Spice Advice: Ancho Chilli
Ancho chillies are basically transformers. Originating in Puebla, Mexico, just southeast of Mexico City, ancho chillies (meaning “wide” in Spanish) are part of the holy trinity of chillies along with pasilla chillies and mulatos. Ancho Chillies begin their lives with a completely different name and appearance: a.k.a. a plump poblano. What happens when you leave a poblano on the vine to ripen? When nearly-ripe, that fresh green colour morphs into a deep reddish-brown, and once it’s dried in the sun and charred, its changed state calls for a new name—behold: the ancho chilli. Take it a step further for chilli-transformation #2. When fully-ripe and brown in colour then dried the chilli is reborn as a mulato.
Anchos are a central ingredient in Mexican cuisine and their mild heat, slightly sweet and supremely smoky complexity make them chilli workhorse. Whether found in many-ingredient Oaxacan moles or solo as enchilada sauce, ancho chillis are a versatile staple in Mexican dishes and beyond, often used to thicken sauces, salsas, soups, and stews. Our ground ancho chilli is similar to paprika but with more pronounced smokiness and without punchy heat featuring a vibrant mahogany color and rich toasty flavour.
Looking for more Ancho Chilli inspo? Add some to your chilaquiles rojos, chorizo potato egg tacos, Christmas sweet potato tamales, or elotes for the tried and true. Get more adventurous and sprinkle on popcorn or deviled eggs, or lean into its fruity sweetness with our Chilli Chocolate Tart and Mexican Hot Chocolate Cookie recipes!