The chili pepper comes from the Americas, so it is not surprising that there is a vast array of uses for these little firecrackers. These two spice mixes will bring all matters of recipes up to a new level.
In a mortar, grind the cumin seeds and oregano until you obtain a fine powder. Mix with the other ingredients.
Chilli powder mixes often contain salt, but omitting the salt makes this mix more versatile (try it in a chocolate cake mix!)and allows for more control over your recipe's salt content.
There is a plethora of chilli varieties used in South-Western cuisine, however, they can be difficult to source in the UK. In addition to the hot cayenne peppers, ancho and pasilla chillis are often used to add notes of smokiness to the resulting chilli. But, smoked paprika is a good alternative.
Stored in an airtight jar, away from light and humidity, the chilli powder should keep for about three months.
Thoroughly wash and dry the limes. Zest and juice them, keeping both separate. Set aside.
In a mortar, grind the the chillis and the lime zest until a fine paste is obtained. Keep grinding the paste, all the while adding salt by the spoonful. You should obtain a relatively crumbly mix.
Pre-heat the oven to 75'C, or the lowest setting possible.
Spread the salt on a tray lined with baking paper. Sprinkle with the remaining lime juice, and place in the oven.
Stir the salt about every 20-30 minutes to break up any lumps. Depending on your oven, the drying process may take one to three hours.
Allow to cool completely, before storing in an airtight jar. Will keep indefinitely.
In Mexico, lime and chilli salt is sold in shaker jars and has a permanent place on the dining table. The salt is often used instead of plain salt to add a kick and zip to all foods, including salads, salsas and fruits.
«Dried ground spices do not keep very well, as their aromatic oils tend to evaporate quickly. Whole spices are often a better value, since they keep for a year or more. »