Best Chili Powder Substitutes

Chili powder is a popular spice blend made from ground dried chili peppers, along with other herbs and spices such as cumin, paprika, oregano, garlic, and salt. It is commonly used in Mexican, Tex-Mex, and Indian cuisines to add a bold and smoky flavor to dishes, ranging from stews, chilies, soups, marinades, and rubs for meats, poultry, fish, and vegetables.

In Mexico, chili powder, or chile en polvo, is often used as a condiment on fresh fruits, like mangoes or cucumbers, and on snacks like popcorn and roasted nuts. It is also an essential ingredient in the traditional mole sauce, which is made from a blend of chili peppers, nuts, seeds, spices, and chocolate.

In India, chili powder, or lal mirch, is used in curries, chutneys, and spice blends, such as garam masala and tandoori masala. It is also used as a seasoning for street foods like chaat and samosas.

If you don’t have chili powder on hand, you can substitute it with a mix of cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes, cumin, garlic powder, smoked paprika, and salt. The ratio may vary depending on the heat level and flavor profile you desire. Alternatively, you can use a specific type of chili powder that suits your recipe, such as ancho, chipotle, or Korean gochugaru.

How To Substitute Chili Powder

Substitute Instructions Ratio
Paprika Use sweet or smoked paprika for a milder flavor 1:1
Cumin and Cayenne Pepper Mix equal parts cumin and cayenne pepper for a spicy substitute 1:1
Ancho Chili Powder Use ancho chili powder for a similar flavor profile 1:1
Chipotle Powder Use chipotle powder for a smoky and spicy substitute 1:1
Curry Powder Use curry powder for a different flavor profile with a hint of spice 1:1

Leave a Comment