You may have looked at some recipes recently and wondered why the spelling for “chili” isn’t consistent. Sometimes it says chili, sometimes it says chile. “Chili” and “Chile” are interchangeable cooking terms in North America, but are actually two different things.
Chile powder is often a reference to pure chili pods that have been ground to create the powder. It may or may not contain additives. On the other hand, chili powder is often a combination of different spices like garlic, peppercorn, cumin, and of course, powdered chili pods.
To put it simply, chile powder is a particular type of chili pepper converted into powder form, while chili powder is a blend of one or more chili variants along with other spices and additives.
|Composition||Pure, ground form of a particular type of dried chili pepper||A blend of one or more ground chili pepper variants, along with other spices|
|Spelling Origin||The usage of “e” a the end of the word is commonly attributed to Spanish origins and can also be used to refer to the peppers themselves||The usage of “i” at the end is believed to be the Americanized version of the spelling|