Señora Camacho’s Mole

I will be forever in debt to my friend Carmen, who showed me the magic secret to making great mole. I had been making mole for years but her little trick made my mole perfect and perfect every time. This picture was taken several years ago when a bunch of us got together in the church soup kitchen of St. Mary’s Church and built close to 1000 tamales for the Fiesta de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe, which is celebrated on 12 December. I use this mole for traditional mole dishes served over rice, and for pozole, and also for tamales.
Are you ready? You can make as much or little of this as you like, and you don’t have to have every single thing and you have a lot of substitutions in what chiles you use. I’ve found that the magic with chiles is always use several different kinds, dried and fresh for the best overall chile flavor. You can substitute nuts if you like for sunflower seeds, and you can also throw in a little white flour browned in olive oil for a really rich smooth mole. If the chocolate and cinnamon doesn’t sound good to you it is OK to leave it out.

  • 3 dried red chiles (colorado, Nuevo Mexico, or other big flat red ones)
  • 3 chile de arbol
  • 6 chile piquin (if you can find it)
  • 1 large Onion sliced
  • 2 Tbsp cocoa
  • 1 fresh or pickled jalapeñno
  • 2 fresh or pickled serranos
  • 1/2 cinnamon stick or 1/2 tsp powdered
  • 3 Tbsp sunflower seeds
  • 3 Tomatoes and/or 3 Tbsp caldo de tomate
  • 1 tsp. sesame seeds
  • 3-4 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1-2 bay leaf
  • 1.5 tsp cumin
  • salt to taste
  • water to cover

Boil every thing together until chiles and onions are soft — about half an hour but it will be longer if you multiply the recipe. Now grind everything up in the blender and run it through a strainer. Throw away the solid stuff left in the strainer because it will make your mole taste bitter if you leave it in.

Here is the secret: When you are ready to add the mole to your recipe, toss in about 1.5 Tbsp sugar (piloncillo if you have it, but brown sugar works fine.) When ready to serve, squeeze a bit of lime juice over it and garnish with fresh chopped cilantro. So what are you waiting for?
Get out there and serve Mex at your next big event and then go over to the Presenter’s Network and tell us about it! Feel free to comment here as well!

1,817 Responses to “Señora Camacho’s Mole”

  • Ooh, I’ve bookmarked this page. I LOVE mole and I actually have almost all of the ingredients to make it. AND I’ve been planning to make enchiladas. I was going to make ranchero sauce but this sounds so much better. What’s your favorite filling for mole enchiladas?

    monicas last blog post..Grown-up Talk about Budgets and Food

  • admin:

    Thanks for dropping by. Mole enchiladas — some people like them cheesy. My Mexican friends like shredded chicken and pork but I’m pretty much a vegetarian. I combined this mole with black beans once and that didn’t go over too well. I’ve used this sauce with tofu and that works pretty well as long as the tofu is very fresh. Wow I’m amazed you can get things like dried chiles in the UK!

  • Oh, I had one of my friends from former home in Austin, TX ship me dried chilies after I moved to London. And when my mom came to visit last month, she brought me fresh corn tortillas! =) I can’t live without my Mexican food.

    I’m making spinach/mushroom enchiladas tonight but I’m not sure if the mole would work well for that combo. It seems to need something a bit milder in flavor, so that the mole stands out! Tofu is a good idea. I can’t wait to try this.

    monicas last blog post..Grown-up Talk about Budgets and Food