Ancho Chile is the dried form of the poblano pepper. In dried form it’s called Chile Ancho Seco. Ancho pepper is used in a variety of recipes from soups, to stews and sauces. Find out everything you need to know about this chili pepper right here!
What Is Ancho Chile?
Ancho Chile (also called Chile Ancho Seco) is the dried (seco) form of poblano peppers. Poblano peppers are a classic, hearty, green pepper which originates in Mexico. These dried chilis are traditionally rehydrated or ground into a powder and then added to a variety of recipes. They are most commonly used in sauces like mole sauce.
Is Ancho Chile Hot?
Ancho Chile isn’t hot. This is considered a mild chili. If we take a look at the Scoville scale, a rating system used to rank the spiciness of chili peppers, we find that the Ancho is lower on the scale with 2,000 heat units. In comparison, the jalapeno pepper has 8,000 heat units. Therefore, the Ancho Pepper is about 4 times milder than the jalapeno.
These chiles are really used more for their wonderful flavor rather than any heat they produce.
What Does Ancho Pepper Taste Like?
It’s sweet and bitter; a bit like chocolate and smoky. Some even describe them as tasting like raisins and I can also see that as well. However, I wouldn’t go passing these out during Halloween.
I love the rich, warm flavors of this chile and adding them to soups and sauces really gives my dishes that authentic Mexican cuisine flavor. You will love adding these to your recipes as well!
How To Use Dried Ancho Chiles
Dried Ancho Chiles can be ground into powder form or rehydrated by placing them in boiling hot water. When they are rehydrated they are then typically blended together with other ingredients to make sauces like mole sauce. Powdered form is also a great option because you can add a dash of powdered Ancho Pepper into soups and other dishes for added depth of flavor.
Ancho Chile Substitute
There aren’t really any perfect substitutes for Chile Ancho because their flavor is rather distinct from other types of dried chiles. However, you can use chile guajillo as a substitute. Both the guajillo and the ancho have a smoky and fruity flavor so there are some similarities. However, if it’s the difference between making a run to the store and using a chile guajillo, make the run to the store. It’s worth it!
Where Can I Buy Chile Ancho Seco?
I purchased my Chile Ancho Seco (Dried Ancho Chiles) at a Mexican market. However, I’ve seen them at several different grocery stores. Typically you will find them packaged in a plastic bag and hung on a rack along with other dried chilis. You can also purchase them online. However, it’s likely better to buy them at a store where you can see them before purchase. You want to make sure that the chiles are mostly whole. You don’t want a bag of broken bits and pieces.
These chilis can last for up to two years if stored in an airtight container in a cool place. However, they are freshest if used within 6 months.
Is Chile Ancho Healthy?
Ancho Chiles, along with chili peppers in general, are a great source of vitamins like vitamin C, vitamin B6, and vitamin A. Additionally, chili peppers contain antioxidants. Antioxidants are molecules in the body which fight off free radicals (unstable atoms that cause damage to cells). Damage to cells can cause a variety of diseases. (1)