How to make chili powder from dried chilies
I was truly fed up with the chili powders sold in the Malaysian supermarkets. Most of they were bland and appeared to be filled with red colouring. I did not know whether the red coloring was natural to the chili or was added later in the manufacturing process. One day, I told myself “enough was enough” and tried to make my own chili powder.
Old powders hatch insects
I have noticed that many types of powders when stored for a long time hatch insects. I have seen paprika powder from established brands hatch silverfish. One day after not using the paprika powder for a few weeks I saw about 5 silverfish scrambling around in the bottle. That was disgusting to see and I almost dropped the bottle. Now a days I open the bottle carefully and check for anything running around before sticking my spoon in to take some of the powders out.
That was not the first time I discovered insects. On several occasions I have found weevils in many wheat flour packets not used for a few weeks. You will find that rice too has a lot of insects too. I guess you can now see why I am a little squeamish about Malaysian manufactured powders. On the other hand it would indicate that these manufacturers are not using any chemical preservatives in their products. Should I feel safer with or without preservatives?
Making chili powder
The steps are simple if you have a coffee grinder to do the grinding. I remember in the 1960’s my mom had to take her spices to a mill to get the millers to grind it. That meant it was a few kilograms of spices at a time. If you made a mistake with your spice mix you would have to live a long time enjoying the fruits of your mistakes.
Nowadays all we need is a little coffee grinder and you can make a small quantity, say about 50g, at a time and experiment and try out different spices mixes.
I used a Delonghi coffee grinder. I had bought it many years ago with the plan to try out all these wonderful spice recipes but never got around to it. Now, several years later I discovered that grinder, hiding in the bottom shelf of my cupboard, and began to try out different spice mixes and chili powder.
How to make red chili powder
Making chili powder is really quite simple and is something everyone beginning to make their own species should try.
- Cut the chilies into small pieces
- Heat them in a small pan to dry them and to kill off any insects and their eggs
- Let the heated chilies cool for a while
- Pour the chilies into a grinder and grind them
Your hot chili powder is ready to be used.
Video on making red chili powder
Homemade chili powder
You can run many experiments by grinding different chilies together and adjust the heat according to your taste. It is wonderful to have really hot chili powder to cook with.
This article was researched and written by Peter Achutha, 8th August 2017.