I don't have a photo at the moment (this was an impulse post) but will make it over Easter and post a photo then.
Mexican cuisine is vibrant, showy, and full of contrasts; think hot chilli salsa with cool guacamole, or avocado, tomato and fresh coriander spiked with lime. A meal is rarely about one dish in isolation, but more about an anchor main accompanied by side dishes.Mole (pronounced mole-ay) is quintessentially Mexican, a traditional sauce where chilli is tempered by chocolate, and infused with notes of spice and smoke to create real character. It’s different, delicious and, as with most Mexican food, inexpensive.
Mole is even better served the next day, when the flavours have found their rightful place in the scheme of things. Don’t be tempted to take shortcuts with this mole – it’s quick to assemble and well worth the cooking time.
Serves 4-6. Suitable to freeze.
Mole is especially good served simply with a dollop of sour cream, fresh coriander and nachos – but a fresh salsa*( made from fresh tomatoes seeded and chopped small, peeled chopped garlic, finely diced red onion, minced seeded fresh chilli (optional), a squeeze of lime or lemon, chopped fresh coriander, salt and pepper) enhances it even further. Add diced avocado if you like, and partner it all with a spoonful or two of sour cream.Mole is equally as good with tacos or tortillas, rice, baked potatoes or cornbread.
¾ cup black turtle beans, soaked for 5 hours or overnight1 x 400g eggplant
4 Tbsp oil
1 large onion, peeled and sliced
5-6 red chillies, about 6cm long, seeded and finely chopped
2 large red capsicums, diced
6 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped finely
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp sweet (dulce) Spanish smoked paprika
2 x 400g tins peeled, chopped tomatoes
or 1 kg fresh, peeled and chopped
1 ½ cups water
30g dark, 70% chocolate
salt and pepper to taste
fresh tomato salsa,* sour cream, finely chopped coriander, lime or lemon
Preheat the oven to 190 C.Slice the eggplant into 2cm dice, toss with enough oil to lightly coat, (about ¼ cup), and salt lightly. Transfer to an oven tray and roast for 25 minutes or until golden, turning once. Remove from the oven and set aside. Turn the oven down to 170 c.
Meanwhile, heat the 4 Tbsp oil over a medium heat in a large, heavy based oven to table casserole dish. Sauté the onion and chillies, garlic and capsicums until well softened, adding a little more oil if necessary.
Stir in the cinnamon, ground coriander, paprika and smoked paprika and sauté for a few minutes more.
Add the tomatoes with their juice, and the water.
Stir in the soaked beans and the roasted eggplant. Heat to simmer point and stir in the finely chopped chocolate. Cover the casserole dish and transfer to the oven. Bake at 170 c for two hours, stirring occasionally.
Taste, then add salt and pepper to your liking.
Serve with sour cream and/or fresh salsa as outlined above*, and try it with nachos or baked potatoes, tortillas, or any of the other suggestions.