In what's commonly revered as the national dish of Mexico, mole poblano combines ingredients like chiles, nuts, spices, and a touch of chocolate to create an intricate sauce. You need to taste it to understand!
Mole Poblano [Vegan]
- 7 Ancho
- 7 Mulato
- 7 Pasilla
For the Thickeners:
- 3 tablespoon sesame seeds ($0.14)
- 1/2 cup almonds ($0.64)
- 1/3 cup Spanish peanuts ($0.20)
- 1/3 cup pumpkin seeds ($0.19)
- 1/2 bolillo roll, ripped ($0.08)
- 1 corn tortilla, ripped ($0.02)
For the Spices:
- 1/2 stick cinnamon, broken apart ($0.02)
- 1 pod star anise ($0.01)
- 1/4 teaspoon whole coriander seeds ($0.01)
- 4 whole cloves ($0.01)
- 3 Mexican bay leaves ($0.03)
- 1/2 teaspoon whole peppercorns ($0.01)
For the Fruits:
- 1/2 cup raisins ($0.33)
- 1/2 very ripe plantain, peeled ($0.18)
For the Vegetables:
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled ($0.12)
- ½ medium white onion, roughly sliced ($0.12)
- 2 medium Roma tomatoes, quartered ($0.36)
For the Miscellaneous:
- 1/2 - 3/4 cup neutral oil for frying ($0.36)
- 8 cups vegetable broth ($0.37)
- 1 tablet (3.1 oz) Mexican chocolate, chopped ($0.68)
- 2-3 tablespoon cane sugar ($0.01)
- 2-3 teaspoon salt ($0.01)
- First, de-stem and de-seed the chiles. Reserve 1 teaspoon of seeds in a small bowl. Tear the chiles into large chunks, then set aside.
- Heat a cast-iron skillet over medium-low, then add in the teaspoon of chile seeds, sesame seeds, broken up cinnamon stick, star anise pod, coriander seeds, and cloves. Toast, stirring frequently, until lightly browned and fragrant, about 2-3 minutes.
- Transfer the mixture to a spice grinder or high-speed blender if you have one. Add in the peppercorns, grind into a fine powder, then set aside (transfer into your blender if you've used a spice grinder).
- Heat approximately ½ - ¾ cup of neutral oil in a large stockpot over medium-low until a deep-fry thermometer reaches 350°F. Cooking one type of chile at a time, fry each batch until slightly darkened and fragrant, approximately 60 seconds per batch. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the chiles to a paper towel-lined dish.
- Next, fry the almonds until golden brown, about 1-2 minutes. Transfer to the same paper towel-lined dish as the chiles. Continue this process of frying each individual ingredient until golden brown. Fry the peanuts next, then the pumpkin seeds, raisins, bay leaves, corn tortilla, and bolillo bread.
- Next, fry the garlic for about 30 seconds, or until fragrant, then transfer to another paper towel-lined bowl. Fry the onions until lightly golden, about 2-3 minutes, and transfer to the same bowl. Slice the plantain and fry until golden yellow and soft, about 2-3 minutes.
- Transfer to the bowl. Lastly, fry the tomatoes until tender, about 2 minutes, then transfer to the same bowl.
- Working in small batches, add some ingredients from the dish of chiles and nuts to the blender along with the spices and a little vegetable broth. Blend until smooth, adding in small amounts of broth as needed. Discard the extra oil, then strain the mixture back into the pot, pushing through as much sauce as you can. Discard the solids.
- Repeat this blending and straining process with the remaining chile mixture, garlic, onions, plantains, and tomatoes, using more vegetable broth as needed to help the blender along.
- Heat the pot of mole over low-medium and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture is starting to thicken, about 8-10 minutes. Mix in the Mexican chocolate, turn the heat down to low, and simmer (partially covered) for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Lastly, season with salt and sugar. Serve over tortillas, rice, vegetables, etc. Happy eating!