This year our porch garden had 5 pots of various peppers: jalapeño, red chili, habanero, serrano, & ancho. We used about 40 of our red chilies to make chili garlic sauce and had well over 60 more peppers to use! Many peppers were used fresh throughout the summer but whatever was left at the end of the season we used to make a chili powder.
Ingredients : about 50 peppers- we used jalapeños, red chilies, habaneros, and serranos. We slow roasted the peppers until they were dry enough to grind into a powder. To do this, set your oven to the lowest temperature; our oven went down to about 200°F and seemed to work well. I was prepared for this dry roast to take a long time, possibly even overnight, so I started in the morning and planned to be home all day. Place all of the whole peppers onto a non-oiled sheet pan. Pop it in the oven and periodically flip & turn the peppers so all sides dry evenly. The peppers will shrivel up and become a little darker in color. The habaneros seemed to dry the fastest because their skin is so thin, next up were the chilies, then the serranos, and coming in last were the jalapeños. Because they were all different sizes and dried at different rates, I removed each pepper from the oven as it was ready to avoid any sort of burning. This took about 10 hours in the oven before they were all dry enough to grind; it could take longer though depending on the size of you peppers and your oven.
We ground all of the peppers together with our magic bullet, but any spice grinder or clean coffee grinder should do the trick as well — if you use your coffee grinder I wouldn’t be surprised if you have a few spicy mornings to follow. This stuff is really powerful! Prep your dried peppers by getting rid of the stems; I found scissors to work the best. Chop the rest of the pepper into smaller pieces to maximize space in the grinder. It might not be a bad idea to wear gloves during this step, my hands felt the heat the following day.
Grind until desired consistency. Half way to powder form you get a really nice crushed pepper flake. We wanted ours to be a coarse powder, as we often use cayenne powder in our kitchen, but sometimes I think it’s ground up a too finely for what we need and it’s hard to sprinkle evenly as a topper. Leaving it as a more coarse texture will make it easier to spread evenly for a little extra spice and it won’t clump together as much as a finer powder would.
Throughout this entire process your house will smell strongly of peppers, but once you open the grinder of the fresh pepper powder you’ll really understand how intense it is! Anyone in the house will be able to detect it. This fresh spice is very different from the rest of the powders in your cabinet.
We have already used our new spice a few times to make lotus chips, curry, and chick pea snacks!