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Ofrenda's Mole Sauce Recipe

Ofrenda's Mole Sauce Recipe

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This is not a recipe for the traditional mole from Puebla, which is very complicated, takes an extremely long time, and involves many ingredients, most of which are hard to source. My personal preference is to serve this mole with enchiladas (rolled corn tortillas filled with a protein or vegetable of your choosing), topped with the mole sauce.


8 ancho chiles

8 guajillo chiles

¼ cup sesame seeds

¼ cup peanuts

Canola oil

2 3‐inch cinnamon sticks, broken into thin strips

2 ounces Mexican chocolate, preferably Ibarra brand, broken into small pieces

Sea salt, to taste


Remove any stems from the chiles. Slit them open and remove veins and seeds. Toast the chiles on a hot griddle for a few seconds on each side, pressing them down until the inside flesh turns opaque. Wash the chiles in cold water and then cover with hot water and set aside to soak.

Toast the sesame seeds in a hot pan until they're a golden color. Do the same with the peanuts.

Heat some canola oil in a pan, then add the cinnamon sticks and fry for about a minute.

Blend the chiles by themselves in a blender at medium speed, adding a little of the water that was used to soak the chiles, until you achieve a smooth purée, adding more water as necessary. Remove the chile paste and pass through a chinois and put aside.

Add the sesame seeds, peanuts, and cinnamon along with the remaining chile-soaking water in the blender and blend until smooth. Then add the chocolate to the mixture and blend together.

Over medium heat, add a little canola oil to a pan. When hot, mix the sesame seed‐peanut‐cinnamon‐chocolate paste with the chile paste in the pan and cook, stirring and scraping the bottom of the pan, for about 10 minutes. Taste for salt as season as needed.

Chef's Note: This is a base for mole sauce to which different types of stock can be added depending on what you’re cooking. For example, if you’re using beef, you can add 3 cups of beef stock to make the sauce, which can be used as a sauce for steaks or for beef enchiladas. For shrimp, you would use shrimp stock; for chicken, chicken stock, etc.

Easy Mole Recipe

Do you like mole? Well then you’re going to love this super easy mole recipe I have for you today! It’s so delicious you’ll want to eat it with your fingers! If you want to try to make mole from scratch try this recipe here.

So this recipe is not homemade at all but I promise you it’s so amazing. Plus when it comes to something like mole making it from scratch can take all day. As delicious as mole is I really don’t have time for that most days.

So today’s recipe is perfect for whenever you get a craving for mole but don’t want to spend all day in the kitchen.

While the other mole recipe I have on my blog isn’t as labor intensive as some mole recipes are, it still isn’t by any means as easy as the recipe I’m sharing today.

Dona Maria is what makes this super easy and delicious mole possible.

Have you ever had mole from Dona Maria before? If you’re anything like me the idea of eating mole from a jar may not sound too appetizing but I urge you to try it. It’s so worth it!

The jar is actually filled with a mole paste that you mix with water or chicken broth (preferably chicken broth).

To make the mole just empty the contents of the jar into a pot over medium low heat. Slowly stir in 3 cups of chicken broth. Use a wooden spoon to break up the mole paste and stir it into a smooth sauce.

You have to stir for awhile to completely break up the mole paste. Expect to stir for ten minutes.

This is optional but I like to add half a tablet of Abuelita chocolate to the sauce. Trust me it’s really good!

Raise heat to medium and stir until chocolate has dissolved. Let the sauce come to a low boil. Then let the sauce simmer for a few minutes.

The sauce is now ready. Serve it over cooked chicken or add the chicken to the pot.

Also make sure you save the little jar the mole came in. It also serves as a cute little drinking glass!

Pan de Muerto (Bread of the Dead)

Literally "bread of the dead," this bakery product is placed on the altar during the festivities and enjoyed by the families of the deceased. The loaf’s shape, toppings, and recipe vary from region to region. The loaf can be round, half-moon shaped, bow-shaped, or shaped like a human it can be topped with white or colored sugar, sesame seeds, glaze, or icing. The variety most common outside of Mexico consists of a semi-spherical sweet loaf adorned with smaller pieces of dough in the shape of stylized bones and topped with a light glaze and white sugar.

