I don't want to take the time to derib and seed the chiles, and I'm wondering what product I can use instead -- that isn't a mixed chile powder with salt, cumin, etc.?
You need to make your own, as you need to use. Buy the dried chilies you would like to blend. . . .roast them in the oven or in a pan til more dried, but not burned. Open, clean out seeds and ribs them grind in an old blade coffee grinder. Your powder will always be the most flavourful. Always buy fresh dried chili peppers, since old ones lose flavour and heat. This allows you to blend for flavour and heat.
Couple of great chile sites:
They both have lots of great ideas.
It's not all that hard to derib and deseed. I wish I had some photos, but if you'll bear with me, I'll give you a written description. Stand the chiles on end, stem end up. Find the "shoulder", the hump at the top that rises away from the stem. Position your (sharp) knife on the point of the shoulder. Slice down, curving toward the tip at the bottom against your board. Turn chile and repeat all the way around. You should wind up with all the flesh carved away from the core of seeds and pith. Is there some waste? Yes. Is there much time saved by not carving out the pith and all those d**** seed? Oh, most definitely. I didn't learn that in culinary school, but from a dear friend who owns an Italian restaurant.
Any Indian store has a variety of pure chile powder in a range of heat levels. The mildest is called deghi mirch & confers more of a color & flavor than heat.
We love Dean and Delucas chile powder.
Penzy's has good Chile powder and I like that they offer it in varying levels of spiciness.