Mama Maggie's Kitchen
Think of a fresh, green poblano pepper. It is the same chile to make chile relleno. If they are allowed to ripen, poblano peppers turn red and have some sweetness to them. That’s why an ancho chile is red while the poblano pepper is green.
You can grind them up in a spice grinder and continue with the recipe in that way. Some people will make mole, stews, or chili when ground. Or, you can reconstitute a dried ancho chile.
If you look at an ancho chile, you will notice the deep red color and wrinkled skin. Some people describe it like a smoky, earthy raisin, slightly sweet. They are quite mild to medium-hot.
There is no real substitute for reconstituted ancho chile. You can substitute it with guajillo chiles or mulato chiles. Or, when in a recipe calls ancho chile powder, you can use crushed red pepper or paprika.
Take a look at the recipes you can prepare with Ancho chile. This mild, earthy chile is extremely versatile and is used as a base for many stews, sauces and more.