Who doesn’t like a good chili? But take a moment to think before you answer – I am talking about a good chili, one that leaves you wanting more, not one that leaves you feeling like something really bad just happened in your mouth or your stomach!
I tend to prefer foods on the spicier end of the Scoville scale, but plenty of people don’t like, or can’t eat, very spicy foods. This is why I make my own chili powder to be a wonderfully fragrant and tasty, but non-spicy, seasoning – those who like a zing can add hot sauce to the dish, while those who don’t like the burn can still enjoy a tasty meal.
My favourite base recipe for chili powder is Alton Brown’s, found at the Food Network page linked here. My take on the recipe follows:
Put the cumin into a small frying pan and heat gently until you just begin smelling the cumin toasting – about 4 to 5 minutes. Take off the heat and allow to cool to room temperature. Place all ingredients into a spice grinder or food processor and blend into a fine powder. Place in an airtight container in a cool dark place. Use within 6 months for optimal flavour and smell.
* Why do I make this with roasted dried bell peppers? Because they are chili peppers bred to have no heat, they have a wonderful fragrance, and the roasting brings out the sweetness very nicely. Bingo, you now have some gorgeous chili powder – enjoy!