¡Acabo de descubrir cómo hacer la “¡”!
And now, moving on from my grammatical excitement (¡!), lets talk mole. (just a note, I’m talking about the edible, chocolate-chilli sauce, not this furry little guy).
Mole, in Mexico, refers to a number of different sauces. However, we usually understand it to refer to the particular sauce, made of several varieties of chilli and chocolate. This, I am told by the internets, is more accurately called, Mole Poblano.
After reading a number of Mole recipes online, several questions emerged. Where would I find the ingredients? What would I replace the chicken with? And, most importantly, who would eat the vast amount of sauce the recipe resulted in?
The questions proved easier to answer than I first anticipated. I decided to use tempeh (which is far too often overlooked in our house) instead of a chicken, and some more research led me to a Mexican grocer in Tullamarine. Last, I remembered a campaign review meeting I was supposed to bring food to, and decided these would be preciesly the large group of people to feed the huge batch of sauce to.
So off I trooped first thing in the morning (well, after clients at 6am, so almost first thing), to Aztec Mexican, where I was met with very friendly and helpful service and a range of chillies, spices, tortillas, corn flours and other Mexican ingredients. For anyone considering heading there, I definitely recommend, though, as per usual, vegans should be aware of labels as some products that you wouldn’t normally check contain lard. Also, it should be noted that it doesn’t look like much from the outside. It looks like a warehouse. Just head to the office, and they’ll let you in to the shop behind.
I got a little over excited, and bought the chillies I needed, as well as some corn tortillas, a tin of poblano chillies, and some mexican chocolate. Yum!
I then spent more time poring over recipes. In the end, I condensed two recipes into one. I will not post a recipe as such, but direct you to the two I followed, here, and here. I am adding the ingredients list I used at the bottom of this post though, as a guide.
So I soaked, and blended and ground and simmered, and then blended everything again with my trusty stick blender. The result was a spicy, deep-flavoured sauce, which was, to be honest, a little odd to our tastes. It was very strong and very hot, though the heat wasn’t unpleasant. The sesame and almonds really came through, as did the smoke flavour from the chipotles. It was much less smooth than those pictured elsewhere on the net, but I put that down to the fact that i don’t have a real blender.
Mr ate it, but wasn’t a big fan. It seemed to go down well at the meeting-cum-potluck, but I think a fair bit of that may have been hype about the idea of chocolate for dinner.
Don’t let it put you off – it was an interesting dinner, and I think it worked well in the context of a potluck. It wasn’t bad, I’m just not in a rush to make it again.
Unfortunately, I didn’t get a good photo, having rushed it to the meeting in a large plastic container. Rest assured it looked somewhat better than this:
Ingredients List for Vegan Mole Poblano
- 2 dried pasilla chilies (called Chillis Negros at AztecMexican)
- 3 dried mulato chilies
- 3 dried ancho chilies
- 2 dried chipotle chillies
- 1/2 cup lightly packed sultanas
- Water to cover
- 3/4 cup almonds
- Cinnamon stick
- 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
- I tortilla, broken in small pieces
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon anise seeds
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 diced onions
- 3 medium tomatoes, peeled, seeded and coarsely chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- some pretend beef stock in water (I can’t remember how much)
- 1 disk Mexican chocolate
- 1 tablespoon cocoa powder (my addition)
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste (my addition)
- 2 packets of tempeh, fried in olive oil