Spicy Mole Poblano sauce

Man, I love me a good mole sauce. It’s been a hard transition, becoming vegan, with most of the traditional mole sauces made with lard and / or chicken stock. But having found a couple of restaurants that make vegan mole, I’m convinced that you don’t need lard or chicken stock to make it.

And then I found this awesome mole recipe in one of my mother-in-law’s kitchen cookbooks. I borrowed the cookbook, made my own modifications (I didn’t have the specific chiles they asked for, so I used what I had) and YUM is the result. I should warn though, it’s pretty spicy. I thought it was a fair medium – hot, but my husband is convinced I’m numb in the mouth and that it’s actually quite hot. Whatever, it’s delicious, is the most important thing.

Also, this recipe makes a lot (about 2-3 quarts). It freezes well (keeps about 3-4 months in the freezer) and refigerates really well (about 2 weeks in the fridge is recommended).

Ingredients (these are my modifications – for the original recipe, get the book):

7-8 dried aji chiles, stems cut off (keep the seeds for heat)

6-7 guajillo chiles, stems cut off (keep the seeds for heat)

8-10 New Mexico chiles, stems cut off (keep the seeds for heat)

3-4 cups water

2 large onions, peeled & quartered

2 cups peeled tomatoes in their juice (about 4 – 5 med. tomatoes)

4 cloves garlic, peeled and quartered

1 tsp salt, more to taste (I added in the end about 1 – 2 more tsp)

1.5 tsp ground coriander (or coriander seeds, ground up by hand)

1.5 tsp ground star anise (or ground by hand)

4 tbsp white sesame seeds, lightly toasted

1 cup blanched almonds

1/2 cup pine nuts

1/2 cup raisins

1/2 tsp ground cloves

1.5 tsp ground cinnamon

2 cups water with 4 tbsp vegan chicken stock dissolved in it, or 2 cups vegetable broth

1 cup gravenstein apple juice, unfiltered

1.5 oz unsweetened chocolate


1. Place the chiles, water, tomatoes, onions, garlic and salt in a pot and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer gently for about 20 – 30 minutes, until the chiles and onions are soft. Add water if needed to keep the chiles covered. Puree with a hand blender until smooth, turn off the heat temporarily.

2. Blend sesame seeds, almonds and pine nuts in a food processor until they become a coarse meal. Add the coriander, star anise, raisins, cloves, cinnamon and process again until it makes a sticky pasty coarse meal. You might need to add a bit more raisins until it gets more sticky. Scrape out and add to the pureed chile mixture.

3. Add the vegan chicken stock and apple juice to the chile sauce. Stir as you bring it back to a simmer. Add the chocolate, broken into pieces. Keep simmering and stirring as the chocolate melts. The mole should have the consistency of thick cream. If it’s too thick, add more broth.

One Response to “Spicy Mole Poblano sauce”

  1. […] are delicious. You can use enchilada sauce with these for a more traditional dish, or try using mole sauce. This recipe makes about 11 or 12 enchiladas, so be forewarned – you’ll have yummy […]

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