Cheater Mole Poblano

Maria throws together a simple Mole Poblano in record time.


  • 2 dried pasilla peppers
  • 2 dried ancho peppers
  • 5 dried chipotle peppers
  • 4-5 cups hot water
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 2 teaspoons whole cumin seeds or whole peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon whole coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon whole anise seeds
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 1/4 cup almonds, soaked 4+ hours
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried marjoram or oregano
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 10 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/3 cup lard
  • 1/4 cup dried, unsweetened raisins
  • 1/4 cup dried, unsweetened cranberries
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 6 medium Roma tomatoes, roasted and squashed / or a can of roasted tomatoes
  • 1 whole cinnamon stick
  • 2 ounces dark chocolate, chopped
  • 1/4 - 1/2 cup sugar
  • Salt to taste


  1. Batch 1: Roast peppers on a comal/grill without browning them. Place them in a bowl and pour about 4-5 cups hot water in. Let them soak and release their flavor for at least 30 minutes. After soaking, blend them very well, water included. Strain the mixture and utilize this 'pepper juice' as your go-to base.
  2. While the peppers soak, work on Batch 2: the seeds! Toast the sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, whole cumin, corinader, and cloves in a skillet over medium heat until golden brown. Add them to a blender/food processor, along with the soaked almonds, bay leaves, thyme, and marjoram. Process into a paste with a bit of pepper juice. Strain this with a fine strainer and keep the juice.
  3. Batch 3: the sautéed ingredients. In a large skillet over medium heat, sauté onion and minced garlic with a bit of lard. Add cherries and raisins and cook until the dried fruit is softened.
  4. Add in tomato paste. Stir well and add roasted tomatoes, cinnamon stick, and spices. Cook covered for about 20 minutes. Transfer the ingredients to a blender and blend well. Add some pepper juice if needed.
  5. Put it all together! In a large pot or skillet, first add the sautéed blended batch, then the strained juice from the seeds, and then the remaining pepper juice. Cook for about 20 minutes until it reduces and thickens. If it's too pasty, add some chicken broth to dilute the paste.
  6. Once you see a slightly thick sauce, it's time to add the chocolate, sugar and pinch of salt. Stir well until everything melts and dissolves. Do not leave unattended or the chocolate will stick to the bottom of your pot. Your mole should end up looking thick and shiny, not pasty.
  7. Serve mole over rice, tortillas or chicken. Decorate by sprinkling some sesame seeds on top.