The Unconventional Curry: MEXICAN MOLE
When we talk about curry, we think of all the wonderful curries made around Middle East Asia, Southeast Asia and parts in East Asia. What is curry? At its simplest definition it’s a mix of spices or herbs which contain curry powders or pastes. What is beautiful about curry is that it’s interpreted to each country’s own taste. You have the infamous Chicken tikka masala curry or Thailand’s Gaeng Keow Wan Gai (Green Curry) and let’s not forget the sweet tasting Japanese Curry as well.
But what about Mexican mole? Its name derives from the Nahautl language which translates to “sauce.” Like curry it contains spices like cumin, cinnamon, herbs like cilantro (or fresh coriander), and nuts. If you ask someone from Mexico where Mole originated, you’ll get two answers; Puebla or Oaxaca, but of course each has their own interpretation of the dish.
Mole is a major representation of Mexico’s heritage (mixed Indigenous and European roots), with the ingredients used and the stories behind the dish. The complex flavor of mole often reminds me of other curries I’ve had. So, I ask that if you call yourself a curry connoisseur or just love spicy food, give mole a chance. You may end up agreeing with me when I say that mole is indeed a curry.
- ¼ cup of peanuts
- 2 Tbspns of vegetable oil
- Salt to taste
- 2 cups of chicken stock (or choice of stock)
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 onion
- 2 Tbspns of sesame seeds
- 1 tsp of anise
- 1 stick of cinnamon
- 2 cloves
- 4 whole peppercorns
- ½ tortilla divided in fourths
- ¼ cup of raisins
- 4 chicken breasts (optional)
- ¼ cup of almonds
- 4 red dried peppers (deveined)
- 8 dried poblano peppers (deveined)
- 10 mulato peppers (deveined)
- 2 Tbspns of Sesame seeds (extra)
- 1/3 cup of Mexican chocolate
- 1 marinated chipotle pepper
- 2 roasted tomatoes
- 6 cups of chicken stock (or other)
1. On a pan, sauté peppers until they are lightly covered with oil, set aside.
2. In the same pan lightly sauté the almonds, peanuts, raisins, tortilla, peppercorns, cloves and cinnamon stick (careful not to burn the nuts as they contain high fat and can easily burn) take them off the heat, then in a food processor, blend until a paste forms and add paste to the peppers.
3. In a deep pot, toast the anise and sesame seeds, add the peppers and paste from the previous step and pour in the 1 cup of chicken stock (until it homogenizes, add more if needed.) Cook on low heat until it thickens then set aside.
4. Sauté (or boil) the chicken and set aside
5. In a small pot add the tomatoes and chipotle, cook until it turns to a paste and add the chicken then add the 1 cup of chicken stock and add salt to taste.
6. Return the deep pot with paste and chicken stock, put on medium heat; add the chocolate and stir until melted.
7. Add the chicken to the deep pot and cook until it reaches desired thickness.
8. Sprinkle some toasted sesame seeds on top and enjoy with rice!