The bread inside varies all the way from a very plain, airy white bread to a heavy, moist, egg-rich sweet bread. The top of the loaf is sometimes decorated with smaller pieces of dough in the shapes of bones, tears, or flower petals. The dough is made of butter, sugar, aniseed, flour, eggs, and orange zest and proves for 90 minutes. Once shaped it has to prove again for 1 hour. Give yourself 4 hours to prep and bake this delicious treat.

Flavorful Mexican Mole Sauce

Mole —pronounced in two syllables, MOE-lay—is a quintessential Mexican sauce originating in pre-Hispanic times. It exists in countless versions, varying in color, consistency, ingredients, and use. For each type of mole, there are countless variations that depend on regional preference and family tradition.

At their core, most moles contain a blend of chile peppers, tomatoes or tomatillos, fruit or other sweet element, nuts or seeds, often but not always cocoa, and a blend of spices. Each home cook has a favorite mix of spices and a preferred ratio of ingredients, so although there is no one true mole recipe, there is something that remains true for all moles: they represent history on a plate—from the simpler sauces of indigenous times made with local ingredients to a mix of components introduced to the Americas from other parts of the world.

Traditional cooking methods call for grinding each ingredient by itself in a molcajete, a mortar and pestle, but for our less labor-intensive product, we used a high-speed blender. Although our easier version of mole doesn't have 40-plus ingredients or take many days to prepare, it is a fairly delicious sauce that can add a traditional Mexican touch to roasted or pulled pork, enchiladas, tacos, nachos, rice, eggs, and of course, the traditional chicken with mole. Be mindful this recipe contains peanuts, so skip if there are any legume allergies in the household.

Recipe: Octavio Diaz's Estofado Mole

Oaxaca has seven primary moles &mdash negro, amarillo, rojo, verde, chichilo, coloradito and manchamanteles &mdash but that lineup barely scratches the surface of the styles from town to town, not to mention family to family. While Octavio Diaz&rsquos recipe for mole negro is top secret, he was willing to share his recipe for estofado, a stew that frequently shows up at his family gatherings. Diaz prepares two sauces: a bright and tangy puree of tomatoes, tomatillos and onions and a sweet-savory blend of apples, almonds, raisins and cinnamon. The two combine to create a versatile mole that can be served with practically any kind of meat or vegetable. And unlike Diaz&rsquos mole negro, which can take days to prepare, this takes just a couple of hours.

8 roma tomatoes, halved

5 tomatillos, husks removed and halved

2 cups chopped yellow onion, divided

3 tablespoons olive oil, divided

8 garlic cloves, peeled

1 tablespoon raisins

2 tablespoons almonds

1 large apple, cored and diced

1/8 teaspoon dried oregano

¼ teaspoon chopped fresh thyme

4 black peppercorns

½ cup sesame seeds

½ Mexican cinnamon stick, broken into small pieces

1 corn tortilla, torn into small pieces

6 cups chicken broth

½ cup Spanish green olives

16 pieces bone-in, skin-on chicken parts (a mix of breast, leg and thigh)

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

tablespoons olive oil

Pickled jalapeños, carrots and onions

To make the sauce: Place the tomatoes, tomatillos and ½ cup onion in a large saucepan. Season with salt, add ¼ cup water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-high and let cook until the tomatoes and tomatillos soften and release their liquid, about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Let cool slightly, then liquefy in a blender. Pour mixture into a mediumbowl.

In a large, high-sided skillet, heat 1½ tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the remaining 1½ cups onion, garlic, raisins, almonds, apple, oregano, thyme, peppercorns, cloves, sesame seeds, cinnamon and tortilla pieces. Cook the mixture until onions soften and turn golden brown, stirring frequently, about 7 minutes. Add the chicken broth and bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Let cool slightly, then liquefy the mixture in the blender until smooth.

In a large saucepan, heat the remaining 1½ tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat. Pour the tomato mixture into the pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for a few minutes. Add the other puree to the pan and simmer until reduced slightly, about 15 minutes.

