Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Chocolate with a Twist! -{Mole Poblano}-

In my constant search of a authentic recipes across the world, nothing sounded more intriguing than the Mexican Mole Poblano, which is a version of the many kinds of mole (which is basically a sauce) from Pueblo, Mexico.

Mole has been regarded as the national pride and culinary touchstone of Mexican cooking. Mole is often the dish of choice at large celebrations. It is difficult to pinpoint the exact origin of this traditional meal. There is however a legend which dates the origin of mole to Mexican colonial times. According to this legend, mole originated in the great kitchens of the convents found in the state of Puebla in Mexico. These convents perfected and strengthened Mexican culinary arts given that they frequently had to wine and dine important religious and civil figures. The legend states that during a particular occasion Juan de Palafox the viceroy and archbishop of Puebla visited his diesis. A banquet at one of the convents was to be celebrated in his honor therefore all of the cooks in the religious community worked especially hard preparing the dishes which were to be served that night. The head cook was brother Pascual, he spent all day running throughout the kitchen giving orders. As the story goes brother Pascual was so nervous that he started scorning his assistants for having such a messy kitchen. He put all of the ingredients which were scattered throughout the kitchen on a tray and as he rushed to put them away he tripped directly in front of a couple of turkeys which were just about ready to be served. He dropped chiles, a piece of chocolate and all of the rest of spices on the turkey ruining the banquet’s main course. Brother Pascual was so distressed by his predicament that he started praying with all of his faith, just then they announced that the guests would be taking their place at the table. Minutes later he was in awe when all the guests were complementing him on the dish which was accidentally created.
This legend is so popular that in small towns you can still hear housewives asking San Pascual for help. Most likely mole was not created by accident, it is probably a result of a long and arduous process which began in pre-Hispanic America and was perfected during Mexican colonial times when Mexican dishes were enriched with ingredients from Asia and Europe. Many regions of Mexico came up with their own variations of mole, which is how mole poblano, mole negro de Oaxaca and mole amarillito del sureste among moles many others came about.

Recipe for Mole Poblano

  • 1/2 lb. Ancho chiles, toasted lightly
  • 2-1/4 lbs. Poblano chiles, roasted, peeled, seeded
  • 9 oz. fresh Jalapenos, roasted, peeled, seeded
  • 2-1/2 cups tomatillos, crushed
  • 1/2 mole spice mixture (recipe below)
  • 1-1/4 oz. garlic, peeled
  • 3 oz. vegetable oil
  • 8 oz. raisins, fried in oil 5 seconds
  • 8 oz. apricots, dried, fried in oil 5 seconds
  • 3 oz. sesame seeds, toasted
  • 12 oz. almonds, sliced, toasted
  • 3 oz. pepitas, toasted
  • 8 oz. Ibarra chocolate, chopped
  • 1-1/4 gal chicken stock
  • 7 oz. corn tortilla chips, fried crisp
  • 1 qt. water
  1. Weigh and measure all ingredients
  2. Soak ancho chiles in hot water for at least 30 minutes
  3. Deep fry the poblano and jalapeno chiles for 2-3 minutes to blister. Cool and peel. Seed.
  4. Seed ancho chiles and save seeds. Toast seeds.
  5. Make the mole spice mixture recipe.
  6. While spice mixture cools, toast sesame seeds, almonds, and pepitas in separate pans. Do not blacken or burn.
  7. Fry and cool raisins and apricots.
  8. Mix almonds, pepitas, raisins, and apricots in a lg. mixing bowl and mix very evenly. Place in food processor a little at a time until you have a granola type consistency.
  9. Grind sesame seeds and spice mixture in spice grinder until you have a fine powder.
  10. Place corn chips in food processor and chop until very fine.
  11. Place the 3 chiles in food processor and blend until you have a thick paste. Add water as needed to achieve thick paste.
  12. Melt Ibarra chocolate un a double boiler.
  13. Now you should have: a) a bowl of chile paste, b) a bowl of nuts and fruits, c) a bowl of spices and sesame seed powder, and d) a bowl of finely chopped corn chips
  14. In a large stainless steel bowl place spice and sesame seed powder, corn chips, and tomatillos; blend until you have a smooth mixture.
  15. Put vegetable oil in a large shallow pot over medium heat. When oil is very hot, add chile paste and cook for 2 minutes while stirring constantly. Add tomatillo and spice mixture. Stir constantly for 3 more minutes. Note: adjust heat as needed.
  16. Add chicken stock and set heat to low. Add fruit and nut mixture breaking apart while placing in the sauce.
  17. With large whisk stir sauce until you have a nice, smooth consistency.
  18. Add chocolate while continuing to stir sauce with a large whisk. Don't let ingredients settle to bottom of pot and burn!!
  19. When sauce has reached a smooth constisency, set heat on very low and let simmer for 8-10 minutes; add water as needed and stir occasionally.
  20. Let cool. Place in plastic containers. Refrigerate.
Mole Spice Mixture
  • 1 oz. Coriander seeds
  • 1-1/2 oz. ancho chile seeds
  • 1 oz. black peppercorns
  • 1/2 oz. cinnamon sticks
  • 1/2 oz. anise seed
  • 1/2 oz. cumin seed, whole
  • 1-1/2 tsp. allspice
  • 1 oz. cloves, whole
  1. Weigh and measure all ingredients
  2. Place all ingredients in shallow pan or sheet
  3. Set in 500 degree oven for 5-6 minutes.
  4. Don't let spices burn!
  5. Shake spices every couple of minutes
  6. Set spices aside to cool
If you really like it but dont have the time. I suggest you go to Maria Bonita's Taco Shop in Dubai :)


Blogger SillyBahrainiGirl said...


thanks for the tip on the restaurant... i was worried for second that i would have to cook ;)

7/17/2005 07:58:00 PM  
Blogger Equalizer said...

Hehe, naaah I always try to make it easy for those who preffer to eat rather than cook. Are you an art enthusiast or an artist? :p

7/19/2005 12:38:00 PM  
Blogger Ms.Baker said...

What an excellent and very authentic recipe for Mexican mole. How I love its deep earthiness. I especially love anything with Ibarra chocolate in it, another good reason to love mole. Your wonderful blog has made me very hungry, and very itchy to go to the kitchen and cook in the middle of the night ( I feel like making enchiladas with homemade corn tortillas right now!). Nice to see a fellow food and culinary arts connoisseur :)

8/15/2005 02:20:00 AM  
Blogger Corazon Dividido said...


WOW! Someone has finally revealed one of my fave dishes to the public. For ppl not familiar with Mexican food when they picture it they think of Tacos or Burritos. But Mole can be made into Tacos, or it's best with corn tortillas and arroz(rice, not white rice but mexican rice that has tomato sauce and other yummy ingredients! For ppl who want to cook it at home but don't want to make it from scratch can buy a paste by Dona Maria that has everything in it already.

8/24/2005 10:43:00 AM  
Blogger Equalizer said...

Corazon, I love Mexican food, I think it is largely misunderstood becuase th way it is presented by American chains. Are you Mexican?

8/24/2005 02:08:00 PM  

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