In Oaxaca, green mole (mole verde) is one of the seven famous moles. What makes this one different is not just the lack of chocolate, but also the fresh herbs, which give it a fabulous green color. Of course every region or family has their own way of making mole. I learned this recipe from my friend from Puebla, who calls it “mole pipían,” referring to the pumpkin seeds used in it.
Whatever you call it, it’s fantastic with chicken, fish, pork, or as a spicy sauce over a bunch of enchiladas.
Read Related: Clementina’s Red ‘Zacatecas’ Mole with Chicken
HERBED PUMPKIN SEED MOLE (Mole Verde con Hierbas)
Makes: About 3 cups
1 cup peeled pumpkin seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
½ teaspoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon vegetable or olive oil
1 onion, cut into wedges
5 tomatillos, husked and halved
5 garlic cloves, halved
2 jalapeño peppers, sliced
2 cups chicken broth
1 packed cup coarsely chopped, fresh cilantro
1 cup coarsely chopped fresh parsley
½ cup fresh epazote (optional)
1 teaspoon salt
- In a large skillet with high sides or in a large saucepan, toast the pumpkin seeds, cumin seeds, and oregano over high heat. Toss to make sure they don’t burn, but toast until fragrant, about 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and transfer to a blender or spice grinder and process until ground. Set aside.
- In the same skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion, tomatillos, garlic, and jalapeños and cook until slightly browned, 4 to 5 minutes, tossing a couple of times, but not stirring too much. Carefully place the vegetables in a blender or food processor. Add the broth, cilantro, parsley, epazote (if using), and salt and process until puréed. Pour back into the skillet and add the ground pumpkin seed mixture. Let simmer until flavors are well combined, about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Serve immediately. Any leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container for a couple of days.
Note: If you don’t have a spice grinder, a clean coffee grinder works great and a blender works fine, too. If you can’t find epazote, you can substitute the green tops of radishes or just leave them out altogether.
This recipe was first published in Quick and Easy Mexican Cooking by Cecilia Hae-Jin (Chronicle Books).