Stir in the green olives and adjust the seasoning with garlic salt. Keep warm. (The sauce can be made 1-2 days ahead reheat before proceeding with the recipe.)

To make the chicken: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Season the chicken on all sides with salt and pepper. Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet. When the pan is hot &mdash working in batches &mdash sear the chicken, skin-side down, 4-5 minutes, until the skin is crisp and golden brown. Flip and cook another 2 minutes. Transfer to a baking sheet and finish cooking in the oven for 25-35 minutes, or until the juices run clear.

To serve: Place the chicken on a large serving platter with a high lip and generously ladle the sauce over the meat. Garnish with sesame seeds. Serve with the rice and extra sauce for sopping up with warm corn tortillas, along with the pickled vegetables.

Mole Chicken Enchilada with Homemade Mole Sauce

Posted By Savita

Today, I'm taking 'complex' out of Mexican staple, Mole Chicken Enchilada. You will be amazed how simple and delicious mole sauce can be if prepared using right ingredients and in right way. Mole sauce is ready with just 15 minutes prep. Once sauce is done, chicken enchilada can be prepared in no time.

Mole sauce has reputation of being so complex where it is actually not. Yes, it does need some ingredients to develop authentic flavor but I can tell you it is worth the effort.

A batch of mole sauce stay good in refrigerator for more than a week. You can make it once and serve couple of times. Plus the quality of sauce is so good you will forget buying jars or paying 30+ dollars in restaurants.

No matter what we eat for lunch, a family-style dinner is must in our house. This is the time when we discuss our day and unwind with comfort of a homemade meal.

Just like you, some days I'm so busy over the weekdays that a homemade meal seems hard to envision. For such days, I like to prepare main component of dish over the weekend that helps me make a homemade meal possible on weeknights.

I can't believe I'm telling you this but some part of me thinks. the same dish prepared on a lazy hour of weekend tastes better than one prepared on weekdays.. exact same recipe. May be because on weekend I have time to pay attention to details?! Or just because mind is relaxed :)

Mole Sauce, or enchilada sauce, or mother curry sauce, all of these are great investment when made over weekend. Once sauce is ready, putting dinner together becomes as easy as cutting veggies and folding into tortillas.

What is Mole Sauce?

Mole is general term used for all kind of sauces served in Mexican cuisine.

There are many types of mole sauce in Mexican cuisine but the one I'm sharing today is Mole Poblano. Mole poblano is perfect balance of bitter, sweet and spicy that comes from few kind of chilies and chocolate. The best kind of chocolate for this is Mexican semi-sweet chocolate. Chocolate adjusts the heat of chilies and gives sauce it's signature lush chocolate color.

The taste of mole depends a lot on this main ingredient i.e. chocolate. I mean not just any chocolate but Mexican chocolate. Mexican Chocolate gives mole it's signature intense flavor. It is not as chocolaty as you might think but bitter-sweet with slight chocolate mouth-feel.

Of course fruity ancho chilies and sesame seeds are other two important ingredients but chocolate can make or break the dish.

I'm saying so because initially I made mole with dark Mexican chocolate and fell in love with the lush dark brown color of sauce. Color was what I was after but it was bit bitter for my taste. My husband enjoyed every bit of it because he loves dark chocolate. Second try I used semi-sweet and that was something which made me like my creation. So, you can choose chocolate dark or semi based on your taste preference.

Fact Time: Did you know, one of kind of mole - Mole Amarillo does not have chocolate and it looks just like a spicy Indian curry. This Indian girl is not crazy for Mexican cuisine for nothing!

Oh, and if you looking to make vegetarian version of mole sauce than use vegetarian stock instead of chicken. And fill with veggies instead of chicken.

The important of step for making Mole Sauce is toasting the chilies and sesame seeds. Toasting brings out flavor of chilies and make them more flavorful. Dried poblano a.k.a ancho chilies are dark red big chilies with amazingly fruity flavor. Oh yes, you read correct "fruity". Hold one in hand and smell.. it smells like fragrance of a dried apple which has been dried next to a batch of drying chilies.

