Ignacio Urquiza
Mole Madre
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Mole Madre

Pujol, Mexico City, Enrique Olvera - March 2014

For 4 servings (requires advance preparation)


  • 1 sm. heirloom tomato
  • 3 Tbsps. (28g) plantain in skin
  • 9 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 3 Tbsps. (28g) onion, chopped
  • 1/3 tsp. (.85g) ground cinnamon
  • 1/3 tsp. (.85g) ground nutmeg
  • 1/3 tsp. (.85g) ground clove
  • 1/3 tsp. (.85g) ground allspice
  • 1/3 tsp. (.85g) ground star anise
  • 1/2 Tbsp. (3g) fresh ginger, peeled and minced
  • 1/2 prune
  • 8 raisins
  • 1 Tbsp. (8g) sesame seeds
  • 2 2/3 tsps. (8g) almonds, roughly chopped
  • 1 1/3 tsps. (4g) peanuts, roughly chopped
  • 1 1/3 tsps. (4g) pecans, roughly chopped
  • 1/3 tsp. (.85g) dried thyme
  • 1/3 tsp. (.85g) dried marjoram
  • 1/3 tsp. (.85g) dried oregano
  • 1/2 oz. (14g) dried chilhuacle rojo chiles, stem and seeds removed
  • 1/2 oz. (14g) dried chilhuacle amarillo chiles, stem and seeds removed
  • 1/2 oz. (14g) dried negro chilhuacle chiles, stem and seeds removed
  • 1 tsp. (5ml) grapeseed oil
  • 1/2 oz. (14g) Oaxacan chocolate, roughly chopped
  • sea salt
  • granulated sugar
  1. Heat a comal or cast-iron griddle over high heat; roast tomato, turning occasionally, until beginning to burst; remove from heat; place on a plate; roast plantain in skin, turning occasionally, until softened; remove from heat; place on same plate; roast garlic and onion, stirring occasionally, until softened; place on same plate; wipe off comal; toast cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, allspice, star anise, and ginger, stirring occasionally, until fragrant; place on another plate; roast prune and raisins, stirring occasionally, until slightly plumped and softened; place on plate with tomatoes; toast sesame seeds, almonds, peanuts, and pecans, stirring occasionally, until brown; remove from heat; place on plate with spices; toast thyme, marjoram, and oregano, stirring occasionally, until fragrant; place on plate with spices; toast chiles, turning occasionally, until slightly blackened; place on same plate; reserve.

  2. Place spices, seeds and nuts, herbs, and chiles in a molcajete or large mortar and grind into a paste; place in a bowl; peel plantain; add to molcajete with tomatoes, onion, garlic, and fruit; grind to a smooth paste; place in another bowl; reserve.

  3. Heat oil in a saucepan set over high heat; add vegetable and fruit paste; cook, stirring occasionally, 20 minutes; add spice paste; cook, stirring occasionally, 20 minutes; add chocolate; stir until melted and combined; season; add sugar to taste (bitter, spicy, and sweet should be balanced); remove mole from heat; reserve.


  • 4 1/4 tsps. (20g) pickling lime
  • 1/2 cup (117ml) hot water
  • 1 1/2 oz. (43g) dried corn
  • salt
  1. Dissolve pickling lime in hot water in large nonreactive saucepan, stirring constantly; bring to a boil; add corn; simmer 45 minutes; remove from heat; cool; cover; let stand at room temperature overnight.

  2. Drain corn; rinse well under cold water; pat dry; grind in a corn and grain mill to consistency of masa de maíz; add a few drops of water if needed to make a thick corn dough; season.

  3. Heat comal or cast-iron griddle over high heat; divide masa into .7 oz. (20g) balls; working one at at a time, press balls into flat rounds; cook tortillas 10 seconds; flip; cook on other side 10 seconds; flip again; cook 10 seconds; remove from heat; stack between sheets of parchment or waxed paper; cover; repeat with remaining masa; reserve (keep warm).


  • salt
  • 3 2/3 tsps. (10g) sesame seeds
  • sesame oil
  • 2 Tbsps. plus 1/3 tsp. (32ml) grapeseed oil
  1. Mix salt into 1/2 cup (117ml) hot water in a bowl to create a brine, stirring until salt is dissolved; heat a skillet over medium-high heat; add sesame seeds; cook, tossing occasionally and adding small amounts of brine a little at a time, until brown (let some seeds brown a little more than others); remove from heat; place in a bowl; cool; add a few drops sesame oil; toss to coat; reserve.

  2. Heat mole until hot; reserve (keep warm).

  3. To serve, heat grapeseed oil in a skillet; working one at a time, very quickly heat tortillas in skillet; remove from heat; blot with paper towels; dip in mole; remove from mole; place in center of serving plate; sprinkle with sesame seeds.

What to drink: Mezcal from wild agave, like Koch Tepextate