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Traditional Molé

Raven Higheagle


The story behind this sauce tells of two nuns surprised by a visitor. They had little in the way of food and so they used a molcajete to grind every ingredient they could find and simmered it in liquid until it thickened into a sauce.


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Makes about 6 cups
10 Min
1 Hr
Stove Top


  • 12
    guajillo chiles, roasted, skinned, stemmed and seeded
  • 3 large
    tomatoes, roasted and peeled
  • 1/4 c
  • 1 large
    white onion, peeled and sliced
  • 8 clove
  • 1 stick
    cinnamon torn into small pieces
  • 1 Tbsp
    mexican oregano
  • 1/4 c
    unsalted peanuts or unsweetened peanut butter
  • 1
    whole clove
  • 1/4 c
    masa harina
  • 1 tsp
    cocoa powder
  • 1/4 tsp
  • 1/4 tsp
    anise seeds
  • 1/4 c
    raisins, soaked in water to soften (optional)
  • 3
  • 4 c
    chicken stock
  • ·
    sesame seed to sprinkle on top when serving

How to Make Traditional Molé


  1. Note: The traditional way is to mash all of the ingredients except the broth, with a molcajete (mortar and pestle) but a blender will also do the job just fine.
  2. Heat the lard in a large saucepan. Add in the onions and garlic and cook until translucent.
  3. In a blender, puree the peanuts then add in the oregano, cinnamon, anise, peppercorns, thyme and cloves and blend with the tomatoes. Puree to make a smooth paste.
  4. Add in the onions and garlic and puree again. Finally, add chiles to blender to puree into a smooth paste.
  5. Add the chicken broth to the pot and add the pureed ingredients.
  6. Make a roux, by mixing the masa with a 1/4 cup of the chicken broth.
  7. Mix the roux into the broth and whisk until mixture is smooth. Add the pureed ingredients and simmer for 1 hour, covered and then simmer uncovered until sauce has thickened.
  8. Sprinkle sesame seeds on top when serving.

Printable Recipe Card

About Traditional Molé

Course/Dish: Other Sauces
Main Ingredient: Vegetable
Regional Style: Mexican

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