How to Make Your Own Chili Mix


Chili is a hearty stew of Mexican origin that typically includes tomatoes, beef or chicken, beans and a mixture of spices, the most prominent of which is chili powder. One way to control the complex flavors and spiciness of your chili is to make your own chili mix -- a combination of the dry seasoning ingredients that can be incorporated with other ingredients later on. There is lots of flexibility with measurements in any chili recipe, so experiment until you find the flavor proportions that you like best.

Things You'll Need

  • Large bowl
  • 2 tbsp. cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup chili powder
  • 1 tbsp. onion powder
  • 1 tbsp. paprika
  • 2 tsp. cumin
  • 1 tbsp. dried herbs
  • 1 tbsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • Airtight container
  • Place cornstarch in a large mixing bowl. This is the base of the mix, and will give thickness and texture to the chili once liquid is added.

  • Add salt. More salt can be added to taste once you prepare the chili.

  • Add chili powder. There are many types of chili powder depending on the variety of chili plant that is ground. For a spicy, earthy flavor, look for chipotle or cayenne chili powders. Be sure that your powder is not actually a mixture of several other spices, since you will be adding these spices separately.

  • Add onion powder. Whether or not you decide to use chunks of chopped fresh onion in the chili, this seasoning element will add a pleasant pungency and a slightly salty flavor.

  • Add paprika. This bright red powder will add a Southwestern flavor without increasing the spiciness of the chili.

  • Add ground cumin. This seasoning is common in Southwestern as well as Southeast Asian cuisines, and adds a tangy dimension to the chili's flavor.

  • Add a blend of dried herbs to your mix. These can include basil, oregano or dried cilantro flakes. If you use all three, about a tablespoon of each will create a good flavor ratio.

  • For extra heat, sprinkle up to 2 tbsp. crushed red pepper flakes over the mix.

  • Gently stir the mixture with a spoon until all the ingredients are fully combined. Settling and stratification of ingredients may occur during storage or transportation of the powder, and will have no effect on the final chili product if all the powder is used all at once. However, if you draw from the supply of seasoning in small quantities, it's important that each spoonful has a properly proportioned mixture.

  • Pour the mixture into an airtight container such as a mason jar or sealable plastic bag and store until you're ready to make the chili.

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