Little Red Mole Sauce

  • Serves

    makes 6 cups

This popular mole—subtle, spicy, slightly sweet, earthy-red in color—is one of the seven classic moles for which Oaxaca, Mexico, is known. It is especially good served over herbed roast pork.


  • 10 dried guajillo chiles, washed
  • 2 lb. ripe tomatoes, coarsely chopped
  • 1 large yellow onion, coarsely chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 1 tbsp. dried oregano, crumbled
  • 1 tbsp. dried epazote, crumbled
  • 1 bouquet garni of 6 whole allspice, 1 stick canela (Mexican cinnamon), and 4 whole peppercorns, wrapped in cheesecloth
  • 12 cup sesame seeds
  • 12 cup raisins
  • 4 cups Chicken Stock
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper


Step 1

Remove stems and seeds from chiles. Dry-roast chiles in a cast-iron skillet for 5 minutes over high heat, turning often so that they don't burn. Remove chiles from heat and soften in a bowl with 2 cups very hot water for 15 minutes. Put chiles, tomatoes, onions, garlic, oregano, epazote, and bouquet garni in a pot with 2 cups water and simmer over low heat for about 30 minutes. Remove from heat. Discard bouquet garni. Puree sauce in small batches in a blender to make a smooth paste.

Step 2

In a nonstick pan, toast the sesame seeds until golden, then place in a bowl and set aside to cool. In the same pan, toast raisins over medium heat until plump, about 5 minutes. Cool. Grind seeds with a mortar and pestle or in a small electric grinder. When you have a smooth paste, add raisins and then continue to grind until smooth again.

Step 3

Combine the puree with the sesame-raisin paste and the chicken stock and simmer over low heat for 2-3 hours, stirring occasionally. Season with salt and pepper to taste. The mole should have a thick, smooth consistency.

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