Thursday, July 7, 2011

Chili Powder

My kitchen is a huge distraction.  I'll be working in my home office (no, it's not a closet), when it'll hit me: I absolutely need to make home-made chili powder right now.

I googled around looking at recipes, and this one looked pretty standard.  I used whole dried chilies instead of cayenne, and I toasted and ground the chilies and the cumin seeds.  I also added a bay leaf (also toasted and ground) for the hell of it.

Oh, and I halved the recipe to get what you see below.  My kitchen is already full of weird spice mixes (curry powder, berbere, masala, zaatar, dukkah) I haven't used up.

Garlic powder makes this different than most spice mixes, and I'm not sure how I feel about it.  I used to think it was only for the lazy and the weak, but more recently I've found it to be indispensible in places where an even texture or mildness are really important: fritters or bites or meatballs, spreads, dressings, more dressings, more dressings, spice rubs and more spice rubs, and baking (!).  Sometimes it's also just more convenient.

Here, the garlic smells delicious, but it also means that you probably can't use the chili powder in sweet things (like you can use garam masala in cookies).  I used three little red chilies, and it's really a bit too spicy.  And now I need to figure out what to do with the stuff...

 Spicy Chili Powder
(adapted from group recipes)

1-3 small dried red chilies (3 was very hot)
1 bay leaf
1 1/2 TB cumin
1/2 TB smoked paprika
1/2 TB oregano
1 TB garlic

Toast chilies, bay leaf, and cumin one ingredient at a time, allow to cool.  Grind in a spice grinder.  Then add remaining ingredients and pulse until well mixed.  Makes one small spice jar's worth.


janet @ the taste space said...

I love making my own spice blends as well! I made a smll batch of chili powder for a pot of chili once, but it is definitely better to make a bigger batch... because then you can effortlessly make these (on my hitlist!): (actually maybe I will make this soon..)

Julia said...

Thanks, Janet! The beans recipe with coffee and chocolate sounds crazy!
Also.. I made your raspberry cashew dreamcake last night for a dinner party and it was awesome. :)

janet @ the taste space said...

Yahoo for the dreamcake!! :)

I actually just made the citrus black beans... but omitted most of the spice (just Aleppo chili flakes and smoked paprika) and added spinach. Yummers! :)

I can't wait to see what you cook up.