This smoky chili sauce is a staple in any Mexican home. Every family has their own version and it's served at every celebration.
This Mōle recipe was shared with us by Sisi from Guanajuato, near the centre of Mexico. She's been in New Zealand since 2016.
“You have a birthday we have Mōle, it’s Christmas we have Mōle. It’s a divine tradition," says Sisi.
The key ingredient is the ancho (also called poblano) chilies. They aren't overly hot but add a sweet smoky flavour to the sauce. You can buy them online from a number of different places. I get mine from Tio Pablo.
This is a great make ahead recipe. It makes enough sauce for two or three meals. I freeze it in bags and pull it out when I want to use it. It's great for using up leftover chicken, beef or pork.
Heat the meat through with the sauce and serve it with rice and tortilla.
Mōle can be served with pulled pork or beef but is traditionally eaten with chicken. It freezes well. Use half this recipe and save half for another meal. Use it on tortillas, fill empanadas and pies with it, or simply served over meat with rice. If the sauce needs thickening, add some torn white bread soaked in water. If it’s too thick, add a little more water.
Cooked chicken thighs or breasts, shredded
¼ cup of sesame seeds
¾ cup of pumpkin seeds
1 cup of peanuts
¼ cup of vegetable oil
6 whole dried ancho chiles
2 cups of water
3 tablespoons of tomato paste
4 garlic cloves
2 teaspoons of ground cloves
3 teaspoons of cumin
Salt and pepper to season
50 grams of dark chocolate
Heat a small non-stick dry frying pan to a medium heat and add the nuts and seeds, frying until lightly browned and fragrant.
Add oil to another, deeper frying pan and heat to a medium heat. Add ancho chiles and fry for about 1 minute.
Put 1 cup of water in a bowl. Remove chiles from the frying pan, reserving the oil, and plunge chiles into the bowl of water. Leave to soften slightly.
Put toasted nuts into a blender and use the reserved oil from frying the chiles to blend the nuts into a paste. Add a little water if needed.
Return blended nuts to the larger frying pan and continue to fry on a low heat until mixture starts to go golden and become fragrant.
In the blender combine water from chiles and remaining water, tomato paste, fried chiles, onion, garlic, cloves, cumin and a pinch of salt and pepper and blend to a paste.
Add the chile mix and chocolate to the nut paste and continue to cook until well combined and chocolate is melted, about 5 minutes. Serve sauce over cooked chicken, beef or pork.
TIP: Poblano, or Ancho chilis are available from Mexifoods, Tio Pablo or International Foods, who all sell online. They add sweet, smoky flavour to foods. It can either be crushed up dry and added to dishes or rehydrated.