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Pumpkin and Ancho Chile Mole

6 servings
Mole de Chile Ancho y Calabaza


  • 1/2 white onion, peeled, charred or broiled
  • 6 garlic cloves, charred or broiled, peeled
  • 3 ancho chiles, stemmed, seeded and opened
  • 1/4 cup slivered almonds
  • 5 whole cloves
  • 1/2 stick true or ceylon cinnamon, about 1 inch (or substitute for 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon)
  • 8 whole allspice berries, or 1/8 teaspoon ground
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 15-ounce can pumpkin puree, about 1 3/4 cup
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon kosher or sea salt, or more to taste
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar, or more to taste
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds, lightly toasted

To Prepare

  • Place the onion and garlic in a baking sheet under the broiler. Char for 9 to 10 minutes, flipping once in between. Once they are soft and charred, remove from the heat. When the garlic is cool, peel.
  • In an already hot skillet or comal set over medium-low heat, toast the ancho chiles for about 15 to 20 seconds per side, until they brown and crisp without burning. Place toasted ancho chiles in a bowl covered with boiling water. Soak for 10 to 15 minutes until they are plumped up and rehydrated.
  • In the same skillet or comal, toast the cloves and all spice until aromatic, about a minute. Remove from the heat. Toast the almonds and cinnamon, stirring often, until lightly browned, 4 to 5 minutes.
  • Place the onion, garlic, chiles, 1/2 cup of chile soaking liquid, almonds, cloves, cinnamon and allspice in the blender and puree until smooth.
  • In a soup pot or casserole, heat the oil and pour the pureed mixture over medium heat. Add the salt and sugar. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently to help prevent the sauce from sticking to the bottom of the pan. The color will darken considerably.
  • Add the pumpkin puree and chicken broth to the sauce. Stir well until the pumpkin puree has dissolved, it will have a silky consistency. Continue to cook for about 12 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Use the mole sauce to pour over grilled, broiled or boiled chicken, meat or fish. Sprinkle with toasted pumpkin seeds for some added flavor and crunch.