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Chilli Varieties for Homemade Chilli Powder: From Mild to Fiery Hot

Updated on February 5, 2024

Homemade Chilli Powder

Making your own homemade chilli powder is a great way to add a burst of flavour and heat to your dishes. By Mix different chillies to make your own chilli powder with the taste and spiciness you are some benefits and differences between store-bought and homemade chilli powder:

Benefits of making homemade chilli powder

Homemade chilli powder offers many advantages over store-bought options. By using fresh chilies, you ensure maximum flavour and aroma in your dishes, while also allowing for customization by blending different chilli varieties to achieve your preferred level of spiciness and flavour. Making your own chilli powder ensures purity, as you can avoid additives and preservatives commonly found in commercial products. Not only is it a healthier choice, but it can also be more economical, as you can purchase chilli peppers in bulk and create a large batch of powder that will last for an extended period. Embracing homemade chilli powder enhances the overall quality of your culinary creations while providing a rewarding and cost-effective experience.

Mild Chilli Varieties

Anaheim chilli

Named after the city in California, Anaheim chillies are mild and have a slightly sweet flavour.We often use them in Mexican cuisine, especially in dishes such as chiles rellenos. Anaheim chillies have a Scoville Heat Unit (SHU) of 500 to 2,500.

Poblano chilli

Poblano chillies are mild with a rich flavour and are commonly used in Mexican cuisine, particularly in the well-known dish, chiles en nogada. They have a SHU of 1,000 to 2,000.

Pasilla chilli

We also know Pasilla chillies as chilaca chillies and have a dark, wrinkled skin. They have a mild to medium heat and are often used in Mexican sauces, such as mole. Pasilla chillies have a SHU of 1,000 to 2,500.

Ancho chile

Ancho chile is a mild to medium heat dried chile pepper, originating from Mexico. It is the dried form of the fresh poblano pepper. With a heat rating of 1,000 to 2,000 Scoville units, ancho chile provides a mild spiciness and is known for its rich, smoky flavour. When ground into a powder, ancho chile powder can add a subtle kick of heat along with a sweet, earthy aroma to spice blends, rubs, marinades and stews. For homemade chilli powder, dried ancho chiles can be incorporated along with other mild to medium-heat dried peppers to create a balanced and flavorful blend.  \Ancho chilli powder is commonly used in Tex-Mex and Mexican cuisine. It works well blended with spices like cumin, garlic and oregano.

Medium Chilli Varieties

Jalapeno chilli

The Jalapeno chilli is a popular medium-heat chilli that is widely used in Mexican cuisine. It adds a mild to medium level of heat with a slightly sweet and fruity flavour. Jalapenos are perfect for making salsa, adding a punch to guacamole, or even stuffing with cheese and baking.

Serrano chilli

The Serrano chilli is a slightly hotter option than the Jalapeno, but still falls into the medium-heat category. It has a bright and crisp flavour with a heat level that can vary from mild to moderately hot. Serrano chillies are great for adding a kick to soups, sauces, and marinades.

Fresno chilli

The Fresno chilli is another medium-heat chilli that closely resembles the Jalapeno in terms of heat. It has a rich, smoky flavour with a slightly fruity undertone. Fresnos are perfect for making chilli con carne, adding to stir-fries, or even pickling. It’s important to note that the heat level of chillies can vary depending on factors such as growing conditions and ripeness. It’s always a good idea to taste a small piece of the chilli before using it in your recipe to gauge its heat level.

Kashmiri chilli

Kashmiri chilli powder is made from chillies grown in the Kashmir region of India. It has a rich red colour and mild flavour, rating around 2,000 to 5,000 Scoville Heat Units (SHU). This makes it perfect for adding vibrant colour without excessive heat to dishes like curries, kebabs, and tandoori chicken. Many chefs prefer Kashmiri chilli powder when colour is important but high spiciness is not desired. For homemade powder, dried Kashmiri chillies can be ground into a fine powder and stored like other homemade chilli powders.

Hot Chilli Varieties

Cayenne chilli:

Cayenne chillies are widely used in cooking and are known for their intense heat. They have a Scoville heat unit (SHU) rating of around 30,000 to 50,000, making them a brilliant choice for adding heat to dishes like soups, stews, and curries.

Thai chilli:

Thai chillies, also known as bird’s-eye chillies, are small but extremely spicy. They have a SHU rating of around 50,000 to 100,000, making them one of the hottest chilli varieties. I commonly used them in Thai cuisine to add heat and flavour to dishes like stir-fries and spicy salads.

Habanero chilli:

We know habanero chillies or their fruity and floral flavours, along with their intense heat. They have an SHU rating of around 100,000 to 350,000, making them one of the hottest chilli varieties available. They are perfect for adding a spicy punch to salsas, marinades, and hot sauces. These hot chilli varieties can be dried and ground into chilli powder to add a fiery kick to your favourite dishes. Just remember to handle them with care and use them sparingly if you’re not accustomed to the heat.

Fiery Hot Chilli Varieties

Ghost Pepper

Also known as Bhut Jolokia, the Ghost Pepper held the Guinness World Record for the hottest chilli pepper in the world from 2007 to 2011. It has a Scoville Heat Unit (SHU) rating of over 1 million, making it extremely hot. The Ghost Pepper has a fruity and slightly smoky flavour that intensifies its heat.

Scorpion Pepper

The Scorpion Pepper is another super-hot chilli variety that ranks among the hottest in the world. It has a SHU rating that can reach up to 2 million, making it one of the spiciest peppers out there. The Scorpion Pepper has a sweet and fruity flavour that is followed by an intense and lasting heat.

