Chilli Powder vs Ancho Chilli Powder: Difference and Comparison

We can identify different kinds of tastes with the help of our tongues. The taste buds present in our tongue are responsible for identifying these tastes.

Out of the six main varieties in flavour, hot (spicy) is one of the most desired flavours among all kinds of people. The spicy flavour in any dish enhances the taste of any food.

The balance of hot with other flavours makes people eat more due to its rich flavour.  Many individuals and combinations of spices provide hotness to the food.

Among the various sources available for adding spiciness, chilli powder and ancho chile powder are two famous enhancers of hotness to a food.


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Key Takeaways

  1. Chilli powder is a spice blend made from dried chillies, while ancho chilli powder is made specifically from dried ancho chillies.
  2. Chilli powder is a versatile spice used in many dishes, while ancho chilli powder has a smoky and slightly sweet flavor and is used in Mexican cuisine.
  3. Chilli powder is hotter than ancho chilli powder.

Chilli Powder vs Ancho Chilli Powder

Chilli powder is a blend of dried and ground chilli peppers mixed with other spices like cumin and garlic powder; it has a medium heat level and is commonly used in Tex-Mex and Mexican cuisine. Ancho chilli powder is made from ground ancho chilli peppers, which are dried, smoked poblano peppers.

Chilli Powder vs Ancho Chilli Powder

Chilli powder consists of many ingredients such as peppers, spices, onion powder, cayenne, garlic powder, and many chilli peppers. All the above constituents are mixed in pulverized form.

Ancho chilli powder is a special type made by powdering dried poblano. Ancho chilli powder is unique as it provides a combination of mild heat and a little bit of smoky sweetness. 

The Scoville heat unit (SHU) (the primary scale for measuring heat intensity) for ancho chilli powder is around 1500 SHU. At the same time, the SHU of other chilli powders can range from 700 to tens of thousands of SHU.

The value varies depending on the chilli powder used. For instance, the ‘Naga Jolokia’, a chilli pepper grown in the regions of Assam, has one of the highest Scoville units, ranging to 855,000 SHU.  

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonChilli PowderAncho Chilli Powder
ConstituentsIt consists of various chilli peppers, spices, oregano, cayenne, onion and garlic powder, capsicum annum (Indian Chilli) etc.It mainly consists of roasted and dried poblano chilli peppers.
Level of HeatMild to Extreme heatMild heat with a complex sweet and smoky flavour
Popular inDifferent chilli powder varieties are used, depending on the region and cuisine followed by the people.Ancho Chilli Powder is widely popular in authentic Mexican dishes.
Scoville Heat UnitsHot Chilli Powder has a scale of more than ten thousand SHUAround a thousand five hundred SHU
ExampleKorean chilli powder (Gochugaru), Kashmiri chilli powder,Ancho chilli powder is made only with poblano chilli peppers.

What is Chilli Powder?

Chilli powder, sometimes called chile powder, combines several powdered ingredients that add heat to the food.

Popular constituents include oregano, black and cayenne peppers, onion powder, spices like cumin, garlic powder, jalapenos, paprika, and other chilli peppers from the capsicum annum family.

The chilli powder’s constituents vary depending on the region and the food culture. The level of heat also varies depending on the chilli peppers used.

For instance, Kashmiri chilli powder is widely used in India. It consists of Kashmiri chillies grown in the region of Kashmir. Byadagi chillies are also famous in India.

The Korean chilli powder consists of medium-sized capsicum annum species. Hot chilli powders have cayenne pepper in them. The average Scoville scale for cayenne pepper is forty thousand, which is extremely hot.

A chilli powder blend varies depending on the heat required to be induced. Chilli powders provide mild heat with a complex sweet and smoke taste.

Ancho chile powder is one such example. Yet, another category of chilli powder provides the highest level of heat to the dish.

For example, combining cayenne pepper powder with Naga Jolokia (chilli pepper from Assam) gives an astronomical heat intensity.

Though the dish’s flavours get enhanced by adding various chilli powders, people do advise not to consume extremely heat foods for health reasons.

Though the level that can cause problems for humans is widely disputed, it is always better to be safer.

chilli powder

What is Ancho Chilli Powder?

Ancho chilli powder is one of the categories of chilli powder widely used in original Mexican foods. It is made by drying and roasting poblano chilli peppers.

Poblano chilli peppers are widely grown in the region of Mexico. Thus, it became a part of Mexican cuisine. Ancho chile powder offers mild heat and is used in soups, salsa, stews etc.

The Scoville heat unit of ancho chilli powder is around a thousand to five hundred SHU. This means that it does not offer a high level of heat.

Ancho chile powder is unique in its taste as it offers a hot, sweet, earthy and smoky flavor. Like all chilli powder, ancho chile powder is done by powdering the poblanos.

ancho chilli powder

Main Differences Between Chilli and Ancho Chilli Powder

  1. Ancho chilli powder is made up of dried poblano only, whereas chilli powder consists of different ingredients from the common chilli peppers of capsicum annum species.
  2. Ancho chilli powder offers a mild heat with a unique taste. Chilli powders provide a different level of heat intensity which depends on the constituents used.
  3. Ancho chilli powder is used in Mexican dishes, whereas chilli powders are used in all cuisines such as Indian, American, Chinese, Portuguese, Thai etc.
  4. The Scoville scale is just 1500 for ancho chile powder, whereas it ranges from hundreds to tens of thousands of Scoville units for chilli powder.
  5. Different kinds of spices are added to chilli powder, whereas dry, ripe poblanos are given high priority.
Difference Between Chilli Powder and Ancho Chilli Powder
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