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Is American chili powder different to UK chilli powder?

(21 Posts)
BurdenedWithGloriousPurpose Sun 27-Apr-14 21:50:24

I made an enchilada sauce tonight following a US recipe and it stated 2 tbsp of chili powder. So I used 2. And nearly blew my head off.

The recipe blurb said it was a mild sauce and a lot of reviews agreed how nice and mild/child friendly it was. My burning face and weeping DH beg to differ.

Anyone know the difference and if I can just use less next time or do I need to buy/mix something else to copy the US version?

Salemthecat Mon 28-Apr-14 00:04:22

Are you sure it wasn't meant to be teaspoons rather than tablespoons? I make a fairly hot chilli using a teaspoon of hot chilli powder. Wouldn't contemplate using a tablespoon!

NigellasDealer Mon 28-Apr-14 00:08:48

2 tablespoons of chilli powder!!?
a typo surely?

piscivorous Mon 28-Apr-14 00:12:31

I remember watching a tv programme where somebody commented that US recipes have a lot more salt and spice than UK ones and yet, when made with American produce don't taste too salty, hot, etc

I watch Barefoot Contessa adding a tablespoon of salt to some of her recipes like shock

SmashleyHop Mon 28-Apr-14 00:13:06

I think our chili powder is similar to the mild chili powder I've used over here. I've had to buy hot chili powder to really put the kick in my Texas Chili. Two tablespoons seems reasonable to me. Although I'm used to more authentic Mexican food living close to the border for many years... I may have killed my taste buds.

Bunbaker Mon 28-Apr-14 00:17:49

I find one teaspoon of chilli powder sufficient.

From what I understand US chilli powder isn't pure chilli. It is mixed with other spices. The chilli powder a lot of us buy here is from Asian supermarkets and is just chilli with nothing added to it.

I would never add two tablespoons of chilli powder to anything unless I was cooking for a large number of people.

antimatter Mon 28-Apr-14 00:22:34

here's interesting discussion:

BurdenedWithGloriousPurpose Mon 28-Apr-14 00:47:46

I can't imagine it was a typo as dozens of others had made the recipe successfully.

I'm such an idiot though, should have realised 2 tbsp of my usual chilli powder was waaaaay too much. blush

Antimatter, thanks for that link. Does seem that there's a big difference. Least I can save future recipes from disaster now knowing that. Though I'll deny making a mistake to my DH and continue to call him soft. grin

BurdenedWithGloriousPurpose Mon 28-Apr-14 00:54:14

Oh and I used passata as my sauce - the recipe said 8oz, so about 230g. How did I not go shock at so much chilli powder in such a tiny amount of sauce?

I still ate all my dinner though. grin

Gottalottaquestions Mon 28-Apr-14 00:57:58

I think so. DH made a chilli for us in the uk one Christmas when we visiting from Canada. It was so hot it made us all cry. Literally. He used the same amount of chilli powder he usually uses in Canada but the uk stuff was a lot hotter. Still makes me smile thinking about us all struggling through eating it so as to not make him feel so bad!

differentnameforthis Mon 28-Apr-14 04:09:48

2 of


FreakOfNature Mon 28-Apr-14 04:55:05

I am from the uk and live in Canada and yes, the chilli powder we buy here is incredibly mild, it adds flavour rather this heat. I despise hot, spicy food but use chilli powder in everything here,quite happily throw in half a spice jar!

claraschu Mon 28-Apr-14 05:28:12

American Chilli powder is a mixture of spices, such as cumin and garlic, in addition to chilli. It adds a delicious flavour, not just spiciness.

vrtra Tue 29-Apr-14 00:45:03

US tablespoon = UK dessert spoon.

Still far too much imo!

Nandocushion Tue 29-Apr-14 02:04:06

You need to sort out whether you are using supermarket "chili powder" or an actual ground chile powder. Both UK and US supermarkets will have the milder "chili powder" version, but a proper chile powder, preferably from a spice shop, will be ground dried chiles and will often be hotter, depending on the chile used. Different chiles have different flavours and different heats, so if the recipe didn't specify which kind of powder (ie New Mexico chile powder, ancho chile powder, etc) then they likely meant the milder supermarket kind. Two tablespoons still seems like quite a lot though, not because of the heat but because it would heavily flavour the dish at the expense of the other ingredients.

claraschu Tue 29-Apr-14 07:38:09

Vrtra, an American tablespoon is the same as a UK one.

US Chilli powder is a BLEND of all different spices that you use to make the dish called Chilli. It is not just ground up chillis the way it is here. You will have to substitute a little chilli, cumin, oregano, salt, garlic and other things for the 2 Tbsp of Chilli powder, if you want to get the same flavour.

tb Wed 30-Apr-14 15:42:57

McCormicks used to do a chilli seasoning. It contained chilli powder, but also, from memory, dried bay leaf, oregano and cumin.

Might be worth looking on here to see if there's a recipe.

I can remember seeing one in the last month, but can't remember where.

Booths ditched McCormicks in favour of Schwarz, and they didn't have all the equivalent spice mixes. Really pissed me off, as my favourite chilli recipe from Robert Carrier uses chilli seasoning, and I can't find it anywhere.

vrtra Thu 01-May-14 19:57:25

I thought they called our tablespoons serving spoons after using a recipe that called for a tablespoon of baking powder and a serving spoon of cocoa powder and googling it to find out std they meant shock

Oh well that particular cake didn't come out flat which is the main thing

vrtra Thu 01-May-14 19:57:45

Std? WTF.

claraschu Thu 01-May-14 20:59:30

I have never seen "serving spoon" used in an American recipe (I'm American). I wonder what that's about? Weird-

Definitely Tbsps are the same though

TessWysocki Sun 21-Jun-15 21:16:49

American chili powder is different than British chili powder. In the UK chili powder is just that, hot chili peppers that have been dried and ground to a powder. American chili powder is a blend of spices including things like cumin and oregano with a little bit of hot chili. I made this mistake once.

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