I never had a bone to pick with commercial chili powder until I ran out of it one day. I was in the middle of whipping up Hearty Red Pepper and Corn Vegetarian Chili when a frantic search through my 133 spice bottles revealed no chili powder.
A easy as it is to make, Homemade Chili Powder’s flavor is a revelation. The mix of smoky paprika, cumin and various peppers delivers fiery, nuanced chili taste.
Homemade Chili Powder markedly improved my already-pretty-good Hearty Red Pepper and Corn Vegetarian Chili, see recipe below. I also use the Chili Powder on fajitas, dips and eggs.
Please mix up a batch and see. I don’t think you’ll ever go back to store-bought.
The Hearty Red Pepper and Corn Vegetarian Chili was inspired by my vegetarian daughter, Lily. It’s so full-flavored and satisfying, even the most carnivorous child in our family found it palatable.
Copywriters’ Kitchen Homemade Chili Powder
6 tablespoons paprika
4 tablespoons cumin
4 tablespoons oregano
2 teaspoons cayenne
1 tablespoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
- In a small bowl, mix all ingredients together.
- Place in air-tight container and store.
Hearty Red Pepper and Corn Vegetarian Chili
1 large onion, chopped fine
1 red pepper, cut into ½” pieces
1 carrot, diced
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 minced jalapeno pepper
2 tablespoons corn meal
3 tablespoons homemade chili powder—okay, you can also use store-bought
1 heaping tablespoon Demerara or brown sugar
1 28-ounce can tomatoes, chopped
1 cup water
4 cups pinto beans
1½ cups fresh or frozen corn
Kosher salt to taste
- In advance of making chili, cook pinto beans. Rinse a pound of pintos, pour into crockpot, cover with water and add 1 teaspoon salt. Cover pot and simmer for several hours. Or cook beans traditionally according to directions on package. Spoon out and reserve 4 cups of beans.
- In a Dutch Oven or heavy pot, heat oil until hot and fragrant. Add onion.
- Sauté onion until softened, about 3 minutes.
- Add crushed garlic and sauté another few minutes.
- In the meantime, chop red pepper, dice carrot and mince jalapeno.
- Add chopped vegetables to onions and garlic. Stir and fry until vegetables soften—about 5-6 minutes.
- Add cornmeal and chili powder. Stir to coat vegetables, lower flame and cook for 2-3 minutes to release spices’ full flavor.
- Stir tomatoes, water and sugar into vegetable chili mixture. The mix will be soupy—it needs to cook down to fully develop texture and flavor.
- Bring tomato-chili sauce to boil, lower flame. Simmer for at least 30-40 minutes and up to 2 hours—the longer the better. Add more water ½ cup at a time, as needed.
- About ten minutes before you’re ready to serve, add drained pinto beans and corn and simmer until heated through.
- Serve with rice and/or cornbread and a variety of toppings.
- Grated cheddar or Monterey Jack Cheese
- Sour cream
- Chopped onion
- Minced green pepper