powder with a citrusy flavor from lime [peel?]. Also, dont be afraid to get some sinusy piquant goodness in there with a little ginger or mustard or turmeric (only a pinch or it may get closer to curry).

You may also like to source the chiles you are using. You may find that getting a dried tien tsin (the hot peppers from asian cooking) and a dried bell pepper, and milling these with a mortar and pestle is a good way to play with the spectrum of spice in your powder.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.