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Chili powder made from dried hot red chilis (Capsicum annuum)
Chili powder made from ancho chilis
Chili powder at a Valencian Market

Chili powder, chile powder or chilli powder (British English) is a piquant ("hot") spice made entirely or mainly from powdered hot chili peppers.

The peppers may be virtually any hot pepper including cayenne, ancho, jalapeño, New Mexico, and pasilla chilis. The piquance ("heat" or "spicyness") of the powder varies widely depending on which are used, and their proportions if several types are mixed.

In many cuisines, such as traditional Indian cuisine and in the United Kingdom, chili powder is usually simply pure powdered chili.

In other cuisines, the hot chilis may be blended with mild paprika chilis, and other ingredients are included which usually include cumin, oregano, garlic powder, and salt. Other ingredients may include black pepper, cinnamon, cloves, coriander, mace, nutmeg, and turmeric.[citation needed]

Such blends are widely used in American cuisine as the primary flavor ingredient in chili con carne.[1][2] The first commercial blends of chili powder in the U.S. were created in the 1890s by D.C. Pendery and William Gebhardt.[3]


  1. ^ Brown, Alton (2004-08-18), "The Big Chili", Good Eats (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 

See also

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