Mole coloradito

This smoky, fiery mole coloradito recipe by Nud Dudhia needs a long, slow cooking but is worth the wait. The versatile Mexican sauce can be used as a dip, slathered over roast chicken or used as a base for a vibrant mole rojo sauce.

First published in 2017
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Mole coloradito is a staple Mexican base sauce made up from a variety of dried chillies, a fruit, a nut and often dark chocolate (amongst many other things). Like most traditional dishes, each region and family has their own special recipe. This one is inspired by the mole you find on the coast of Oaxaca where Nud Dudhia, head chef at Breddos Tacos, lived for some time in the summer of 2001.

Because it contains so many costly ingredients and takes a long time to make, the sauce would traditionally be made in big batches for special occasions. Though you can toast ingredients in a hot pan or oven, toasting over an open flame gives you that rich smoky flavour, so if you have time, why not light up the barbecue and make a whole day of it. This recipe is for 1.5kg, which you can use as is, as a base for mole rojo, or freeze down in batches.

The different varieties of chillies are starting to become available in supermarkets or are found easily online.

Ingredients

Metric

Imperial

Mole coloradito

Equipment

  • High-power blender
  • Fine sieve

Method

1
To begin, toast the chillies in a hot, dry frying pan until fragrant and slightly charred for about 3–4 minutes. Allow to cool, then depending on how hot you want it, crack open and discard the stalks and seeds
2
Grind the chillies to a powder in a spice grinder or good blender (a well-ventilated room is advised whenever processing chillies, so open the window and make sure your extractor fan is on if you have one)
3
Use the same pan to toast the peanuts and almonds until the oil just starts to be released from the nuts, giving them a nice glossy appearance
4
Remove from the pan then toast the walnuts until they start to crackle. Repeat with the seeds (take the time to toast all the different nuts and seeds separately as they each have different cooking times). Transfer all the nuts and seeds to a blender, blitz to a powder and set aside
5
Using the same pan again, toast the cinnamon, cloves and allspice until fragrant. Allow to cool then grind to a powder
6
Roughly break up the garlic into cloves and toast in the hot pan until the skins are blackened. Allow to cool, then peel
7
In a large pan, heat up 3 tbsp lard until melted. Add the roughly chopped onion and cook on a medium-high heat until they start to brown and soften. Add the peeled garlic and dried fruit
8
Once soft, blend together with the ground nuts, seeds, spices and oregano to a textured paste
9
Return the pan to the heat and add 5 tbsp of lard. Once scorching hot, add the paste (be careful, it will spit), turn down the heat and cook the paste out for 5 minutes. Keep stirring and scraping the bottom of the pan to avoid burning
10
Add the ground chillies, chocolate and sugar and cook out for a further 5 minutes, adding more lard if required. As the chocolate melts it will start to give the mole a nice sheen
11
Add 1.5l water, give the bottom of the pan a good scrape and a stir and bring the mixture to the boil. Turn the heat down and slowly simmer for 1 hour. Taste and season with sea salt
12
If the mixture gets too thick, add some more water – the end result should be dry, shiny and the consistency of yoghurt. If you want a really smooth mole, you can pass the mixture through a fine sieve at this stage. Otherwise, portion in freezer bags, or it will keep in the fridge for around 10 days

Nud’s journey began in a makeshift taco shack in a car park in Hackney, where he set up Breddos Tacos with his business partner Chris Whitney.

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