A guajillo chili or guajillo chilli (chile guajillo in Spanish) is a variety of chilli pepper of the species Capsicum annuum, produced by drying the mirasol chilli, and which is widely used in the cuisine of Mexico.
The guajillo chilli’s thin, deep-red flesh has a green tea flavour with berry overtones. Its fruits are large and mild in flavour, with only a small amount of heat (rating 2,500 to 5,000 on the Scoville Scale). They are sometimes used to make the salsa for tamales; the dried fruits are seeded, soaked, pulverized to a thin paste, then cooked with salt and several other ingredients to produce a thick, red, flavourful sauce. Refer to Caldo de Siete Mares
Guajillo chillies may be used in pastes, butters, or rubs to flavour all kinds of meats, especially chicken. Alternatively, they can be added to salsas to create a sweet side dish with a surprisingly hot finish.
Availability and Substitution
- Substitute 1 teaspoon ground gaujillo for 1 whole chilli
- New Mexican chillies
- Puya chillies (hotter)
- Cascabel chillies (rounder and shorter)
- California chillies (milder)
- 1 whole gaujillo chilli = 1 teaspoon ground gaujillo
- Whole guajillo chillies are typically available in most Mexican markets and some well-stock grocery stores. Guajillo powder and paste may be harder to find so you may want to use an online source.