"Mole" is rather complex, and can vary among the regions of Mexico. There are many types, or styles of this sauce!
Traditionally, it supposedly hails from the state of Puebla in Mexico, in the Convent of Santa Rosa. There is a legend of some very poor convent nuns panicking about what to make for the Archbishop that was to visit them. So they prayed, and literally started throwing together everything they could find to make a sauce, butchered and cooked a turkey, and served the turkey with the sauce they created to the Archbishop. He absolutely loved it, and asked one of the nun's what the dish was, and she replied, "I made a mole." (Mole was the ancient term for "mix"." ) The sauce they made was comprised of: spices, bread, chocolate, chili peppers, and nuts.
Although there are similar versions of this story, it appears that they all seem to include an Archbishop, turkey, and the same spices/ ingredients for the sauce. Some people believe that this sauce could have originated with the natives much farther back in history, but there is not enough evidence to support that theory. The first recipes for Mole didn't emerge until after the end of the Mexican War of Independence in 1810. Chiles are the key ingredient to the sauce, and the Mole Poblano is the most classic version, (dark red or brown in color), and is served over meat. Other items that are variants to the sauce include: nuts, seeds, dried fruit, cilantro or oregano, onions, garlic, chocolate, and cinnamon.
For this blend that I have created, I've opted to also include a bit of espresso powder- which deepens and intensifies the bold flavor. The chocolate is subtle, and not overwhelming. It is meant to add color, and balance the heat of the chiles. I would like to add that even though there are a few different types of chilis in this blend, the mole is not meant to be "hot" in spice. The chili powders chosen were all mild- according to the heat scale.
So if you are not one for really spicy dishes, fear not! (Trust me, I am not one for eating super spicy foods.)
One of my favorite, (and more recent), products on the market is the "PB2 Powder", (powdered peanuts), which is excellent for adding thickness, flavor, and smoothness to the sauce as well.
Making this spice blend ahead of time makes for a quick and easy sauce! (Literally 5min. or less!)
I absolutely love Moles, and it really adds amazing flavor to almost any kind of meat; chicken, turkey, beef, pork, fish, etc. (My dad really likes to add a mole flavor to his refried beans as well!)
The sauce is excellent for most any traditional Mexican dish, or simply served over most any kind of meat, but can also be used as a rub for meat, or added to soups, chilis, or even brownies! (Think outside the box!)
*****For nut allergies, simply omit the nuts altogether!
Yield: 1 cup
Prep time: About 15 min.
1 1/2 T. of Ancho Chili powder
1 1/4 T. of Green chili powder
3 1/4 T. of La Mesa Dark chili powder
2 T. of New Mexican Red chili powder
2 T. ground cumin
1/2 T. Garlic powder
1/2 T. ground cinnamon
1/2 T. espresso powder
1 T. toasted sesame seeds
1/2 T. of dried Mexican Oregano or dried Cilantro
1/8 cup of Dark Cocoa powder
1/8 cup of PB2 powder (found near the peanut butter in most stores)
****The dried chili powders can be found at most Spice stores, Import Markets, or Food Co-Ops
1) Toast your sesame seeds: Simply add the sesame seeds to a small saute pan on medium heat, ( NO OIL!), and stir the seeds, (or gently shake the pan a bit), until they begin to turn golden brown. Remove from heat, and allow to cool to room temp.
2) In a bowl, simply add all of the spices/ ingredients, blend well by lightly whisking or stirring, and spoon into a mason jar, seal, and be sure to label. Keep the spice blend in a cool and dry place.
******To make a sauce: Simply add about 1/2 cup of spice blend for every 1/4 cup of broth, whisk together in a sauce pan on medium, and cook until sauce is thickened. You can adjust thickness to your liking by add more or less of either spice blend or broth.
****Make sure to add salt to taste, as there is no salt added to this blend! You can add more of the spices to adjust sauce to your liking.