Spicy food lovers obsess over chipotle powder. This unique breed of pepper does not only add elegant spicy flavor to food but also brings a unique earthy feel to any dish it is applied. Still, it gets to find chipotle powder in local grocery stores at times.
But you need not worry if that is the case, as some alternatives give similar smoky and spicy flavors like chipotle powder.
Some of these substitutes do not entirely resemble chipotle, but their unique spiciness will make your food pleasant if applied to keep the right proportion.
All the substitutes you are going to read about in the following list come from the pepper family. Don’t consider eating any of them raw if you don’t want to burn your tongue!
1. Dried Chipotles
Yeah, you’ve heard it right, dried chipotle itself is the best substitute for chipotle powder. As the powder is made from dried chipotle, you will get the identical smoky and earthy flavor from this substitute.
You can use dried chipotle in two ways. Either you can put whole dried pieces in your curry or soup, or you can grind the pieces before applying them as a powder-like ingredient.
The spiciness will be a bit less if you go with the first option as the spicy seeds will not totally blend into the recipe.
If you prefer the grind version, then don’t overuse it. The spiciness is a fantastic flavor, but too much of it will make the food inedible.
2. Adobo Sauce
If your local grocery shop has an international section, try looking for adobo sauce. Chipotle is one of the primary ingredients that are used to prepare adobo sauce, and you will get a similar flavor from the sauce as chipotle powder.
As the sauce is tomato-based, you’ll have to accept the flavor of tomato in your food if you use the sauce as a substitute. But the tomato flavor is not bad at all. The rather spicy flavor goes very well with tomato.
It is better to avoid this substitute if you don’t like tomatoes that much.
3. Pasilla de Oaxaca Powder
Pasilla de Oaxaca’s power is even smokier than chipotle powder. This Mexican ingredient is made from dried Pasilla Pepper grown in the Oaxaca region. If you prefer the smokiness, then this substitute is the best one.
Pasilla de Oaxaca Powder is not found in every grocery store. But if your location is with Mexican communities, it will be quite easy to find.
Don’t use Pasilla de Oaxaca Jalapenos as an alternative as it has too much heat.
4. Chocolate Habanero
While regular habaneros are popular for the fruitiness they contain, the chocolate habanero is a smoky and earthy version. It doesn’t have as intense smokiness as chipotle powder, but the fruity layer covers up for that quite precisely. Using chocolate habanero instead of chipotle will make the food different, but delicious.
Don’t go with a chocolate habanero if you are not into super-hot pepper. It belongs to the extremely hot territory that might ruin the food for people who don’t have a habit of eating extra-spicy dishes.
5. Smoked Paprika
Smoked paprika is very easy to find everywhere. It provides the dishes with the same earthy smoke as chipotle. You can use this substitute in the same proportion as the chipotle powder without seeing that much difference.
The base element for both these ingredients is smoked chilies, so the taste and heat are equally comparable. Smoked paprika is not overly hot too.
6. Chili Powder
If you can’t find the other entries on this list, then regular chili powder will rescue you. There are some variants available in the market made of ground red chilies and various spices like oregano and cumin.
While using chili powder in your dishes, you need to maintain a proper balance with the other spices as many of those spices might already exist in the powder.
Before preparing a dish with a significant amount of smoky and hot spices, make sure you are only serving the food to people whom you know to be able to eat such a spicy dish.
Don’t try to surprise your guests by introducing them to a new extremely spicy dish before understanding their palate preferences. Everyone is not able to consume such heat and smoke in their food.