Dry toasting opens up chilies. Next, sesame seeds are toasted until these are nutty and turn brown. This is yet another signature flavor for mole - nuttiness. To add to same flavor, I also added silvered almonds to the sauce.

Once all toasted ingredients and chilies are pureed. I simmer puree with chicken stock, tomato sauce, and Mexican chocolate to develop flavor. In 20-25 minutes sauce is ready to strain. It is important to strain the sauce to get rid of any solids/seeds of chilies.

That's it! Mole sauce is ready! It is thick at this point. So just before serving with enchiladas, I cook a potion sauce for 5 minutes with more stock to consistency I like. Then, fold some sauce, shredded chicken in warm totillas, drizzle hot mole sauce on top with some cotija cheese.

I tasted mole for the first time at a roadside eatery in Central Mexico when I was a sixteen-year-old tourist. At first I wasn’t sure what to think, but the lustrous, mahogany-colored sauce and bits of meat intrigued me. One bite led to another, and by the time I’d finished, a passion had been born.

These days, when I talk about mole to North Americans, many immediately respond, “Chocolate chicken, right? Not for me.” But in Mexico, mouths water at the thought of this dark, complex sauce made from dried chiles, nuts, seeds, spices, and, yes, a bit of chocolate.

Mole (pronounced MOH-lay) belongs to a family of sauces that has deep roots in Mexico. The name itself is Aztec for sauce, reflecting the influence of the original inhabitants of the land. Every town, every family, has its favorite versions. They span the spectrum of colors, textures, and flavors. (Oaxaca boasts seven moles that range in color from spring green to yellow, rust, and black). All moles are thickened with nuts and seeds, but they don’t all have chocolate in them (in the best versions that do, chocolate is used only in small proportions, as you’d use a spice), and homemade moles, if prepared with care, avoid the bitterness often associated with the commercial versions.

But of all the varieties of mole, none surpass the rich, dark-skinned beauty called mole poblano. This famous dish from the Mexican state of Puebla takes its surname from its place of origin. The toasted, rehydrated red chiles that are the soul of this mole create a core of fruity depth, spice, and complexity that is embroidered with almonds, coriander seeds, anise, cloves, and chocolate.

Mole’s flavor is developed in stages

Mole-making begins with toasting or frying the individual ingredients, puréeing them, and then searing and reducing the purée. Broth is added and the sauce is left to simmer. Each step, each ingredient, adds a different dimension to the sauce, yet the whole sings in beautiful harmony. Mexican cooks say that the best mole is one from which no individual flavor stands out.
Mole poblano (pronounced poh-BLAH-noh) takes about six hours to prepare. About three of those are relatively unattended simmering or baking. Making the mole all in one go, however, doesn’t allow it to develop the most flavor (nor does it leave the cook in much of a mood for a party). It’s easiest to spread the preparations over three days.

Day 1—Complete the recipe through puréeing the chile and tomato mixtures. Make a turkey broth. Cover and refrigerate the two purées and the broth.

Day 2—Sear the two purées, combining them to complete the sauce. Brown the turkey and bake it in the sauce. Cool the turkey and the sauce separately, cover, and refrigerate.

Day 3—Skin and slice the turkey, heat it with the sauce, and serve.

Making a mole with turkey signals a festivity

In Mexico, mole on the stove usually means a fiesta is in the making. A whole turkey, which can feed at least twelve people, is a traditional choice for mole poblano, but almost all moles are flexible about which meats they can be paired with. Chicken, duck, pork, and beef are all delicious with this sauce.

When you bake the turkey, take care not to overcook it. The USDA says to cook turkey to 170°F, but I’m willing to assume responsibility for eating my turkey cooked to 150°F, the right temperature, I believe, for the moistest breast. The turkey will be reheated in the sauce and if cooked to too high a temperature, it could easily dry out.

Chiles are the cornerstone of all moles

To prepare an authentic mole poblano, you must have the traditional triumvirate of chiles: mulato, ancho, and pasilla. Without these chiles, your mole just won’t have the breadth of chile flavors essential to the dish.

