Sometimes it’s so easy to just buy spice blends at the store, especially when it’s something as simple as chili powder. And even though I make so much of our food from scratch, chili powder was one of the things that I often bought. That is until I discovered the amazing depth of flavor of homemade chili powder.
Really what got me thinking about making my own blend was when my recipe testers from Australia were saying that they couldn’t find chili powder there. They would attempt to make my chili or other recipes, and be ready to die from the heat. Because in Australia, chili powder is just ground up chilies. And nothing will kill a dish faster than a few tablespoons of cayenne! Of course American-style chili powder has layers of flavor too (or at least the homemade stuff does). Think cumin, onion, garlic, smoked paprika and more!
So I really developed the recipe to include in Vegan Casseroles so that anyone outside of the US could still make the recipes. What I really discovered though was how amazing homemade chili powder truly is, and then I decided that it is a must have in my kitchen. Seriously, I use the homemade blend for taco seasoning, or anytime that we want a well-rounded, full flavor. I also now double or triple the recipe so that we always have it on hand. We use it a lot!
Although this recipe is in my new book Vegan Casseroles, I want to share it here for those of you who don’t have the book (or as a reminder to make it for those who do). You seriously need to make this spice blend stat! Oh, and in case you are wondering what brand of spices I use for it, I tend to buy mine at Penzey’s or Savory Spice Shop. I also buy spices at Costco as well. So there you go.
For a few years, I’ve been hearing from friends in Australia that they can’t buy chili powder, only hot pepper like cayenne. So I set out to create one, as it’s an ingredient that I use often in my recipes. What I discovered, is that this homemade chili powder tastes so much better than what you buy in the store. Just make sure that your spices are very fresh when you make it, for the best flavor. I also like to use this mix as a taco seasoning.
- 2 tablespoons sweet paprika
- 2 tablespoons ground ancho chili powder
- 2 tablespoons dried oregano
- 2 tablespoons ground cumin
- 2 tablespoons granulated garlic
- 1 tablespoon granulated onion
- 2 teaspoons fine sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
In a small bowl, mix together the paprika, ancho chili powder, oregano, cumin, garlic, onion, salt, and cayenne pepper. Store in an air-tight jar, and use in recipes whenever chili powder is called for.
Tip: If you can’t find ancho chili powder, you can use a total of 4 tablespoons paprika. Don’t substitute chili powder for the ancho, as it usually is a blend of other spices, and not a pure chili powder. If you prefer a lighter cumin flavor, you can reduce the cumin to 2 teaspoons.