Posts Tagged ‘chile powder’

19th March
written by Arthur

Many of the recipes in my new favorite Mexican cookbook, Truly Mexican, call for chile powder.  Yes, you can buy the stuff in the store and the cookbook’s author gives you the go ahead to use the store bought stuff when the homemade isn’t on hand. But making the chile powder from scratch is so easy, cheap, and quick I’m willing to make the investment.  Plus, I love spice.  Having a another option to spice-up any meal in front of me is a good thing and the powder stores up to three months.  I’ve only made the recipe using árbol chiles, but I’m very curious to try the other options.

I don’t have a spice grinder, but the blender method worked out great.

The recipe yields 1/4 cup.



1 ounce dried árbol (30 to 40), cascabel (about 5), or chipotle mora (8 to 10, purplish-red color) chiles, wiped clean and stemmed.


Heat or comal, griddle, or heavy skillet over low heat for árbol chiles and medium-low for cascabel and chipotle chiles.

For the árbol chiles, toast them, turning them over and pressing them down frequently with tongs until they are browned with some blackened spots, about 8 minutes.

For the cascabel chiles, break each into about 3 pieces for easier toasting, then shake out and reserve the seeds.  Toast the pieces turning them over and pressing down frequently with tong, until they turn a lighter, slightly mottled red, about 1 minute.  Remove the pieces.  Toast the seed in the skillet, shaking and tossing, until they’er lightly browned and fragrant, 20 to 30 seconds.

For the chipotle mora chiles, toast them, turning them over frequently, until dark, blackish blisters appear in spots (some will even puff up), 3 to 5 minutes.

Grind or blend the chiles (and the toasted seed, if you’re using cascabel chiles) to a powder in a spice grinder or blender jar.

Store in an airtight container in a cool dark place (not in the refrigerator) for up to 3 months.