Green Chili Powder | Making, Flavor, Uses, Comparison

What Is Green Chili Powder?

Green chili powder is produced by grinding the fully dehydrated green chilies. After removing the stems, the freshly picked green chilies (unripe chilies) are dried and ground into fine powder.

Many would hesitate to use it, but green chili powder is just as tasty as any of the red chili powder commonly available. It works great in dry soup mixes, green sauces, stuffing mixes, vegetable mixes, and any light-colored hot recipes. It can be sprinkled on green salads to provide a spicy bump.

If you have some extra green chilies sitting around, you can make it yourself. All that you need is a little time, a lot of sun (or a dehydrator), and a kitchen grinder.

The best varieties of peppers for making green chili powder are cayenne, Anaheim, jalapeno, cascabel chiles, New Mexico chiles, Kashmiri, or habanero.

Green Chili Powder vs. Red Chili Powder

The main differences between green and red chili powders are the color and flavor. The light-colored green chili powder is perfect for adding heat to salsa verde, green sauces, fresh salads, vegetable dishes, hot desserts, smoothies, and more. On the other hand, red chili powder is used to add a lovely red glow and spiciness to foods such as fish, meat, casseroles, beans, baked corn, pickles, and more. Red chili powder is a base ingredient in spice mixes, masala mixes, curry paste, marinades, and various seasoning blends.

Flavor-wise, green chili powder is less earthy and bold but more grassy and herbaceous; imparts a subtle flavor related to the natural flavor profile of the type of chili used in it. Red chili powder can be mild to highly spicy depending on the chili used for making it; also has a bold, earthy flavor. Red chili powder, made with fully mature and ripened chiles, tends to be hotter and more flavorful than its green counterpart.

Homemade Green Chili Powder

Often, the green chili powder isn’t easily available in general groceries. However, if you have a little time and bright sunshine then there isn’t any difficulty in making it at home.

Take about 10 to 20 fresh green chilies and remove their stems (caps). Then lengthwise slice each of the peppers into two slices. Dry them in a dehydrator for 8 to 10 hours at 125 degrees Fahrenheit. Instead of the dehydrator, you can also dry the chilies in warm sunshine, which may require 4 to 8 days depending on the temperature during the day.

Once the chilies are fully dehydrated, grind them either using a spice grinder or mortar and pestle.

Store the green chili powder in an airtight container in a cool, dark place.

Choosing the Right Chilies

The spiciness and flavor of the chili powder depend on the type of chilies that go into its making. Here are a few options to consider:

  • Anaheim peppers: mild heat and slightly sweet
  • Padron peppers: mild heat and slightly nutty
  • Jalapeño peppers: low medium heat, bright and grassy
  • Serrano peppers: average medium heat, bright and grassy
  • Cayenne pepper: medium heat, grassy and slightly acidic

Uses in Cooking

Green chili powder works for some recipes but not for others. In order to infuse the flavor and heat of a green chile into a dish, you have to use quite a bit of powder, unlike the red chili powder which is rather spicy.

Green chili powder goes well with egg recipes like scrambled eggs, fried eggs, omelets, and crab omelets.

In place of roasted green chilies, you can use this powder to make green chili sauce. When you are making chile garlic bread, use about two tablespoons of green chili powder to replace one tablespoon of red chili powder.

Ground green chilies also work in flatbread, tortillas, and tamale masa. It goes well for salad dressing and rubs for various meat and fish dishes. You can incorporate this chili powder in ground meats for meatballs, hamburgers, and homemade sausages.

Add powdered green chilies into spice blends, marinades, fritter batters, or guacamole. Also, sprinkle it over fruit salads, sliced cucumber, sliced green mangoes, and pineapples.

Ground Green Chilies

Frequently Asked Questions

How much is a bushel of green chilies?

A bushel of green chilies weighs approximately 17 to 20 pounds. If counted, large peppers come around 80-85 per bushel; small peppers: 110-120 per bushel.

What to do with roasted green chilies?

Roasted green chilies can be added to stews, soups, salads, sandwiches, corn fritters, dips, biscuits, or cheese. You can also process them into the sauce for topping enchiladas, chile Rellenos, scrambled eggs, and many more.

How to freeze green chilies?

Place the green chilies in a freezer box. Some prefer to place them on a plate and then cover the whole plate with an aluminum foil. Put the freezer box or plate with chilies inside the freezer and allow it to freeze for about 7 hours. Once the chilies are fully frozen, they can be stored in an airtight container and stored in the fridge.

How many green chilies are required for a tablespoon of powder?

It depends on the size of the chiles. About two chilies with an average size of 3 inches long will be required to make a tablespoon of green chili powder.

Is green chili spicy?

Generally, most green chilies are milder than the ripe red chilies. But a few verities of chiles turn mild and sweet when they are ripe. Depending, on the chili types, the spiciness of green chili powder can vary from mild to medium and very hot to extremely hot.

For further reading, find how red chili flakes are made and used, as well as the best substitutes for chili powder that you can use.