If your only experience with chiles has been a little jalapeño added to salsa for spice, you’ll be shifting gears here. First, not all chiles are picante (certainly not as hot as a hot jalapeño), and second, the less hot ones (fresh poblanos and reconstituted dried anchos, for instance) are used as the base of many sauces, in the same way we’re accustomed to using tomatoes. This is a uniquely Mexican approach, made possible by the wide variety of chiles—in all heat levels—available in the Mexican marketplace.

Each chile has a unique flavor, and it’s the flavor of chiles that makes mole poblano unique. Ancho (pronounced AHN-choh), the common dried chile in the Mexican kitchen, gives the sauce earthy and fruity flavors (you’ll taste hints of cherry, prune, and fig) and mild to medium heat.

The tangy woodsiness of the true pasilla gives depth to the sauce. Not at all sweet and quite astringent, pasilla (pah-SEE-yah) has a deep, complex flavor that goes on and on. It’s sometimes labeled chile negro or chile pasilla mexicano.

Mulato chile distinguishes mole poblano from most other moles. Though many moles include some mulato, only in mole poblano does it play a major role. Mulato (moo-LAH-toh) offers a slightly anisey tartness, the taste of darker fruits like prunes and cooked cranberries, and the earthiness of coffee or bitter chocolate.

When shopping for dried chiles, be aware that mulatos and anchos look almost identical and are occasionally confused by those who label them. Tearing open a chile and holding it up to the light will help you tell the difference—the ancho is reddish and somewhat translucent, while the mulato is almost opaque black-brown. Or to be sure you’re getting the right one, buy them from a reliable mailorder source.

The optional chipotle chile brings smokiness and a little extra heat to the mix. Chipotle (chih- POHT-lay) is simply a smoke-dried jalapeño. It has a great sweet, smoky flavor. For this recipe, use canned chipotles en adobo—the tomatoey, vinegary sauce in which chipotles are commonly preserved.

Stem, seed, and devein the dried chiles, reserving 2 teaspoons of the seeds. Tear all the chiles into large pieces. To leave behind browned bits that will give rich flavor to the mole, heat another 1/4 cup of lard or oil in a large pot (at least 8 quarts) over medium-high heat. Pat the turkey pieces dry with paper towels and brown them in the hot fat, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer the browned turkey pieces to a roasting pan large enough to hold them comfortably.

Lard lends an authentic roasty flavor

Since most of mole’s essential ingredients are first browned, the browning medium—lard—plays an important role in the final flavor. This doesn’t mean mole must be heavy or greasy. Good cooks work carefully, completely draining each ingredient, so that there’s little fat in the finished mole. Mexican butchers render lard over a fairly high fire so it has a roasted flavor not found in the milder American versions. Just a little of that Mexican lard adds tremendous roasted pork flavor. For authenticity, look for good-flavored lard at an ethnic butcher.

If lard is not for you, use vegetable oil—an adequate substitute when you consider that there are so many other flavors at work. Whichever fat you use, just be sure to skim any that remains from the surface of the sauce. The flavor will stay in the sauce even after the fat is gone.

A blender is the best tool for pureeing mole

Historically, mole ingredients were ground on a sloping, basalt grinding stone called a metate (pronounced meh-TAH-tay). The effect is the same as stone-grinding through a mill, and indeed nothing can compare with the texture and flavor of a mole made with a metate. But easy-to-use blenders, not back-breaking metates, are the grinding tools of choice in today’s Mexican kitchen, even though they’re actually finely chopping—rather than crushing— the ingredients.

Food processors can also be used to make mole. You’ll trade convenience for a less smooth, less flavorful sauce, however, since processor blades neither move as fast as nor grind as well as those of a blender. It will be clear when you’re straining the purées: the nut-and-seed mixture puréed in a food processor will leave considerably more unwanted bits in the strainer than a purée from a blender.

