Mole Poblano and has been ranked as number one of “typical” Mexican dishes. It has also been called the national dish of Mexico. The State of Puebla is identified with Mole Poblano and is, today, without doubt, the most recognised dish  using chocolate in savoury cuisine.

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Mole poblano contains about 20 ingredients, including chili peppers and chocolate, which works to counteract the heat of the chili peppers, but the chocolate does not dominate. It helps give the sauce its dark color. This sauce is most often served over turkey at weddings, birthdays and baptisms

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The Nuns in Puebla Mexico were notified at the last minute of an impending visit of their Bishop. They took stock of their pantry, slaughtered a turkey, and created a sauce by combining unsweetened chocolate, chilies, onion, nuts and sesame seeds.

Mole Poblano Ancho Seeds

Mole poblano is a popular chilly sauce used in Mexican cuisine. Although there is no hard and fast recipe for it, it is commonly a combination of a dried chili peppers, ground nuts or seeds and Mexican chocolate.. Salt, oregano, chicken broth and charred onions, garlic and avocado leaves are mixed with these ingredients, and crushed crackers or breadcrumbs are usually added to thicken the mixture.

Mole is a Mexican Spanish word that literally translated means sauce or concoction—it can refer to several Mexican food sauces and dishes based on these sauces. Outside of Mexico, it usually refers to mole poblano sauce. Mole also is recognized as part of the word guacamole, which is a popular Mexican dip, made with avocadoes, tomatoes and seasonings.

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The chili peppers chosen for the mole recipe depend on personal taste and availability, but common types include chipotle, mulato, ancho and pasilla. For the ground nuts or seeds, peanuts, almonds and sesame seeds are popular choices. The required Mexican chocolate is a special blend of ground cacao, cinnamon and sugar. Ground nuts are also sometimes part of the Mexican chocolate blend.

Mole poblano is different from most Mexican sauces in several ways. It is very thick, while many Mexican sauces, most commonly salsa, are thin. Mole also is cooked to a smooth consistency, and salsa is most often made from raw, fresh ingredients. The majority of other sauces with origins in Mexico have easily identifiable chunks of food in them, namely tomato, onion, garlic, tomatillo and a wide variety of chili peppers.

Grinding mole ingredients on a metate

Various preparation methods are used to make mole. Most recipes commonly call for whole garlic cloves, sliced onion and the dried peppers to be lightly fried in oil. These cooked components, along with the rest of the ingredients, are placed into a blender and processed until smooth. The liquid is slowly cooked and continuously stirred over low to medium heat until the flavors completely meld. The thickening agents are added and the liquid is cooked until the desired consistency is reached.

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Chicken mole may be the most universal way to serve this sauce. The sauce, though, can also be a nice compliment to beef and pork. Restaurants often include mole enchiladas on their menus, which are corn tortillas filled with chicken and covered with mole.

Mole poblano takes a lot of time and patience to prepare. Because of this, it is usually prepared in very large batches and frozen for future use.

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Try it yourself!!

Ingredients

Chilly paste:

10 nos dried chillies, stemmed and seeded

(Original recipe calls for use of Mexican chillies; 8 nos dried ancho chillies and 2 poblano chillies, roasted, seeded and peeled)

80 ml chicken broth

Salt

Mole paste:

60 ml refined oil

60 ml whole almonds

60 ml hazelnuts

60 ml pecans

60 ml sesame seeds

60 ml raisins

910 ml chicken broth

1/2 teaspoon anise seeds

1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds

1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns

3 whole cloves

1 cinnamon stick

6 cloves garlic, peeled

1 onion, sliced

1 plantain, cut into chunks

2 corn tortillas, toasted and torn apart

60 ml roughly chopped dark chocolate (Ibarra variety is originally used)

15 ml sugar

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Roasted/grilled chicken, for serving

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Method :

For the chilly paste: Toast the ancho chillies by opening them and pressing them flat in a hot skillet for a few seconds on each side. Soak the chiles in hot water until they are very soft, about 30 minutes. Drain and pour into a blender with the roasted poblanos and chicken broth. Pulse until pureed. Season with salt and set aside. For the mole: Heat the canola oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the almonds, hazelnuts, pecans and sesame seeds and cook, stirring until lightly toasted, about 3 minutes. Remove the nuts with a slotted spoon to a food processor or blender. Add the raisins to the same skillet and stir for a minute as they puff. Put them in with the nuts. Add the anise seeds, cumin seeds, peppercorns, cloves and cinnamon stick to the skillet and cook until fragrant, about1 minute. Transfer to the food processor. Add the garlic and onions to the skillet and cook until browned, about 10 minutes. Remove to the food processor with the nuts and raisins. Then, fry the plantains and add to the food processor with the tortillas. Add about 250 ml chicken broth and blend to a smooth paste. In a large skillet, heat some more oil over medium heat and pour in the mole. Add the chilly paste, chocolate, sugar and remaining 660 ml chicken broth . Season with salt and pepper and continue cooking on low heat for about 1 hour. Serve the mole with roasted /grilled chicken.

 

This article originally appeared on ‘The chocolate factory’ by me.

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