Many people have seen at most one type or another of chile pepper powder when they shop in the spice section of their local grocery stores. The many uses of paprika are varied in Europe as well as America. It’s not hot but can add an earthy flavor to any dish. Cayenne pepper can be used to enhance any dish by adding heat and flavor.
When the chile pods are ground into fine powder, it increases the surface area. A powder is less likely than a dried Hatch red pod to lose its flavor compounds. Although the flavor of chile powder can last a while, it will become less potent over time. The same is true for any spice. While whole spices may last many years without being destroyed, the powders of spice should be replaced approximately every year.
People often ask me how I use New Mexico Chile Powder. This question can be approached from two angles. Some suggest adding more powder to make red chili sauce. This method works great even though it’s easy to blend sauce from whole Hatch red-chile pods. Hatch chile powder can be used as a seasoning.
If you use it in the same way that cayenne pepper or even paprika, it’s a great addition to any dish. You can adjust heat as well as the flavor. A lot will give off a strong flavor, while a small amount can impart a milder taste.
Powder is a convenient option. It is very easy to turn a chile pod into a powder. This makes it simple to keep some powder handy for sprinkling on food. If using a larger quantity, I prefer pods. These are simpler to grind and will last longer. Chile Ristras offer a wonderful way to store pods decoratively.
If your blender is available, you can create a whole dish with dried chile pepper pods. In this instance, pods are superior to any other. Powder is a good option if your goal is to add flavor and texture to a dish, or to bring out subtle flavors in a more complex dish.