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Chili Powder

February 25, 2010

The name “chili powder” is confusing. One could mistake it for “chili pepper”–or, worse, one could mistake “chili pepper” for “chili powder.” This confusion may result in a pot of soup poured down the garbage disposal.

I’ve never done this–seriously–but I have been afraid of accidentally confusing the two.

“Chili pepper” is a generic name for cayenne pepper or ancho chili pepper, or any type of ground-up hot pepper.

Chili powder, on the other hand, is a blend of spices used in making chili, that meat and tomato mixture that Americans put on hot dogs or eat from a bowl, or have competitions to find the best (usually secret) recipe.

You can make your own chili powder out of ingredients you probably have on your spice rack. It’s really easy and you can tweak it to fit your taste. Here are three variations I’ve played around with over the years.

Tomorrow, you’ll get a chance to try one in action.

Homemade Chili Powder: 3 Variations

Mix the spices together and store in an air-tight jar in a dark cupboard that is not next to the oven.

Variation 1:

1 t. paprika

2 t. ground cumin

1 t. cayenne pepper

1 t. dried oregano

2 t. garlic powder

Variation 2:

3 T. paprika

2 t. dried oregano

1 t. ground cumin

1 t. tumeric

1 t. garlic powder

1/4 t. cayenne pepper

Variation 3:

3 T. paprika

1 T. ground cumin

1 T. dried oregano

1 t. red pepper (ancho, cayenne, etc.)

1/2 t. garlic powder

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