Carolina Reaper

The Carolina Reaper currently holds the Guinness World Record for the hottest chilli pepper in the world. With a SHU rating that averages around 1.5 million, it is one of the must-haves for spice enthusiasts. The Carolina Reaper has a fruity and sweet flavour, but its heat is extremely intense and can linger for a long time.

Right Combination of chilli powder

With homemade chilli powder, choosing the right combination of chilli varieties is crucial. It allows you to balance heat and flavour, ensuring that your chilli powder enhances the taste of your dishes. Here are some tips for choosing the right combination of chilli powder:

Mild Varieties:

If you prefer a milder heat level, consider using mild chilli varieties such as Anaheim, Poblano, or Guajillo. These chilli peppers add a subtle, smoky flavour to your chilli powder without overwhelming the taste buds.

Medium Varieties:

For a medium level of heat, you can incorporate chilli varieties like Jalapeno, Serrano, or Chipotle. These peppers have a moderate heat level that adds a kick to your chilli powder without being too overpowering.

Hot Varieties

If you want to add a fiery hotness to your chilli powder, consider using hot chilli varieties like Habanero or Thai chilli peppers. We know these peppers for their intense heat and can give your chilli powder a spicy punch.

Homemade Chilli Powder

Harvesting and drying chillies

Making homemade chilli powder is a great way to add a personalised touch to your dishes. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to make your own chilli powder at home. Choose the chilli varieties that suit your taste preferences and desired heat level. Whether you prefer mild or fiery hot chillies, there are many options available. Harvest the chillies when they are ripe and fully mature for the best flavour.

Washing and drying the chillies:

Rinse the chillies under cold water to remove any dirt or impurities. Pat them dry with a clean towel or let them air dry for a few hours. It’s important to ensure that the chillies are completely dry before proceeding to the next step.

Oven-drying method:

Preheat your oven to the lowest temperature setting. Place the washed and dried chillies on a baking sheet in a single layer. Leave the oven door slightly ajar to allow air circulation. Check on the chillies regularly and rotate the baking sheet to ensure even drying. The drying process can take several hours, depending on the moisture content of the chillies.

Sun-drying method:

If you live in a hot and dry climate, you can sun-dry the chillies. Place the washed and dried chillies on a clean mesh or wire rack. Choose a sunny and well-ventilated spot, preferably outdoors. Cover the chillies with a clean cloth or mesh to protect them from insects. Leave them to dry for several days until they become brittle.

Grinding and storing chilli powder:

Once the chillies are completely dry, grind them into a fine powder using a spice grinder or a blender. Start with small batches to ensure an even grind. If desired, you can remove the seeds before grinding to reduce the heat level. Store the homemade chilli powder in an airtight container in a cool, dark place to maintain its flavour and potency.

Recipes and dishes where you can use homemade chilli powder

Once you have your homemade chilli powder ready, it’s time to incorporate it into your favourite recipes and dishes. Here are some ideas to get you started:

Chilli Con Carne

Add a kick of heat and flavour to this classic Tex-Mex dish by sprinkling homemade chilli powder into the sauce. It will give your chilli con carne a rich taste.

Soups and Stews:

Whether you’re making a hearty vegetable soup or a beef stew, a dash of homemade chilli powder can elevate the flavours and add depth to the dish.

Marinades and Rubs

Create flavorful marinades for chicken, beef, or seafood by mixing homemade chilli powder with other spices and ingredients. Use it as a dry rub on meats before grilling or roasting for a spicy crust.

Sauces and Salsas

Enhance your homemade sauces and salsas with a pinch of homemade chilli powder. It will give them a delicious heat and complexity.

Dips and Dressings:

Whether you’re making a spicy dip for tortilla chips or a zesty dressing for salads, homemade chilli powder can add a spicy kick to your favourite condiments.


Advantages of using homemade chilli powder

Homemade chilli powder offers maximum flavour and aroma, as it preserves natural oils and volatile compounds. Customization allows control over spiciness and flavour, enhancing the uniqueness of dishes. It ensures purity, avoiding additives and promoting a healthier diet. Economically, making large batches saves money and ensures a steady supply of freshly made spice. Overall, it delivers freshness, customizability, purity, and economic benefits, elevating the flavours of dishes while being a healthier and cost-effective approach to spice usage.


Which one is the F1 variety of chilli?

The F1 variety of chilli refers to the first-generation hybrid chilli resulting from the crossbreeding of two different parent chilli varieties.

Which chilli is less spicy in India?

The “Banana Pepper” or “Bajji Mirchi” is considered less spicy in India compared to other chilli varieties.

What is the use of Teja chilli?

Teja chilli is often used to make ground red chilli powder and is known for its vibrant red colour, moderate spiciness, and pungent aroma.

How hot is Guntur chilli?

Guntur chilli, which is primarily grown in the Guntur district of Andhra Pradesh, India, is known for its high heat level, ranging from 30,000 to 50,000 Scoville Heat Units (SHU).

What is Gandhari chilli?

Gandhari chilli” seems to be a less known or less common name, and there is limited information available on it. It’s possible that it could refer to a regional or localised variety.

Which chilli has the best Flavour?

The “Poblano Pepper” from Mexico is often considered to have the best flavour among chilli varieties. It has a mild to medium level of spiciness and is popularly used in various Mexican dishes, including chiles rellenos.

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