Top | Cooking with the Seasons at Rancho La Puerta

Three Sisters Black Mole

(recipe, Deborah Szekely, Deborah Schneider, Jesús González)


For the best flavor, use mulato chiles; they provide the essential subtle flavor and give the mole its black color. Serve the mole with any kind of cooked fish or tofu, as well as with beans and rice. It also tastes great on potatoes and other cooked vegetables. Always serve mole with lots of fresh, warm corn tortillas.


  1. 4 large dry guajillo chiles, about 1 ounce
  2. 3 large dried mulato or pasilla chiles, about 1½ ounces
  3. ½ cup raw, skinless peanuts
  4. ¼ cup whole almonds
  5. One 3-inch cinnamon stick
  6. 1 corn tortilla, torn into pieces
  7. ¼ cup sesame seeds
  8. 3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  9. 3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  10. 1 large white onion, peeled and cut into ½-inch dice
  11. 3 oz. Mexican chocolate (Ibarra or Abuelita brand)
  12. ½ cup tomato sauce or 2 Roma tomatoes, cored, seeded, and chopped
  13. 2 tsp. sea salt
  14. ¼ tsp. fresh ground black pepper
  15. 6 cups vegetable stock


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Wearing gloves, remove the stems, seeds, and inner ribs from the chiles, and tear the chiles into large pieces.
  3. Spread the peanuts, almonds, cinnamon stick, tortilla pieces, and sesame seeds on a large rimmed baking sheet. Toast in the oven for about 10 minutes, or until golden brown, being careful to not burn the sesame seeds.
  4. In a large sauté pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Sauté the dried chiles, garlic, and onion, stirring constantly, for about 5 minutes, or until well blended and fragrant.
  5. Add the toasted ingredients and cook, stirring constantly, for 5 minutes, being careful not to burn the chiles or nuts.
  6. Break up the chocolate and add to the pan along with the tomato sauce, salt, and black pepper, and sauté for 3 minutes.
  7. Add the stock and cook for 20 minutes at low heat.
  8. Remove the cinnamon stick and discard. Put the mole in a blender jar and purée until very smooth. Serve hot, or refrigerate until ready to use, for up to 3 days. You can also freeze the mole for up to 6 months.


Culinate editor's note: If you like, simmer small pieces of chicken (such as thighs) in the mole sauce until cooked, then serve over rice.