Chili powder

Chili powder
Chili powder for sale in Bolivia

Chili powder (also powdered chili or chile powder) is the ground, dried fruit of one or more varieties of chili pepper, sometimes with the addition of other spices (when it may be known as chili powder blend). It is used as a spice to add piquance and flavor to dishes. In American English the name is usually spelled "chili", or, less commonly, "chile". In British English the spelling "chilli" (with two "l"s) is used consistently.

Chili powder is sometimes known by the specific type of chili pepper used (such as cayenne pepper). It is used in many different cuisines, including Tex-Mex, Indian, Chinese, and Thai.

Chili powder blend is composed chiefly of chili peppers and blended with other spices including cumin, oregano, garlic powder, and salt.[1][2] The chilis are most commonly either red chili peppers or cayenne peppers, which are both of the species Capsicum annuum; many types of hot pepper may be used, including ancho, Jalapeño, New Mexico, and pasilla chilis. As a result of the various different potential additives, the spiciness of any given chili powder is variable.

Chili powder blends are especially popular in American cuisine, where they are the primary flavor ingredient in chili con carne. The first commercial blends of chili powder in the U.S. were created by D.C. Pendery and William Gebhardt for this dish.[3] Gebhardt opened Miller's Saloon in New Braunfels, Texas. Chili was the town's favorite dish. However, chili peppers could only be found at certain times of the year. Gebhardt imported some ancho peppers from Mexico and ran the peppers through a small meat grinder three times and created the first commercial chili powder, which became available in 1894.[4]


  1. ^ Brown, Alton (2004-08-18), "AB's Chili Powder", Good Eats:The Big Chili (Food Network),,1977,FOOD_9936_28230,00.html, retrieved 2007-09-11 
  2. ^ Bradshaw, Eleanor (June 1997), How to Make Your Own Chili Powder; or, Some Like it Hot, Texas Cooking Online, Inc.,, retrieved 2007-09-11 
  3. ^ DeWitt, Dave; Gerlach, Nancy (2003), "Chili Conquers the U.S.A.", The Great Chili con Carne Project (,, retrieved 2007-09-11 
  4. ^ Massey, Sarah"Man Who Invented Chili Powder."., The Pierian Press, 1 Mar 1997. Online. Internet.. 18 May 1743. Retrieved [25 Aug 2011]. 

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