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Poblano and Ancho Chilli

Poblano Peppers

Red anchos reach a sharpness level 4 at around 2,000 Scoville. Green poblano chillies are milder at 1,000 SHU. Depending on the plant and growing conditions, their heart-shaped pods are only 7 cm tall. Others become almost 20 cm long with a diameter of 8 cm. Because of the different fruits, some people speak of poblano chilies as chilies, others as pointed peppers.

The name of the tasty chili comes from the Mexicans. Inhabitants of the city of Puebla in the state of the same name, are called Poblanos. In the picture you can see their typical indentation on the crown and their almost black green.

No matter if chili or paprika. Poblanos have an indescribable aroma, which reminds of dried plums and licorice. This goes perfectly with the local specialty of the nut sauce “Mole Poblano”1. In Mexico and the surroundings of Puebla it is often eaten with chicken. Often also with chocolate and with desserts. Besides the many famous chilies, the area is known for its richness in nuts.

The skin of poblanos is very firm and parchment-like. Therefore, it is better detached from the firm and thick flesh of the fruit. This works best after roasting the pods. Besides, the already good taste is tickled out.

Ripe, red chilies are called ancho. After harvesting, they are roasted and dried over walnut wood in the best case. Usually they then have a dark, almost black color.

Capsicum annuum

Capsicum annuum are “annual” nightshade plants of the genus Capsicum. All chilies, peppers and peppers belong to the Capsicum plants. The word annual is therefore written here in inverted commas, as the chili plants can easily reach two to three years of age. They must be protected from frost and well cared for.


Anchos, i.e. red poblano, achieve a sharpness level of 4 at 2,000 Scoville Heat Units. Green chilies are just below this with 1,000 SHU and a sharpness level of 3. Only when the chilies change their dark green to red to the aromas and spiciness become more pronounced.


Before you can enjoy the poblano pulp, a little manual work is usually necessary. The skin is quite firm. This does not look good between the teeth, but makes peeling easier.
Picture Poblano pulp.


If you roast chillies before peeling them, do the job easier. Besides, the taste is still pushed. To do this, place the pods in the oven at 220 degrees Celsius. If you want it to go faster, take a Bunsen burner and flame the skin until it blisters. Let the poblano cool down so that it is no longer hot. Now you can remove the skin strip by strip with a knife. The slower you pull, the more skin you peel off in one piece.

Poblano rellenos

Super easy and delicious are filled rellnos with poblano pods. Cook them for 10 minutes in slightly salted water. Separate them lengthwise and remove the seeds and the fruit walls. Fill the halved peppers with chopped onions and pizza cheese. If you like, you can also add egg or minced meat. Brown the whole thing in the oven or pan. Calculate about 30 to 40 minutes at 200 °C for the preparation. This depends on the size of your pods.

You can refine the dish with olive or chili oil and cream fraiche.


Mole is a collective term for various sauces. It has relatively many ingredients in numerous variations. Often locals use mole to mean a sauce made of chillies, nuts and chocolate. Already in the 17th century, Spaniards were addicted to this dish, whose origin is probably in the Aztec Empire. Perhaps you know Mole Poblano with chicken or tortillas? Delicious.

Poblano chili plant

The plant remains smaller at about 60 cm, other Ancho or Paplano varieties reach shoulder height. It bears abundant fruit in large tubs (10 - 20 liters) or in the garden. Usually the branches have to be supported, otherwise they will snap under the weight of the fruit. Noticeable is a deepening of the pods around the crown. Here water collects easily under the open sky. Either water it regularly during rainy periods or place the plant under a roof.


The cultivation is simple. Soak the seeds in chamomile tea. Plant 0.5 cm deep in a coconut swelling tabs and germinate in a propagator. The germination time will take about 7 - 10 days at 25 °C. Below 20 °C you will hardly be successful. We use a heatable greenhouse, as we start growing in January. From germination to harvest takes about 200 days.


Poblano plants can be grown in the garden, on the balcony and in the room. The location should be as bright as possible. The plant will certainly die in frost. From about 14 °C night temperatures it may not grow properly. However, short phases up to 6 °C can be easily put away.

Besides sun and warmth, a loose soil is important. Like Jalapeño and Serrano Chilies, this can have a pH value of 7 to 7.5. Most Capsicum varieties prefer a slightly acidic soil, but not the mentioned varieties from Pueblo and the surroundings of the reddish mountains.


Because of the thick fleshy fruits we like to fertilize this kind of chili with organic fertilizer. Preferably guano the worm humus. As indoor plant with tomato fertilizer sticks. The organic fertilizer in the bed with digging around. This is usually enough for the whole season. For tomatoes or slow release fertilizer, follow the instructions on the package.


After 70 - 90 days after flowering it is harvest time. Either the deep green pods or wait until they turn red. Classic are green pods for rellnos, salsa and other Mexican dishes. Red pods are roasted, dried and used as anchos. And I ask you what can be better than anchos in tacos? Compared to other chilies and peppers, the fruits have huge long stems. Cut them off about 2 to 3 cm on the side of the plant.


You will probably bring poblano plants two or three times over the winter. Either cut back strongly on low flame in a small flower pot or under artificial light. At the end of September you will probably have to bring the plant into the house. Pay attention to the weather forecast. At temperatures below 12° C our Capsicum annuum will come into the house. You can find a detailed article about overwintering here.

Poblano Facts

Variety name Poblano
Species Capsicum annuum
Origin Mexico
Plant Size 60 - 150 cm
Maturing time 70 - 90 days
Scoville 2,000 SHU
Germination period 7 - 10 days
Germination temperature 25 - 28 °C
Planting distance min. 70 cm