Growing up, chicken mole was one of my favorite dishes. Sometimes my mom would buy the sauce that came in the jar - ready to serve.
When I embarked on my health journey, I got curious about everything I was putting into my body. Reading labels and ingredient list was key for me when buying packaged products. Now, 95% of my food is fresh and does not come in a package, but there's the exception of products like raw honey, extra virgin olive oil, apple cider vinegar, etc.
I was amazed by the not-so-healthy ingredient list of the mole sauce in a jar. It was something along the lines of processed sugar, hydrogenated soybean oil (trans fat), cornstarch, cocoa (processed, not the same as raw cacao), and natural flavors (GMOs).
Mole became a special occasion dish for me (I believe in balance), until I went to holistic nutrition culinary school and learned how to make mole sauce from scratch with delicious whole ingredients.
There are many versions of mole sauce. It originated in Mexico and was traditionally made with chili peppers, nuts, spices, and chocolate. I've made a few different recipes out there, but this one from Bauman College always seems to leave everyone wanting more.
I'm sharing this recipe with you with hopes that you'll be as excited as I was to make and enjoy the full nourishment from homemade mole sauce. It's quite the therapeutic process and can be made in large batches and frozen for later use.
1 dried ancho chile, stemmed and seeded
1 dried chipotle chile, stemmed and seeded
2 Tablespoons raisins
2 Tablespoons almonds, roughly chopped
1 Tablespoon sesame seeds
1 Tablespoon pumpkin seeds
1 teaspoon black peppercorn
1 small cinnamon stick
1 1/2 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano
1 Tablespoon coconut oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves only
3 fresh plum tomatoes, chopped
1 ounce dark chocolate, 70-80% cacao (I used 1 of my Superfood Chocolate bars)
- Preheat oven to 350 F.
- Place the seeded dry chilies on a baking sheet and toast in the over for 5-10 minutes,checking frequently. When the chilies begin to release their aroma, take them out of the oven. Make sure to not let them burn.
- Add the toaster chilies to a bowl with the raisins and cover with hot water. Allow to soften for 30 minutes.
- In a wide skillet over medium heat, add the almonds, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, peppercorns, cinnamon stick, and oregano.. Toast for a few minutes, making sure nothing burns. Remove from the heat and grind to a powder in a spice grinder (or you can just throw in the blender if you have a high-speed blender).
- In the same skillet on medium heat, add the coconut oil and sauté the onions until lightly browned. Add the garlic and thyme and sauté for another few minutes. Add the tomatoes and cook for another few minutes. Transfer to the blender with the spice/nut/seed powder. Add the dried chilies and raisins, reserving the soaking liquid on the side.
- Puree the mixture, adding a little water or stock when needed, to make a smooth sauce.
- Return the sauce to the skillet on low heat. When the sauce begins to simmer, stir in the chocolate and allow to melt. Taste the sauce and season with salt as needed. If you want it spicier, add some of the chile soaking liquid. If the sauce is too thick, thin it out with a little water or stock.
Recipe by Bauman College Staff