My daughter has been staying, and she and her boyfriend cooked me this dish. I didn’t really see what they put in it, but I did some research afterwards. I was sort of watching, and then I looked up some more information about the recipe.
First off, think of guacamole, an avocado dish. The last part of that word, that is how you pronounce mole, it means a sauce, and there are many kinds. The type of mole that was prepared for me was an especially complicated one, to celebrate the fact that we were all together for Easter.
This recipe is based on a celebratory dish that is prepared usually for the Mexican day of the dead. The spice mix is usually prepared in a spice mill, and can contain thirty or more ingredients, including several types of chillies, chocolate, nuts, sesame seeds and dried fruit. The resulting sauce is dark, unctuous and rich, fruity and spicy.
We used a small mechanical spice grinder to mix and grind the dried ingredients, and then used a soup wand to make sure the sauce was rich and smooth before adding the black beans.
- 25g Pumpkin seeds
- 25g Pecan nuts
- 25g Almonds
- 1 tsp black peppercorns
- 2 tsp coriander seeds
- 2 tsp cumin seeds
- 8 cloves
- 50g Sesame seeds for a garnish at the end
- Peanut or sunflower oil
- A mixture of dried chillies (the suggested trio is mulato, ancho and morita, I used paprika, cayenne, birdseye and chipotle) – to taste.
- 8 cloves of garlic
- 1 red onion, chopped
- 1 tin of chopped tomatoes or 8 whole tomatoes
- 700ml vegetable stock
- 2 tsp oregano (more authentic would be Mexican Oregano)
- 2 tsp thyme (more authentic would be Epazote)
- A pinch of anise powder
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- Dried white bread, or panko breadcrumbs
- 1 tbsp smooth peanut butter
- 1 tbsp tahini
- 1-2 tsp date syrup, to taste and add a fruity flavour
- 25g dark unsweetened chocolate, the expensive stuff
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 to 3 tins of black beans, drained
- Chopped coriander leaves
Most of the herbs and spices are available from Seasoned Pioneers – but you’d have to be really keen to get to grips with Mexican cookery, or like a very cluttered spice shelf.
- In a large dry pan, over a low to medium heat, toast all of the nuts, pumpkin seeds and whole spices for around five minutes. Stir all the time, and don’t take your eye off them, so they don’t burn. Set aside. Grind the toasted dried ingredients in the spice mill once they have cooled.
- In the same pan, toast the sesame seeds the same way, and set aside.
- Wipe the pan clean, and cook the peppers in oil for around three minutes, until they are beginning to char, around three minutes.
- Add the whole garlic cloves for the last thirty seconds and continue to cook. When done, set aside.
- In the same pan, add a little more oil. Gently fry the chopped red onion until it is beginning to brown
- Add the tomatoes and bring to a simmer, you could also add soaked dried apricots or sultanas at this stage
- Set aside the toasted sesame seeds to garnish at the end. To the pan, add in the rest toasted ingredients, herbs, cinnamon and anise powder, the dried bread crumbs, peanut butter, tahini and the stock, and blend with a soup blender.
- Make sure the sauce is really smooth, you may want to put it through a coarse strainer or fine mouli, just to get it smooth enough.
- Once the sauce is smooth enough and any stray seeds have been sieved out, bring it back to a simmer for around five minutes to cook the flavours together. Season with salt to taste.
- Melt the chocolate into the sauce. Adjust the sweetness and fruitiness with the date syrup. Here is the point when you can start testing the sauce and add ingredients to get it just right.
- Drain the beans, and add to the smooth sauce. Garnish with toasted sesame seeds and chopped coriander.
Serve with lime wedges to add some sourness, and some plain boiled rice. You could also serve guacamole as a side dish, but buying avocadoes in the local shops can be a bit of a gamble. For a less vegetarian version, you could use fried fish cakes or broiled chicken instead of the black beans.