A comprehensive guide to Chili powders

Imagining a cuisine without a spicy flavor is difficult, except you are talking about a sweet dish such as rice pudding. There is a wide range of cuisines and dishes we know which cannot be completed without a pinch of spicy chili powder to add the texture, taste, and flavor. Just open up your spice cabinet and you will find a chili powder bottle waiting to be used. Chili powder is one of the most popular Indian spices that has carved a niche for itself by adding the hot, spicy, and delicious flavor in many dishes. All you need to do is to use it while cooking a dish or you can add as the topping once the dish is ready.

However, we mostly consider all available chili powder bottles as pure chili powder, but most of the time, this is not the case. Sometimes, many other ingredients such as cumin, oregano, salt, peppers, and garlic powder are used in the making of chili powder. You need to read the ingredient list when you are purchasing a chili powder bottle. You can search for Indian spices near me and find the best grocery store that deals with Indian items.

However, thankfully, there is a wide range of organic, pure chili powder varieties available for you in the market to trust. Not just that you can add a new flavor in your dish, you can also make a spice blend by mixing different Indian spices. In this post, we will discuss some of the basic chili powders that you need to know about.

TrendMut’s guide to Chili powders

Cayenne Pepper Powder

Here is the best version of dried, ground, cayenne peppers that have been popular in many parts of the world. However, before you place your order, you need to read all the ingredients to ensure that it is made of ground peppers or a blend of dried peppers, salt and other spices. It is hot and it ranges between 30,000-50,000 Scoville Heat Units (SHU). In addition to that, it is also believed that it offers some health benefits such as aiding in digestion and detoxification and giving relief in inflammation. You need to ensure that you are buying 100% organic cayenne pepper powder from the store.

Chipotle Powder

Dark red, mature jalapenos are smoked and then grounded to make chipotle chili powder. It is one of the most favorite chili powders in the USA and the heat range is believed to be between 2,500-8,000 SHUs. It is a hot, smokey and very spicy powder that is used in barbecue sauces, marinades and in other cuisines where smoky flames are needed. It is available in a wide range of flavors to choose from.

Ancho Chili Powder

Ancho chili powder has an SHU rank that falls between 1,000-1,500 SHUs and has mild spicy properties. Made from dried, ground poblano peppers, it is less hot than other types of chili powders we have discussed and has a smoky, hot flavor. It will not serve any purpose to use it for regular chili powder requirements in any cuisines or dishes. However, you can use it in different recipes such as roasted pumpkin and mushroom quesadillas.

Now, let’s discuss some of the international varieties that we need to know! India is known to be the inventor of spices and people from across the globe travelled to this side of the world to trade in Indian spices. We all know history, don’t we? Indian spices were the main reason for the colonization of many cultures.

Korea: Gochugaru

If you have ever visited Korea, you might have come across Gochugaru, a type of red spice which is made from a blend of red pepper flakes. Here, peppers are sun-dried first and then used to make this spicy flavor. Using the natural way is considered the best rather than using machines for grinding. Look especially about the sun-dried thing when you are buying Gochugaru. It is slightly smoky, spicy and sweet and used in making of various dishes and cuisines. Some of the varieties of gochugaru are Maewoon gochugaru and deolmaewoon gochugaru. Maewoon is the hottest type of powder, on the other hand, deolmaewoon is milder. It is mostly used to make dishes such as spicy sauces and kimchi.

India: Kashmiri Pepper Powder

Kashmir is not just known for its mountains, hills and heaven-like experience. It is also world-famous for pepper powder. It has the best red hue and widely used in India and nearby countries. It is an inseparable staple in Indian kitchens and the powder version is made organically. Most of the times, dried, ground and fresh peppers are bought from the market by the merchants and then they are grounded organically into a fine powder or flakes. The SHU range of Kashmiri chili powder ranges between 1,000 to 2,000 SHUs and it has a mild spicy flavor with fruit-like taste. Kashmiri pepper powder is used mostly to bring the dark red color of the dish in curries and other Indian dishes. You can buy organically made Kashmiri chili powder from an organic Indian grocery store.

South African Continent: Peri Peri Powder

Mostly popular in African countries and other western regions, peri peri pepper powder is on a very great hotter side with the heat ranking between 30,000- 50,000 SHU. Most of the times, peri peri powder is blended with other ingredients to make a condiment called peri peri sauce. It is also called the African bird’s eye chili and you can add the sauce in a wide range of dishes to get that spicy, hot, dazzling flavor. Most common ingredients used in the peri peri sauce are citrus peel, onion, pepper, salt, lemon juice, bay leaves, paprika basil, oregano, and tarragon. It has a sweet undertone with a hot and spicy flavor.


You just cannot imagine a cuisine or dish without this Indian spice, can you? Spicy chili powders of different types add a flavor, texture, and taste that lure us. One thing that you need to do check is the organicity of the product you are buying. Shop from a reputed brand only even if the cost is a bit high.  

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