Difference Between Ancho Chili Powder and Chili Powder (With Table)

Chili powder is a very important ingredient when it comes to different cuisines. Different cuisines have various ingredients used to give them an authentic taste. To give it spicy flavors, chili powder is used. Some cuisines used fewer spice flavors, and their Ancho chili powders are used, which is very different from a normal chili powder.

Unlike Chili powder, Ancho chili powder has sweet and fruity flavors. They have less level of heat, and less ingredient is used to make it.

Ancho Chili Powder vs Chili Powder

The difference between Ancho chili powder and Chili powder is that they both are made up of different kinds of ingredients. Ancho chili powder is usually made from dried and roasted Palbano peppers, whereas Chili powder is a mixture of various ingredients such as oregano, cayenne, onion and garlic powder, chili peppers, etc. They have different levels of heat and taste.

Ancho chili powder is a chili powder used mainly in Mexican cuisines such as tamales. They have a moderate level of heat and very mind. They have a sweet and fruity flavor. The main ingredient used to make ancho chili powder is freshly dried poblano peppers. They are reddish-brown and dark in color.

Chili powder is a powder of various ingredients such as cumin, oregano, garlic and salt, dried ground chilies, paprika, garlic powder, etc. They can be of moderate to extreme heat, and they can be adjusted by using the right amount of ingredients. They are go-to ingredients in cuisines like Americal, Indian, Portuguese, Thai, etc. They have a spicy flavor.

Comparison Table Between Ancho Chili Powder and Chili Powder

Parameters of ComparisonAncho Chili PowderChili Powder
DefinitionA chili powder used in Mexican cooking is made up of dried and roasted Poblano chilies.A powder made from a mixture of blended a quite range of spices and not limited to just one ingredient.
TasteIt has a sweet, earthy, and fruity flavor.It has a spicy and pungent taste due to various spices.
CuisineIt is mainly used for Mexican cuisine.It is used in many cuisines such as American, Thai, Indian, Korean, Portuguese, etc.
Ingredients usedThe main ingredient is dried poblano chili peppers.The ingredients are oregano, cayenne, onion and garlic powder, capsicum annum (Indian Chilli), chili peppers, spices, etc.
Heat LevelThe level of heat is moderate.It can be of mild heat and also extreme heat.

What is Ancho Chili Powder?

A mild and fruity flavored chili powder, Ancho chili powder is a perfect dressing for salads, marinades, and soups. What makes Ancho chili powder great is that it has very few ingredients and is made from dried and roasted Pablano pepper. The intensity of heat is less, and it has a smoky and sweet flavor.

Commonly used in Southwestern and Mexican cooking, Ancho chili powder is not a versatile ingredient due to the lack of robust flavors. The mild flavor having Scoville heat ranging from 1000 to 1500 units they are less preferred for spicy-flavored dishes. It doesn’t have a high level of heat and offers sweet, fruity, and earthy flavors. 

Though they have a similar ingredient that is pepper, it cannot be substituted by chili powder as they have very different tastes, and changing it can alter the whole recipe. Mexican cuisine is incomplete without ancho chili powder, and it can be replaced by some closest ingredients having the same flavor, such as Coronado peppers.

What is Chili Powder?

Chili powder is a powder that is used in almost every household, and it’s a common ingredient for spicy flavors. Unlike ancho chili powder, it is a powder of several ingredients which give it a spicy taste and extreme level of heat. Although the heat can be adjusted by using the right amount of ingredients. 

It is blended with ingredients such as garlic powder, various chili peppers, spices, oregano, cayenne, onion and garlic powder, capsicum annum, paprika, etc. It is very popular in India and used in various other cuisines such as America, Chinese, Portuguese, Thai, etc. It has a Scoville heat unit ranging from hundreds to thousands. It has a robust and spicy flavor which is widely used in different recipes.

Main Differences Between Ancho Chili Powder and Chili Powder

  1. Ancho chili powder is usually made from one main ingredient that is dried Palbano pepper, whereas Chili powder is made up of various ingredients such as Garlic powder, spices, onions, peppers, etc.
  2. Ancho chili powder has sweet, fruity, and earthy flavors, whereas Chili powder has spicy and pungent flavors.
  3. Ancho chili powder has a moderate and less heat than chili powder, whereas Chili powders have high intensity of heat, but it can also be adjusted.
  4. Ancho chili powder is used in authentic Mexican cuisine, whereas Chili powder is used in American, Thai, Portuguese, Indian cuisines.
  5. Ancho chili powder has 1000 to 1500 Scoville heat units, whereas For chili powder, the Scoville heat unit tangs from hundreds to thousands.


Well, both chili powders have their authentic flavors. Ancho chili powder gives smoky and earth flavors, whereas Chili powder gives spicy flavors. They both are used in different types of cuisines. They both cannot be a substitute for each other, and the tastes can change if they get replaced.

The mild and less heat makes Ancho chili powder less preferable for spicy flavored dishes and vice versa. While chili powder has many ingredients used, it is usually for spicy flavored dishes and should not be used for mild flavor dishes.

Although they have a similar ingredient that is pepper still they both are so different in flavors, one should know about them before using and trying them in their recipes. They both can alter the taste, and it may not taste good.


  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0308814606010016
  2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0308814614008607
2D vs 3D