What is Mole? Considered as one of the most representative dishes of Mexico, Mole comes from the Nahuatl word molli or mulli, meaning sauce. The latter often referred to a mixture of tomatoes and chili varieties. It is never eaten on its own and it is traditionally served as a vegetable, meat, or fish companion. While most people would normally associate this richly textured sauce with chocolate, there is no single ingredient that makes Mole a Mole. In fact, the term is an umbrella word for sauces that contain chilies, nuts, herbs and spices. So what is extraordinary about it?
When properly made, a mole is a true mélange, an unexpected fusion of flavors so expertly balanced that no single taste is identifiable. Individually, the ingredients are great by themselves but collectively, they are sublime. This is why it is common to hear that “Mole doesn’t taste the sum of its ingredients.” It is a case of the sum being greater than the whole. There is no one recipe for it. The cooking approach varies from family to family and it is usually a well-guarded secret passed down through generation. It is also worth nothing that the ingredient list depends on the region of the country it is made. Aside from the basic ones listed above, there are normally more than 15 ingredients used in the recipe.
Carob Mole Recipe
For our recipe, we drew inspiration from mole poblano. It is a type of mole that utilizes one to two types of chili and one that requires traditional ingredients such as chocolate and cinnamon.
This carob mole recipe is designed for those who are allergic to chocolate but would love to experience the magic that mole brings.
The secret behind Mole-making is through its subtle layers of flavors. The base of course is the expected ingredients. Then you have the herbs and spices, pastes and liquids. The challenge is how to extract the best flavor out of everything. Afterwards, all components are then mixed and ground to create an incredibly tasty thick paste.
It appears that the methods required are arduous but trust us when we say that it is all worth it. Half the enjoyment is the smell inside the kitchen. The sauce will be incredibly aromatic and it improves further as the flavors wield together.
We hope you enjoy this luscious dish. Serve this carob mole sauce over cooked meat, beans or rice. Or if preferred, with Carob Cornbread.
Carob Mole Recipe
- 1 immersion blender
- 1 cup diced onion (or one medium white or sweet onion)
- 1/2 cup spring onions, chopped
- 3 tbsps extra virgin olive oil
- 1 pc jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
HERBS AND SPICES
- 1/4 tsp ground cayenne (this gives a nice touch of heat but skip if you prefer the flavors to be milder
- 1 tbsp ground paprika
- 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tbsp arrowroot flour
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 cup almond milk, unsweetened and original
- 1 cup strong coffee (or one heaping teaspoon of instant espresso mixed in a cup of water
- 1/2 cup red wine (a nice red wine, not cooking wine)
- 1 1/2 tbsps real and all-natural soy sauce (use non-wheat type if preferred)
- Sauté the onions in the olive oil until translucent, approximately 5 to 7 minutes.
- Add the jalapeno, mix and sauté an additional couple of minutes.
- Remove from the heat and stir in the herbs and spices, and then the pastes. It will be thick.
- Add all the liquids and mix well to incorporate, breaking up any clumps of the pastes.
- Put back on low heat and simmer until it has a thickened consistency.
- When the mole has thickened to a pourable sauce, remove from heat, and with an immersion mixer, blend it completely.
- Serve it warm over cooked meat, or beans and rice, or as you prefer.