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Hibiscus and Pecan Mole

10 servings
Mole de flor de jamaica y nuez, Adapted from Patricia Quintana


  • 9 oz ancho chiles, stemmed and seeded
  • 6 oz pasilla chiles, stemmed and seeded
  • 6 cups boiling water
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil or shortening
  • 1 cup white onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 cups dried hibiscus flowers
  • 1 cup pecans
  • 1 cup pitted prunes
  • 1 1/4 cup ripe plantain, peeled and sliced
  • 3 Corn tortillas, cut into squares
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup grated or chopped piloncillo or brown sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 5 cloves, whole
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • Toasted sesame seeds, to decorate

To Prepare

  • Preheat a comal, cast iron pan or nonstick skillet over low-medium heat. Toast chiles gently for about 10 seconds per side, being careful not to let them burn. Place them in a mixing bowl, cover them with boiling hot water and let them soak for 20 to 30 minutes until rehydrated, place chiles and water in batches in the food processor or blender and puree until smooth.
  • In a large, extended sauté pan, add oil and set over medium-high heat until hot, 1 or 2 minutes. Add onion and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes, until the onion starts to soften. Add garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Stir in the hibiscus flowers and cook for 3 to 4 minutes; until lightly crunchy.
  • Add the tortillas, let them cook for 1 minute. Stir in the pecans, and cook for 1 minute. Add the plantains and prunes, stir and let them start to cook and brown, for about 2 to 3 minutes. Each time you add a new ingredient, let it start to cook and season, before adding the next.
  • Stir in the puréed chiles along with the chicken broth.
  • Once the whole mixture starts simmering, add the piloncillo, cinnamon, cloves and salt. Lower the heat to medium-low and continue to cook for 20 to 25 minutes. In batches, purée the mixture in the blender or food processor until smooth. Serve over the cooked meat, poultry or seafood of your choice.