How to make Chili Powder 5 Comments

Oct 25, 2009

Ever wonder why sometimes you make a dish and it’s mild, and other times it’s too hot for your taste buds? And you know you used the exact amount of spices both times?

Your chili powder could be the culprit. Did you know that chili powder is a blend of spices and not a specific spice? This means that every chili powder blend may have different ingredients and measurements. To help avoid this inconsistency, you can make your own blend.

This chili powder recipe is one of my favorites. It includes cumin, ancho chile, chili pepper, oregano and ground fennel seeds. The cumin adds a warm smokiness and depth to the powder mix, the ancho chile is a dried pepper (in its fresh form is known as poblano pepper) gives a sweet hot flavor. Fennel seeds add a subtle licorice element, which complements the bold and gutsy notes of the oregano. And the chili pepper wakes the blend.

When you make your own chili powder it helps you control the temperature on your dish, plus you can use existing spices in new and exciting ways to create even more flavor and taste.


3 teaspoons spices ground cumin
2 teaspoons spices ground ancho chile
2 teaspoons ground chile flakes
2 teaspoons oregano
1 teaspoon ground fennel seeds


½ cup

Prep Time

10 minutes


Combine all the ingredients and mix well. Store the mixture in an airtight container in a cool, dark place for up to 2 months.

Filed Under

Sauces| Rubs| Blends and Food Gift Ideas

Spices Used

Cumin, Chili and Fennel seed


Great site! I must admit I had no idea how chili powder was made - I certainly didn't know it had such a variety of ingredients. I like the idea of controlling the heat. Will try your recipe then perhaps experiment with slightly different quantities.

JasonP, over 4 years ago

Yes, same here. I'll have to try this as well. Thanks!

TesiaFlavorDiva, over 4 years ago

Oooh! I'm going to sprinkle this on potatoes...

Stephanie - Wasabimon, over 4 years ago

Like your site. Wanted to recommend starting with whole dried spices, then throw them all in the coffee grinder. Gives a fresher flavor. Easy to find cheap bags of whole dried anchos at a mexican grocer. Can add dried chipotles for more heat. Oh and use mexican oregano if you can find's more floral.

hungrygrrl, over 4 years ago

Love it. Made it right after you posted this and only got to grind the dried peppers today. Left it at flake consistency.

Warning to you spice lovers--even though you don't smell the spiciness upon preparation, it is actually quite a powerful took 3 days for the air in the house to clear and for my sneezing to stop.

—Ravit, over 4 years ago

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