Stir in 5 cups of broth until smooth, partially cover, reduce the heat to medium low and let simmer gently, stirring occasionally, to bring all the flavors into harmony, about 45 minutes. Taste and add salt and sugar as needed. The sauce should be the consistency of heavy cream. If it’s too thick, thin it with a little broth. Heat the oven to 325°F. Pour the sauce over the turkey in the roasting pan and bake until the turkey is tender but still moist and registers 150°F on an instant-read thermometer, 11/2 to 2 hours. Remove the turkey from the pan, spoon off any accumulated fat, taste, and reseason with salt and sugar.

These hints will help you get the smoothest texture for your mole:

• Don’t purée more than half a blenderful at a time.

• Don’t add more liquid than is necessary to keep the mixture moving through the blades if it’s too thin, the entire mixture won’t be drawn through the blades.

•Stir the ingredients, blend on low until everything is uniformly chopped, and then blend on high until the purée is smooth when rubbed between your fingers.

• Always strain the mixture.

• If the sauce looks coarse or gritty after simmering, reblend it until smooth.

Easy Mole Recipe

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My grandma made this EASY mole recipe each time there was a birthday or celebration. It’s rich, tasty, and full of flavor.

Years later, I found this exact same recipe published in an 1980s newspaper clippings from Durango, Mexico where my family is from.

It was entitled “Mole Rojo estilo Norteno” with an annotation, “como en Durango.” Translation: “like in Durango.”

I had to publish it in English for my fellow Duranguenses and for those who think making this sauce is too complicated. Not at all … Think again!!

More Mole Recipes:


  • Olive Oil (or lard)
  • Dried Chile Ancho
  • piece of bolillo
  • garlic
  • onion
  • Tomatoes
  • cumin
  • Salt and pepper
  • Mexican chocolate
  • tablespoon sugar (if necessary)

This is NOT mole poblano. It’s NOT Dona Maria either.

Unlike many mole recipes, this recipe does not require many ingredients or hours to make.

Please note that I changed the original recipe slightly.

In the traditional recipe, the ingredients are fried in lard. Instead, we are going to roast and toast on a skillet.

How to Make It

  • Start by roasting the tomatoes and toasting the anchos.
  • The ancho chile only take 1 minute on each side.
  • Remove the ancho chile and set aside.

Don’t go far. If the anchos burn, it will make the sauce bitter.

Make sure all the sides are charred on the tomatoes before removing.

You can also roast the tomatoes in the oven. Roast for 7 minutes under the broiler. Turn and roast for 5 more minutes.

Pro Tips:

FYI: You only need a small piece of bread. Any bread will do. You can even use day old bread.

  • Cut off the stem.
  • Cut lengthwise.
  • Remove as many of the seeds as possible.
  • Set aside. Repeat with all the dried chiles.

You might not be able to get all the seeds out. That’s ok!

We’re going to strain the sauce later, and that’s when we’ll remove any larger bits that the blender didn’t get.

How long does it take to make a mole?
It really depends on the type of mole you’re making. The most well-known type is mole poblano, and that can take up to 6 hours to make. This EASY mole recipe from my grandmother is made in under 30 minutes.

As long as they are pliable. That’s what you’re looking for.

What does mole taste like?
Mole tastes spicy but without the heat. It’s thick and rich. The sauce is loaded with BIG flavors.

  • Add the chiles and the roasted ingredients into a blender.
  • Add water and blend until smooth.

Is Mole healthy to eat?
Mole has a lot of calories, but it’s packed with good stuff like Vitamin B, riboflavin, phosphorus, iron, calcium, niacin, and zinc.

  • Heat oil in a stock pot.
  • Add a strainer over the pot.
  • Strain the sauce into the pot.

Stand back! It will splatter on you. Do this little by little until the entire sauce is added.

Using a cooking spoon push the sauce into the pot.

Note: If you are using a stored sauce that is cold, add a splash of water and mix with a spoon to get it going.

From here, either store the sauce into jars or use.

How to Use:

Does all Mole have chocolate?
No. This recipe includes chocolate, but not all moles use chocolate such as green mole (pipian verde), mole blanco (also called mole de novia), mole rosa (a traditional dish from Taxco, Guerrero), and several others.

How Long Does It Last?

