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Making Ancho Chile Powder

It’s important to try new things every once in a while, because that simple act of diving blindly into the unknown is the very thing that keeps life interesting. Yesterday I did exactly that; I made Ancho chile powder from garden-grown poblano peppers.

Let me preface this by saying that my chile powder is green. I know, I know, you’re supposed to wait until the peppers turn red before doing it, but the poblano plant was going crazy and I didn’t want to waste food. So here’s how it went:

Big poblano peppers weighing down the plant
Big poblano peppers weighing down the plant

I picked, washed and dried a dozen of peppers.

An abundance of poblanos
An abundance of poblanos

Next, I consulted a internet and found this site (one of the few that actually starts from fresh poblanos). Then I seeded and chopped half of them for the solar food dryer. It’s important to cut them into even pieces.

Dehydrating peppers in the solar food dryer
Dehydrating peppers in the solar food dryer

Hot days made drying easy, but as the instructions denoted, poblanos take a long time to dry. Even in our efficient dryer it took several days more than expected.

After half a day of drying
After half a day of drying at 140 degrees
After several days of drying
After several days of drying

Even then, the peppers were not brittle, but still pliable. So I kept going. Finally I achieved total dryness. I somehow hoped that the color would turn red during the drying process. No such luck.

Finally, the moment of truth: grinding the peppers into powder.

Using a spice or coffee grinder is the easiest way
Using a spice or coffee grinder is the easiest way

What happened? Clouds of dust swirled around inside the clear lid, and I thought, “is this right?” I guess so, because what I ended up with was this:

Ground poblanos = ancho chile powder
Ground poblanos = ancho chile powder

Okay, so experts would probably chastise me for calling this ancho powder because it isn’t red, but I’ll tell you this: it perfectly captured that freshn summer poblano flavor for later use. What could be bad about that?

Now, anyone have ideas for how to use it? Post your suggestions here.

This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. Alison

    I did the same thing, but when it came to making adobo sauce, I went and bought some because I thought the green powder might be a little off putting.🥴
    Let me know if you come up with any recipes…

    1. Christy

      I ended up just tossing it into dishes as the mood dictated. It provided spice and flavor and I used it in small enough amounts that the color wasn’t an issue.

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