The Spice Cabinet Guide to Types of Chili Powder

Chili powder is a spice blend commonly used in various cuisines to add heat and flavor to dishes. While there isn’t a single standardized recipe for chili powder, it typically includes a combination of ground chili peppers and other complementary spices. The specific types of chili peppers used and the additional spices can vary, resulting in different variations of chili powder. Here are some common types:

1. Ancho Chili Powder

Ancho chili powder is made from dried, ground poblano peppers. It has a mild to medium level of heat and a slightly sweet, smoky flavor. Ancho chili powder is commonly used in Mexican cuisine, including dishes like mole sauce, chili con carne, and enchiladas.

2. Chipotle Chili Powder

Chipotle chili powder is made from smoked and dried jalapeƱo peppers. It has a medium level of heat and a distinct smoky flavor. Chipotle chili powder is often used in Mexican and Tex-Mex dishes, barbecue rubs, and marinades.

3. Cayenne Pepper

Cayenne pepper is a ground powder made from dried red chili peppers, particularly the Cayenne pepper variety. It is known for its intense heat and is commonly used to add spice to dishes such as curries, hot sauces, and chili. Cayenne pepper can also be used as a standalone spice.

4. Aleppo Pepper

Aleppo pepper is a ground spice made from dried Aleppo chili peppers. It has a moderate level of heat and a fruity, tangy flavor with mild undertones of cumin and sun-dried tomatoes. Aleppo pepper is often used in Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisines, including dishes like kebabs, roasted vegetables, and salads.

5. Korean Chili Powder (Gochugaru)

Korean chili powder, also known as gochugaru, is made from dried Korean chili peppers. It has a medium level of heat and a vibrant, slightly smoky flavor. Gochugaru is a key ingredient in many Korean dishes, including kimchi, bulgogi, and various stews.

These are just a few examples of the types of chili powder available. Depending on regional preferences and culinary traditions, there may be additional variations of chili powder with unique flavor profiles. When using chili powder in recipes, it’s important to adjust the quantity based on personal heat tolerance and desired flavor intensity.