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Cathy Katin-Grazzini

Cathy’s Kitchen Prescription LLC


Red Mole

There are many varieties of Mexican mole sauces. Some have long lists of ingredients and are laborious to make. This Red Mole is simple to make and allows its medley of flavorful chilis to shine. Its texture is thick, velvety, and luscious. It excites the senses. Enjoy Red Mole on your enchiladas and tostadas but don’t stop there: This luscious sauce makes a tasty sandwich spread, a seasoning for chilies and soups, and an exciting topping on baked potatoes, beans or any dish that calls for a hit of its delightful fruitiness, smokiness, gentle heat, and sweetness.


Prep 30 minutes to steep chiles, plus 15 minutes

Makes 4 cups


7 tablespoons date paste from 1 cup dried pitted dates

2 teaspoons Mexican (Ceylon) cinnamon – not cassia, freshly ground

½ teaspoon cloves, freshly ground

4 ancho chiles

2 guajillo chiles

2 pasilla chiles

2 chiles de arbol

2 teaspoons cacao

3 tablespoons tomato paste

Several grinds black pepper

5 tablespoons aka miso paste, or more to taste


  • To make date paste place the dates in a pyrex bowl, cover with water, and microwave for 2 minutes. Cover and steep for 5 minutes or until the dates have rehydrated and softened. Add the softened dates to a high-speed blender with only as much of its soaking water as needed to purée the dates into a dense, smooth paste.
  • Use a coffee grinder to reduce the Mexican cinnamon quills to a fine powder.
  • Use a coffee grinder to process the cloves into a powder too.
  • Heat a skillet over a medium flame for 2 minutes. Add the dried ancho, guajillo, and pasilla chiles with the chiles de arbol to the hot skillet, pressing them down with a spatula and flipping them periodically until they soften, darken, and become fragrant, about 5 minutes. 
  • Transfer the chiles to a bowl and cover immediately with boiling water. Cover the bowl to enable the chiles to steep for a minimum of 30 minutes, during which time they will soften completely.
  • Remove the chiles from the bowl, reserving the soaking water. Remove their stems, slit them open to scrape out their seeds.
  • Toss the deseeded chiles into a high-speed blender. Add cacao, freshly ground cinnamon and cloves, date paste, tomato paste, black pepper, and some of the aka miso paste. Blend at high speed to create a thick, creamy, smooth mole sauce.
  • Taste to correct all seasonings, adding miso if judiciously. You should be able to perceive each ingredient in harmony and balance.
  • Red mole can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week or in a freezer for 3 months.


Red Mole Sauce

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