Chili Powder – When I first started cooking here one of the first things I made was a pot of Chili, good wholesome chow. I make mine with red kidney beans, ground pork or beef, tomato juice, cumin and chili powder. I needed to get chili powder so I went to Tesco in town and bought a small bottle of chili powder, very finely ground, and I would say it is on par with what is sold as chili powder in the states. Worked well.
I have started using a lot of chili powder so I decided to buy it in bulk in a bag. This is not a fine powder, it is course but on the package is “Chili Powder”. So I picked up three of these bags, got home and poured them into a container for the spice and dry goods cabinet. It will clear your sinuses just smelling it! This is real chili powder.
A few days later I made homemade Chorizo, recipe was followed exactly (I always follow exact before I start tailoring things around) and I made 6 patties. The next day I fried 2 to go with my breakfast of eggs and toast. Let me just say, HOT! Great flavor, but very hot.
So my advice is to check the chili powder if you buy a new brand. My tummy cannot take the really hot stuff anymore so I use the good hot brand I bought, I just use less of it in recipes. If not using the fine powder type chili powder and using this type of chili powder, cut back on the amount used until you get a taste of dish you are making, then adjust as needed.
Red Chili Paste – Paste is used to make coconut curries, and for where I live in the south, paste can be used to just flavor a dish, no coconut milk involved. Every mom and pop minimart that has fresh vegetables will more than likely have chili paste, this is homemade and in small bags, usually for 5 Baht/bag. However, there is a difference in ingredients for curry type, and the non curry type, so be clear on which one you are getting for the intended use.