Homemade Ancho Chile Powder is DIRT CHEAP when you make it at home – just one ingredient! Add it to soups, salad dressings, and chicken for a spicy heat.
Ancho Chile Powder is a really fun ingredients to add to your spice cabinet. You can use it to flavor all kinds of things, including soups (your chili, especially), salad dressings, and marinades. It’s also a key flavor in my Chipotle Chicken copycat recipe.
The problem with Ancho Chile Powder is not it’s versatility nor its robust flavor. It’s the COST. It’s usually several dollars for a jar, or even more, and I’m guessing you only shell out that kind of money for saffron. And probably not even for saffron.
So the punchline of all this is, homemade Ancho Chile Powder is SO EASY to make, and dirt cheap. So let’s get right to it.
How to Make Ancho Chile Powder
First of all, the recipe is so easy it’s not even a recipe.
It’s literally just dried Ancho Chiles ground up.
I typically buy the chiles in 2 ounce packages, and depending on the size of the chiles, each package contains 2 to 4 chiles. 1 (2 ounce) package of dried Ancho Chiles will yield about 1/4 cup ancho chile powder.
By the way, Ancho Chiles are Poblano Peppers that have been dried. Furthermore, Poblano Peppers are my all-time favorite pepper.
I recommend wearing gloves while handling the dried chiles, just in case. Pull off the stems, clean out the seeds, and tear the dried chiles into smallish pieces. Add to a grinder. Grind.
We all know we are supposed to pitch and re-buy spices every 6 months… maybe you do, maybe you don’t. But with things like Chili Powder, freshness = potency. Freshness really does matter here.
I like to use an electric spice grinder, but a small food processor or a high-quality blender should also be able to handle the heat.
Where to Find Dried Ancho Chiles
Ancho dried chiles are always in stock at my local International foods markets and Mexican grocery stores. Sometimes I find them at regular groceries stores too or even Walmart. They usually sell for around $2 or less for a 2-ounce package.
You can also buy them online, although I understand that spending $8 on dried ancho chiles isn’t much better than spending $6 on a bag of Ancho Chile Powder. Even if it’s a good value, it’s still a lot of money.
So, try to find them locally. In California, they are sometimes labeled as “Ancho-Pasilla Chiles” or just “Pasilla Chiles.”
Homemade Ancho Chile Powder Recipe
- 2 ounces dried Ancho Chiles
- Open the chile peppers by pulling them apart with your hands or cutting with a knife (wearing gloves is recommended). Carefully pull out and discard the stem. Shake or scrape out all seeds. Repeat with remaining chilies.
- Tear cleaned chile pieces into 1” or 2” pieces. Place in an electric grinder or small food processor and process in batches until finely ground.
- Store covered in an airtight container.