This Easy Mole Recipe is what every Mexican food lover needs. A RICH, delicious, and chocolatey sauce that’s ready in under 30 minutes!! Serve with chicken and rice.

Hungry for More?

Did you make this recipe? Please rate the recipe below!

Aunt Irma's Mole Paste

It is always wonderful to be back home, even if it is for a few weeks only. The weather is always sunny, you can see and smell the heat of the day from the moment you open your eyes in the morning till you close them at night, the house is filled with all my relatives and friends and mam's kitchen and her lovely and talented hands are always at my disposal, granting every single culinary wish and craving I may have. A case of the prodigal daughter is back. It's the best part of being back home.

This time, I decided to expand my horizons a little and I have asked a few of my relatives and friends to share some of their family recipes with me and my readers. I was a little nervous at first, but I must say, everybody has been wonderfully generous and truly accommodating and I have worked in some amazing kitchens during the past few weeks, gathering exceptional recipes, great tips and learning new tricks to make my own cooking better! Today, I want to share with you what I learned when I spent the morning working with my Aunt Irma in her 1970's kitchen making her family recipe for mole paste. As you will notice by the pictures I took, we made an industrial amount of mole paste my aunt freezes the paste in individual family size portions so that she has it handy every time she wants to make mole. Mexican families are big, mine is the smallest with now 15 members, so the recipe I've given you is enough for you to make mole paste for about 15 people, you can decide to half it or make it all and freeze it.

To Make the Stock:

Put all the ingredients for the stock in a big pot and bring them to the boil. Lower the heat and let them simmer until the chicken is cooked, approximately 25 minutes. Take the chicken out, discard the skin and leave the pieces to accompany them with the mole once the paste is done. Sieve the stock and set aside to use later on.

For the Spice Mix:

While the stock is cooking, get on with cleaning your dried chilies. I recommend gloves for this as it does not matter how careful you are, you'll always end up rubbing your eyes and you'll regreat it! Remove the stalks from the chilies and deseed them. Set aside.

Heat the lard/oil in a big, non-stick pan at medium to high heat. When it's hot, start adding all of the spice mix ingredients one at a time: the guajillo and ancho chilies, the peanuts, the sesame seeds, the pumpkin seeds, the pecan nuts, the almonds, the garlic cloves and the cinnamon. Stir well after each addition and let them all coat in the lard/oil. it is really important that you keep stirring all the ingredients while they fry as chilies can burn easily and they give a bitter flavour to the paste if they do. Continue frying the ingredients for about 15 minutes or until the stock is ready. The spice mix would be toasted and deliciously fragrant by then.

For the Paste:

With stock and spice mix ready, we now have everything to make the paste. You might need to do this in batches if you are making the whole recipe so beware of spliting all ingredients evenly to aid the blending process. We did it in 3 batches so everything got used a third at a time.

In a the blender or food processor put a third of the following ingredients: the chicken stock, the bread, the chocolate, the spice mix and the ready made mole sauce. Blend it well until you have a smooth sauce and pour it into a big container. Repeat this step two more times or until all the ingredients have been blended. At the end, using a wooden spoon, stirr the mole paste all in the container to even the flavour.

Traditionally, mole done like this starts like a paste, similar to a curry paste, but the texture is really a matter of taste, some people like it granular and others like it smooth. Aunt Irma likes it granular so she doensn't blend it excessively. She also likes it quite liquidy so she used all of her stock.

Once everything was blended and mix, the mole paste needs to be cooled down, portioned and stored in the freezer until you need it. Thaw it out a day in advance for best results.

When you are ready to use the paste, thaw it out overnight. Gently cook it in a little bit of oil and add some extra chicken stock and seasoning to taste. If you feel it is a bit spicy for your liking, add a square of dark bitter chocolate (70% cocoa solids) to the paste and let it melt. As it gently simmers, the paste will become a thicker mole sauce that can be poured over cooked chicken or turkey with sprinkle of toasted sesame seeds and a side of rice. It's delicious! You can also use it to make any of the recipes with Mole that are in this blog.


