Find dried whole chile peppers in most large supermarkets and any Latin market. We use three varieties. Ancho chile peppers are sweet, fruity, and mild. New Mexico chile peppers are fresh, clean and mild. Guajillo chile peppers are smoky and medium hot. You can swap or add other peppers based on what is available to you. We recommend including something that’s sweet and fruity. They add complexity and flavor (in our case, that is the ancho pepper).
3 dried ancho chiles, stemmed seeded and sliced
3 dried Guajillo chiles, stemmed seeded and sliced
3 dried New Mexico chiles, stemmed seeded and sliced
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 tablespoons garlic powder
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon hot smoked paprika
Cut the stems and remove the seeds from peppers. The seeds can be bitter, so get rid of them. Use a pair of kitchen scissors to cut the stem away and then shake or scrape the seeds from the inside of each pepper. (If you have sensitive skin, wear gloves to prevent the oils from getting on your hands. Also, be careful not to touch your eyes during or after working with peppers).
Cut each cleaned pepper into small pieces then add to a dry skillet over medium heat. Toast them, stirring occasionally until fragrant, about 5 minutes.
Add the toasted chiles to a blender and blend until finely ground. Leave the lid in place until any dust settles so you do not get a cloud of ground chile peppers in your face.
Add ground chile peppers to a spice jar then top with the cumin, garlic powder, oregano, and hot smoked paprika. Seal the jar then shake. Store the chili powder up to 6 months.