Fire in the mole!

In Recipes on December 31, 2010 at 3:37 am

I wasn’t a huge fan of the book or the movie version of  ‘Like Water for Chocolate’, what kept me intrigued was the elaborate mole that the main character was making throughout.  Like other great food movies (think ‘Babette’s Feast’) the food was the star.  Not in a gross and gluttonous way like ‘Le Grande Bouffe’, where the characters are eating themselves to death, or a murderous way like the French movie ‘Delicatessen’.  Nor in a sinister way like Hannibal Lecter smacking his chops over a nice piece of (human) liver and a glass of Chianti in ‘Silence of the Lambs’.  No, in this story good food is to be cherished, it is inextricably bound up with love and pleasure, it is an affirmation of life, a form of therapy and a kind of alchemy.

I have been making my own mole for a few years now.  Every time I make it is slightly different though it always contains chillies and cocoa.  I’m constantly reading about new versions (it seems that no two moles are the same) so I’m often trying a new ingredient.  Here is my latest version.

Grilled chicken with mole and tomato and avocado salsa

Chocolate and chilli mole


1 1/2 tsp chilli flakes

1/2 tsp allspice powder

1/2 cinnamon stick

1 1/2 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp black pepper

1/2 tsp dried thyme

2 tsp cocoa powder

1/2 tsp fennel powder

1 large onion (finely chopped)

1 jalapeno chilli (finely chopped)

2 cloves garlic (finely chopped)

1-2 tbs sunflower oil

425g can diced tomatoes (Italian ones are the best)

1 cup chicken stock

3 tbsp finely crushed unsalted peanuts


Heat oil in a heavy based fry pan.  Gently saute onion, garlic and chopped jalapeno chilli.  Add herbs, spices and cocoa.  Cook gently for about 1 minute or until fragrant.  Add diced tomatoes and chicken stock (if chicken stock is salty don’t add any salt at this point, you can always add it at the end).  Simmer gently for 45 mins.  Add ground peanuts, simmer gently for a further 15 mins.  Season and finish with finely chopped mint or coriander.  Serve spooned over grilled chicken, beef or prawns.

  1. […] see December archives for ‘Fire in the Mole‘ and ‘ I feel a hot wind on my […]

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