Step 1

Wipe chiles with a damp cloth. Using kitchen scissors, cut a slit lengthwise along 1 side. Open chiles up and remove seeds, veins, and stems discard stems. Toast seeds and veins in a dry large skillet, preferably cast iron, tossing occasionally, until completely blackened, 7–9 minutes set aside.

Step 2

Working in batches, toast chiles, turning occasionally, until slightly darkened and blistered but not burnt, about 1 minute per side. Transfer chiles to a medium bowl and add boiling water to cover (at least 2 ½ cups). Let soak until chiles are softened, about 20 minutes.

Step 3

Meanwhile, cook tomato, onion, tomatillos, and garlic in same skillet over medium heat, turning occasionally, until almost completely blackened, 10–15 minutes. Let cool slightly, then remove skin from tomato discard. Transfer tomato, onion, tomatillos, and garlic to a blender. Add ½ cup broth and purée until smooth set tomato purée aside.

Step 4

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in same skillet. Add plantain and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Set half of plantain aside for serving place remaining plantain in a medium bowl.

Step 5

Wipe out skillet and toast almonds, pecans, and peanuts in skillet, stirring often, until golden brown and fragrant, about 5 minutes. Transfer to bowl with plantain.

Step 6

Toast breadcrumbs in skillet, tossing often, until golden brown, about 2 minutes transfer to bowl.

Step 7

Toast cinnamon sticks, allspice, cloves, raisins, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, dried herbs, aniseed, and cumin seeds until spices are fragrant, about 4 minutes transfer to bowl.

Step 8

Working in 2 batches, purée plantain mixture, adding 1 cup broth to each batch, until very smooth. Transfer plantain purée back to bowl set aside.

Step 9

Drain chiles, reserving soaking liquid. Purée chiles and 1 ½ cups soaking liquid in clean blender, adding more soaking liquid as needed, until smooth. Add toasted seeds and ribs and blend until smooth. Strain chile purée through a fine-mesh sieve into a medium bowl.

Step 10

Heat remaining 2 Tbsp. oil in a large Dutch oven or other heavy pot over medium. Cook chile purée, stirring constantly, until reduced by about one-third, 15–20 minutes. Add reserved tomato purée and cook, stirring often, until thickened, 8–10 minutes (reduce heat if needed to keep mixture from splattering). Add reserved plantain purée and simmer, stirring often, until thickened, 8–10 minutes. Stir in remaining 1 cup soaking liquid and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, 20 minutes.

Step 11

Add chocolate and stir until melted. Return mole to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally and adding broth by the cupful, until mole is just thick enough to coat spoon, about 30 minutes. Add sugar to taste and season with salt. Serve with meat or fish of choice.

Step 12

DO AHEAD: Mole can be made 1 week ahead. Let cool cover and chill. Reheat, adding broth as needed to loosen.

How would you rate Mole Negro?

I made this with several substitutions: ancho chilies instead of mulato chilies, 4 tomatoes, a whole head of garlic, 10 oz of dark chocolate, 1/4 cup almond butter instead of the nuts/seeds, 1/4 cup dried currants instead of plantains, and two tortillas blitzed into crumb instead of bread. I broiled the produce and chilies until charred, toasted the spices and currants, puréed everything thing sieved, then simmered for 90 minutes with chicken (to poach chicken), then finished with the chocolate, sugar, and salt to taste. Made enchiladas with this. Will 100% make this again, husband said this is better than our favorite restaurant’s mole. I’ll admit that I watched a few different preparations and read a few other recipes which helped with gaps in this recipe. It’s worth tinkering with!

Great traditional ingredients. Terrible recipe! Poorly written. Bon appetite, Don’t you have people to proof read your recipes?

Truly one of the worst written recipe I have ever encountered. It says to toast all of these things and place in bowls but give no indication what to do with them afterwards. Cool the plantains then set aside half for “serving”Meaning what exactly. I think the ingredients are probably spot on but the how to might as well not be there

Hi! What is the amount of chile’s needed in grams?

So I have tracked down all of the ingredients, but from the photo I can't tell what the sauce is covering. If I had to guess I would say chicken, but what part and how is it prepared?