Mole: A Hispanic Dish


Have you ever heard of “mole” while looking for a place to eat? Some of you may have never heard of it. The question rises, “What is mole anyway?” Well, you see, mole is a traditional marinade and sauce originally used in Mexican cuisine. It originated from the 2 states of Puebla and Oaxaca. 

In contemporary Mexico the term is used for a number of sauces, some of these moles are made “de olla” which stands for “from pot”, huaxmole, guacamole, and pipián. Outside of Mexico, it typically refers to mole poblano. Moles tend to be relatively thick and complexly flavored sauces that contain a variety of seeds, herbs, and spices. Some of them are well known moles such as the  mole poblano, the Oaxacan black mole, and the green mole. Mexican adobos are generally red in color, as they are usually made with dried pepper such as ancho chili or chipotle chili which is red in color.

Although, it is quite unclear who exactly created mole, the most common story about where mole originated from took place during the colonial period in the Convent of Santa Clara in Puebla. One alleges that a convent in Puebla created the dish in a panic from what few ingredients they had, due to the impending visit of an archbishop. Along with this rushed dish, it was served up with roasted turkey. Another popular origin story is from the book, “New Cooking from Old Mexico” by Jim Peyton. He described that one morning when people of a high rank visited Sor Andrea, who was not feeling well. She then ordered her assistant, who had been spared from the Aztecs due to her cooking skills, to make a dish following her family recipe. However, the assistant decided to make the dish her own. Sor Andrea was upset, but the assistant made the woman try the food. Surprisingly, the woman instantly knew that the dish the assistant had made was far superior than her family’s recipe.

Culinary Adventures with Camilla: Mole Making Class and Mole Poblano for #CooktheBooks

You may ask, “How can I make mole at home and what is the recipe?” In order to make Mole, here are the steps: 

  • Step 1: Removing the Seeds From the Peppers: Before we begin with the preparation of the mole sauce, you will have to remove the seeds and the veins from all of the peppers. Removing the veins and the seeds can quickly be done by removing the stem and inserting a knife through the top portion of the pepper.Run the knife through the side of the pepper and when you get to the end open the pepper to expose the seeds and the veins. Remember you must do this to all of the peppers. Remove all seeds and veins and proceed to the next step.
  • Step 2: Gather Your Ingredients: Dry Peppers, 15g whole dry pasilla pepper*(chile pasilla), 25g whole dry black peppers* (chile negro), 25g hole dry mulato peppers* (chile mulato), 50g whole dry guajillo peppers* (chile guajillo)2-3 tablespoons Chipotle peppers in adobo sauce—optional, Spices, ¼ tsp whole black pepper, ¼ tsp whole allspice, 1 tsp sesame seed 3-4 whole cloves,2g Cinnamon, ¼ tsp Cumin, Miscellaneous, One tablet Mexican chocolate,One slice of bread (any kind/can be stale), Two tortillas, 5g Raw garlic, 40g Raw onion, 6 cups of water, 3 TBLS grapeseed oil (or any other oil you usually use),Salt to taste. 
  • Step 3: Boiling All the Ingredients: Once all ingredients are together, you will need to place them (except for the onion and garlic) into a saucepan with 6 cups of water. Place the saucepan with the ingredients and the water on the stove on high heat and let it boil. From start to finish this part should take approximately 15 minutes. 
  • Step 4: Let the Ingredients and the Water Cool: After the ingredients have been boiling for 20 minutes remove the saucepan from the heat and set it aside to cool. Do not attempt to blend the ingredients when they are still hot. 
  • Step 5: Blending the Ingredients: After the ingredients and the water in the saucepan have cooled down completely, (usually 20 minutes but could be more depending on the temperature of your home) you can proceed to transfer them to the blender, Add the raw onion and garlic and Start blending on low and work your way up until you get to high. Once you’ve reached the high setting on your blender, let the sauce puree on high for approximately two minutes then turn it off. 
  • Step 6: Sieving the Sauce: Now that the sauce is liquefied we can proceed to filter and remove any remaining chunks from the Mole to achieve a smooth consistency. Place the strainer over a bowl and begin pouring the blended sauce into the strainer little by little. If the colander gets full, use a spoon, to move the sauce around until there is no visible liquid remaining. There will be pieces of the peppers after all the liquid has gone through the colander, so tap it in the sink and disregard. Continue the process until no sauce is remaining. 


  • Step 7: Frying the Sauce: At this point, your sauce should have a smooth but thick consistency. Place a saucepan on the stove at low heat and add the oil. When the oil gets hot, pour the sauce into the pan with the oil. It might sizzle, this is normal, continue pouring until all the sauce is in the pan.


  • Step 8: Cooking the Sauce: Once the sauce has been poured in and fried, stir three times and reduce the heat to low or simmer. Allow the sauce to simmer for 15-20 minutes. Turn off the heat and serve over chicken, rice, or both. That is all the steps necessary to make “Mole” The Hispanic Dish.

Typical Mexican Family Food – Doña Cholita Tortilleria