I'll be honest, the only reason I made my own freshly ground taco seasoning is because I ran out of chili powder on taco night (the most sacred of nights).
I had a container of dried ancho chiles that had been sitting around for quite some time though, so I thought, why not grind them up into chili powder?
Since I also have all kinds of dehydrated goodies, like onion flakes and sun-dried tomatoes, I decided to dip into my stash and freshly grind all sorts of things. I used a mortar and pestle for some ingredients, like the cumin seed, but found it to be too difficult to grind the peppers and tomatoes that way, so I switched to the coffee grinder for those. I ground some uncooked white rice in the grinder before and after the spices so that my taco seasoning wouldn't taste like coffee, and my coffee wouldn't taste like taco seasoning.
This recipe is great for those who like to preserve their food by dehydrating. The type of chiles you use in your seasoning will depend on how spicy you like it--ancho chiles are mild, so were a good choice for me, since I have toddlers eating with us.
Freshly Ground Taco Seasoning
2 tablespoons snipped, dried chilis (such as ancho, piquin, habanero)
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon whole peppercorns
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon onion flakes
1/2 teaspoon garlic flakes
1 tablespoon snipped, dried tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon paprika
2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons arrowroot powder or cornstarch
Combine all ingredients in a mortar and pestle or a spice grinder. Grind until powdered. Store in an airtight container.
To use: For every one pound of meat, use 3 tablespoons of seasoning. Add to cooked meat along with 3/4 cup water. Bring to a boil; then, reduce heat and simmer until thickened, about 5 to 10 minutes.