Molé Sauce - Food and Drink

The Element Encyclopedia of Witchcraft: The Complete A-Z for the Entire Magical World - Judika Illes 2005

Molé Sauce
Food and Drink

Among the discoveries made by the Spanish in Mexico was chocolate, indigenous to Meso-America, and previously unknown to Europeans. Chocolate was a sacred, ritual food associated with the deity Quetzalcoatl and usually served as a drink blended with ground chili peppers. (The concept of sweetened milk chocolate was born in Europe.) Molé sauce reproduces the ancient formula, blending chili peppers and chocolate. Fine molé sauce is extremely time-consuming to make and so not traditionally an everyday food but one reserved for the most sacred of days.

In Oaxaca, Mexico molé is especially associated with the Days of the Dead. Turkey molé is a favorite of spirit and villager alike. Molé sauce is spooned over turkey and sesame seeds, which represent happiness in Oaxaca, are sprinkled on top of each dish. Plates of turkey molé are placed in the center of ofrendas to delight visiting spirits.

The original recipe, while varying slightly from village to village and household to household, generally has over 30 ingredients and takes days to make, but now many shortcuts to the traditional process of making molé exist. Oaxacan markets sell the ground chocolate/chili paste by the kilo, which is quickly fried with onion and tomato and thinned with broth. This paste is also sold in the Import section of many international gourmet markets.

Angela Villalba has further adapted the traditional Oaxacan molé recipe:


One 30-ounce can red enchilada sauce

Two to four blocks Mexican hot chocolate mix (approximately 8 ounces or to taste)b

Three cloves of garlic, finely minced

One-quarter teaspoon ground oregano

Ground cinnamon to taste

Two cups chicken broth or consommé

Dried red chili flakes to taste

Toasted sesame seeds

1. Add the enchilada sauce to a large saucepan over medium heat.

2. Add the blocks of chocolate, garlic, oregano, and cinnamon.

3. When the chocolate has dissolved, add the chicken broth.

4. Stir and taste; then add the red chili flakes as desired.

5. Simmer for an hour, adding more broth if the mixture becomes dry.

6. Spoon the hot molé sauce over the main dish (traditionally turkey but it is also served over roasted chicken and Mexican dishes such as enchiladas and tamales) and sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds.

The sauce is best served the next day so that the flavors can meld.