If you’re going to be making chili, any kind of red chili, try making this HOMEMADE CHILI PASTE to use in place of dry chili powder. It is so easy to make and will definitely up your chili game! The key is picking the correct chilies for you. I made Homemade Chili Paste recently to use in my GAMEDAY CHILI. I wanted a bit of spice in my chili paste but not too much. I used a mix of dried ancho-pasilla, California and cascabel chilies. I found all of these dried chilies in the Mexican aisle of my local grocery store. All you need for this recipe is some dried chilies and chicken stock.
Besides adding complexity to your chili, this Homemade Chili Paste can also be stored for later use by freezing it in ice cube trays and transferring the frozen cubes to a plastic bag. The frozen chili paste can be stored for up to 6 months.
There are many different types of chilies. For making Homemade Chili Paste I used the following: ancho dried chilies for their rich fruitiness, California dried chilies for their sweet flavor and cascabel chilies for their heat. In the recipe below I show similar chilies that can be used if you cannot find the exact chilies I used.
You can also swap out some of these chilies for chipotles or nora chilies for smokiness. Or if you want more heat, add another cascabel type of dried chili. The recipe can easily be changed for your palate.
The process of making this Homemade Chili Paste was amazingly easy. Here’s what I did. First, I needed to remove the stems and seeds from the dried chilies. I cut the tops off the chilies, sliced them open and removed the seeds an stems which I discarded. I tore the seeded chilies into smaller 1-inch pieces. I then toasted the chilies over medium-high heat in a large sauce pan stirring them constantly so they didn’t burn. At this point, I could smell the roasted chilies and it was divine. I was already getting so excited about using this Homemade Chili Paste in my GAMEDAY CHILI.
Next, I added chicken stock to the saucepan and simmered for about 8 minutes until the chilies were softened. Once the chilies were softened, I took the saucepan off the heat and let cool down for about 5 minutes. Once cooled, I poured contents of the saucepan into a blender. I blended the chilies and chicken stock until the mixture was smooth. Oh my goodness, the color of the chili paste when all was done was amazing. Such a beautiful brick-red color and I had made it! You can make this too!! Give it a try and let me know the results!
- 5 ancho or pasillo dried chilies , stemmed and seeded
- 3 California or costeño dried chilies , stemmed and seeded
- 2 cascabels , pequin or árbol chilies, stemmed and seeded
- 16- ounces chicken stock
Tear the dried chilies into 1-inch pieces. This doesn't have to be exact, it's just easier to work with smaller pieces.
Add chilies to a big saucepan and toast pieces on medium-high heat, about 3-5 minutes. Stir the chilies pieces constantly so they do not burn.
Add the chicken stock to the saucepan and let simmer for 8 minutes or until the chilies are softened. Once the chilies are softened, take the pan off the heat and let cool 5 minutes.
Pour the cooled chilies and chicken stock mixture into a blender and blend until a smooth puree is formed, about 2 minutes.
Add to chili as needed or freeze for later use!
This recipe was inspired by Chili Paste, The Food Lab.