Alton Brown had a Chili episode on Good Eats where he made his own chili powder. Here is his recipe:
- 3 ancho chiles, stemmed, seeded and sliced
- 3 cascabel chiles, stemmed, seeded and sliced
- 3 dried arbol chiles, stemmed, seeded and sliced
- 2 tablespoons whole cumin seeds
- 2 tablespoons garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- Place all of the chiles and the cumin into a medium nonstick saute pan or cast iron skillet over medium-high heat.
- Cook, moving the pan around constantly, until you begin to smell the cumin toasting, approximately 4 to 5 minutes.
- Set aside and cool completely.
- Once cool, place the chiles and cumin into the carafe of a blender or spice grinder along with the garlic powder, oregano, and paprika.
- Process until a fine powder is formed.
- Allow the powder to settle for at least a minute before removing the lid of the carafe.
- Store in an airtight container for up to 6 months.
So like anyone who cooks, recipes are great, but technique is better. I heard a commercial from one of the Iron Chef's, Michael Symon, who said when you learn a recipe, you can cook one dish. When you learn a technique you can cook a hundred. While I might never make a hundred varieties of chili powder, Using a selection of dried chilies, along with a few other spices, and toasting the cumin seeds to bring out the flavor, and then grinding up all the ingredients made a terrific chili powder.
Pass me any other chilies you might try. I think the next time I see dried chipotles, I know what's going in my next batch.