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Which Mexican Chilli Should I Use

  • By Helen Nott
  • 26 Jun, 2017


Here are some of the most unique and popular varieties of Mexican chillies. 

Ancho Chilli

Ancho chilli is a large, dried poblano chilli about 8 cm long and 4 cm wide. Deep-purple to black in colour, it has a mild fruity flavour with notes of coffee, tobacco, wood and raisin. When you think of combining chocolate and chilli, such as in a Mole Poblano or chilli chocolate drink, defer to ancho chilli.
The fruity notes in Ancho chilli marries perfectly with chocolate. Ancho chillies are arguably the most used dry chilli in Mexican cooking. They are quite mild with a heat level of around 4/10

Chipotle Chilli

Chipotle chilli (pronounced che-pote-lay) is a large, smoked, dried jalapeno with a smoky, deep well-balanced heat. Chipotle Chilli Powder is a little like an extra smokey, slightly hot smoked paprika.
Chipotle is delicious when added to pumpkin soup, is used in many Mexican dishes, and by vegetarians in stews, soups and casseroles as a substitute for bacon bones. They are quite mild with a heat level of around 5/10.

Guajillo chilli 

Guajillo chilli (pronounced hwa-hee-yo) is very similar in appearance and taste to New Mexico chillies. Because of the large amount of flesh relative to seeds, guajillo chillies add a pleasing rich, red colour to food. They are about 15 cm long, and have an earthy, cherry-like flavour and distinct yet mild heat.

Guajillo chilli Powder is a convenient way to add this unique flavour to soups and casseroles, and to sprinkle on chicken and pork when barbecuing, roasting or grilling. Guajillo is an ideal chilli to use with pork as it’s in a favourite Mexican recipe for Pulled Pork Tortillas. Guajillo Chilli Powder has an agreeable heat level of around 4/10.

Mexican Chilli Powder

Mexican chilli powder is generally a blend of medium heat chilli powder, paprika and ground cumin seed, with oregano and salt sometimes included. This is what you would sprinkle on your tacos and use as a condiment whenever you are looking for that characteristic ‘Mexican’ taste. Heat level is around 6/10.
For a milder, family friendly taco seasoning with no artificial ingredients, use Herbie’s Mexican Spice Blend.

Mulato chilli

Mulato chilli is very similar to ancho, being another type of dried poblano chilli. It’s dark-brown in colour and with a similar taste that is somewhat smokey. Heat level is only 3/10.

New Mexico chilli

New Mexico chilli is also referred to as ‘Colorado’ and ‘dried California chilli’. A New Mexico chilli is very large, about 15 cm long, with an earthy, cherry-like flavour and distinct yet mild heat. Use in stews containing chicken, seafood and beans. Heat level 4/10.


Pasilla (pronounced pas-ee- ya) is a dried chilaca chilli and is sometimes called ‘chile negro’. The flavour is similar to ancho and mulato chillies with fruity, herb-like notes and faint licorice tones.

This makes pasilla an ideal chilli to use with guacamole, as in Kate’s recipe for Cashew Guacamole with Pasilla Pepitas. Pasilla chilli is also used traditionally in making the famous ‘mole’ sauce. Heat level of pasilla chilli is around 4/10.
For more information about chillies, and herbs and spices in general, look for The Spice & Herb Bible 3rd Edition by Ian Hemphill with recipes by Kate Hemphill. Published by Robert Rose Inc. Toronto, Ontario, Canada.   

Check out the range of Herbies Spices at Peppertree Kitchen.

By Helen Nott 03 Aug, 2017

French Country is 100% cotton, 100% Australian owned and 100% fabulous.
We have a huge selection of nighties at great prices - hurry, these won’t last long!

By Helen Nott 03 Aug, 2017

Learn how to create the perfect risotto with Victoria Cosford. Victoria has a long standing love affair with Italy, ever since she lived in Florence. She has worked in restaurants throughout Tuscany, and ever since has been teaching Italian cooking, through her hands-on classes, as well as writing about food in her gastro memoir ‘Amore & Amaretti’.
Join Victoria’s class on Thursday, August 24, from 10am – 2pm. $90 per person (including meal). To book call 6622 0180.

By Helen Nott 03 Aug, 2017

In our Pickling and Preserving class on August 5, chef Daniel Lange will teach you everything you need to know about the arts of pickling and preserving. Learn how to make Strawberry Jam, Tomato Chilli Jam, Bean Chutney, as well as Pickled Cucumbers and Vegetables.
Saturday, August 5, 9am to 1pm $90 per person (take home your jams, chutneys and pickles)
To book call 6622 0180.

By Helen Nott 03 Aug, 2017

A family favourite, a classic, a staple – pasta really is the food of the people. Learn how to make your own pasta and noodles at our Pasta and Noddle making class with chef Faith Newham. You will also learn how to make the perfect sauces to accompany your pasta and noodles.
Wednesday 9th August 10am – 2pm $90 per person (including meal). To book call 6622 0180.

By Helen Nott 03 Aug, 2017

Wanna chop like a MasterChef? Learn how at our Beginners Class (three courses & knife skills) with Chef Daniel Lange.
Daniel will help you improve your knife skills and teach you how to prepare a wonderful three course feast: an entree of Asian chicken stir fry, a main course of Irish stew and a fabulous dessert of tropical coconut and tapioca pudding.
Tuesday, August 15, from 5.30pm $90 per person (including meal). To book call 6622 0180.

By Helen Nott 26 Jun, 2017
Here are some of the most unique and popular varieties of Mexican chillies. 
By Helen Nott 25 Jun, 2017
Sat June 24th from 9am – 1pm, $90 per person (Including Meal)

Chef Dave Ness has just returned from extensive travel through Vietnam and he has picked up some culinary tricks which will have you cooking Vietnamese food like a Masterchef. Join him on a culinary journey through Vietnam in his class Modern Vietnamese Dinner with Chef Dave Ness.

Call Peppertree on 6622 0180 to book or for more info.
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Check out the Scanpan range at Peppertree Kitchen!
By Helen Nott 21 Jun, 2017
This year, the team at Peppertree Kitchen believe they have a lot to celebrate. They've had 26 years of serving the Lismore community. Not even the devastating flood could keep them down for long.

So Helen and the team are in the mood to party. Join them in celebrating the silly season early with a spectacular Christmas in   July 3   course dinner, with music and wine tasting.
The innovative dinner will be prepared by Chef Daniel Lange and the wonderful Peppertree Kitchen Staff.
Dinner is $95 per person and bookings are essential.

Saturday, July 15, 6pm   for   6.30pm . (Bookings close   July 7 )

By Helen Nott 19 Jun, 2017

Fri June 16th from 5.30pm $90 per person (Including Meal)

Chef Daniel Lange will lead you through this Moroccan Cooking Class teaching you how to make mint tea, marinated olives, saffron rice, beetroot and cumin salad, and chicken and apricot tagine. Tagine will be available for purchase.

Call Peppertree on 6622 0180 to book or for more info.

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