You probably know that whole spices have better flavour and stay fresher longer than their ground counterparts. So why are you still buying pre-made chilli powder when you can make a more flavourful version at home?
Over at Serious Eats, J. Kenji López-Alt points out that replacing store-bought chilli powder with a home-made version doesn't just add complex flavour to everything you sprinkle it on, but it will save you money in the long run, too. He offers a primer on buying, prepping, cleaning and toasting different varieties of chillis, as well as grinding them into a powder. Better yet, he suggests, puree them with liquid for a better texture, then use this chilli paste in any recipe that calls for chilli powder. A note on ratios:
As a general rule of thumb, use about four times as much chilli puree as you would powder (so, use 4 tablespoons of puree for every tablespoon of powder called for in a recipe).
Another nifty time-saver: DIY chilli purees can be stored by freezing in an ice cube tray, popping out the cubes, and placing them in a freezer bag, where they will last for up to 6 months.