Spices & Seasonings/chili


I am making a chili using powdered spices such as cumin, cayenne, etc. First I'll be sauteing some diced onion. When is it best to add the powdered spices? during the sauteing in oil, or after all the stock and liquids are in the pot? Does it make a difference? Thanks.


Add the spices (including garlic) after the onions are just browning. Stir into onions for a minute.

To improve the character of your chili you need to do several things:

use cumin seeds that you toast in a dry skillet until starting to smoke and grind in a mortar and pestle or spice mill.

use chili de arbor for taste and chili piquing for heat.

use mexican chocolate (or even unsugared cocoa powder) to make it more authentic.

use "harina de maize" (specially treated corn meal) mixed with plain water to make a thickening slurry.

As you serve it (over rice of course) top with chopped very fresh cilantro greens.

Spices & Seasonings

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Marc Gray


I have broad expertise re: spices, herbs, seasonings, condiments in various international cuisines.


I have studied this subject for many years. A gourmet cook, one of my specialties is preparing spice mixes, flavored oils and vinegars, etc. etc.

I am currently involved in answering questions here on all experts.com re: Indian Cuisine.

©2017 About.com. All rights reserved.