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Red Chichilo Mole
with chilhuacle pepper

This recipe is originally from the state of Oaxaca and is one of the 7 famous Oaxacan moles. It is an original mixture of ingredients, from which an aromatic and delicious mole is obtained.

The base of the preparation is the mixture of chilies, one of them is the red chilhuacle – an autochthonous chili of Oaxaca. Moreover, as good mole, many more ingredients are used to achieve an elaborated and spiced flavor. The great difference that this mole has with many others, is that it has the consistency of a liquid salsa... it is not thick as the other moles. In fact this recipe is also known as salsa of red chichilo mole.

Now we are going to tell you how this mole is served in Oaxaca. Beef and cooked vegetables are put on a plate, then both the beef as the vegetables are bathed with this mole and believe us it is an exquisite combination. In Oaxaca there is a variant and this is when the plate has venison. In this type of dish the mole is put as bed and over it the meat and the vegetables are put.

About the Recipe

  • The recipe is not difficult but as good mole many steps have to be followed.
  • In this recipe the chilhuacle pepper is used, that is originally from Oaxaca and it is very difficult to find. For this reason we also offer the alternative of using guajillo pepper.
  • To give a good consistency to the mole tortillas are used, we recommend them to be dried so it acquires a better consistency.
  • The traditional recipe is prepared with lard but vegetable shortening can also be used.
  • The total preparation time is of about 45 minutes.
  • This recipe yields 8 portions.


  • 4 Red Chilhuacle Peppers (1.4 oz) or 4 Guajillo Peppers (1.4 oz)
  • 3 Ancho Peppers (1 oz)
  • 1 Tomato (7 oz)
  • 1 Tomatillo (1.7 oz)
  • 1 Garlic head (2.1 oz)
  • 3 Avocado Leaves
  • 2 Cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon of Cumin
  • 2 Corn Tortillas (1.4 oz)
  • 3 cups of Chicken Stock (25.3 fl oz)
  • 2 tablespoons of Lard
  • 6 Black Peppercorns
  • 1/2 tablespoon of Salt

  • Cookware

  • 1 Saucepan
  • 1 Griddle
  • 1 Blender
  • 1 Bowl
  • 1 Cutting Board
  • 1 Tongs
  • 1 Turner
  • 1 Strainer
  • 1 Knife

  • Directions

    Roast Many Ingredients

    1. Remove the veins and the seeds of 3 ancho peppers and of 4 red chilhuacle peppers or 4 guajillo peppers.
    2. Put on a griddle over medium heat:
    • The 3 Ancho Peppers with the ones you worked.
    • The 4 Red Chilhuacle Peppers or the 4 Guajillo Peppers with the ones you worked.
    • 1 Tomato.
    • 1 Tomatillo.

    1. Roast all the chilies for about 2 minutes, the tomatillo for about 3 minutes and the tomato for about 5 minutes, until all their sides are moderately roasted; move them regularly with some tongs.

    Be careful don’t roast the chilies for a long time because their flavor becomes bitter.

    1. Transfer from the griddle to a blender, with the tongs, the tomatillo and the tomato that were roasted; then reserve.
    2. Transfer from the griddle to a bowl, with the tongs, all the chilies that were roasted.
    3. Cover the chilies that were put in the bowl with boiling water and leave them soaking for about 10 minutes, until they soften.

    While the Chilies Soften...

    1. Put on the griddle over medium heat 1 garlic head and roast it for about 5 minutes, until all their sides are moderately roasted; move it regularly with the tongs.
    2. Remove the garlic head from the griddle and wait for it to cool a little.
    3. Separate the garlic cloves from the garlic head that was roasted and peel them. Upon completion put them in the blender and reserve.
    4. Put on the griddle over medium heat 2 maize tortillas and roast them for about 30 seconds per each side, until they are moderately roasted.
    5. Transfer from the griddle to the blender, with the tongs, the tortillas that were roasted; then set aside.

    Blend the Ingredients

    1. Verify that the chilies that were left soaking are soft, if not soak them for a longer time.
    2. Transfer from the bowl to a blender, with the tongs, all the chilies that were left soaking.
    3. Also add in the blender:
    • 2 Cloves.
    • 1/2 teaspoon of Cumin.
    • 3 cups of Chicken Stock.
    • 6 Black Peppercorns.

    1. Blend very well the ingredients and reserve.

    Cook the Mole

    1. Melt in a saucepan over medium heat 2 tablespoons of lard.
    2. Add in the saucepan:
    • Strain the Mixture that was blended.
    • 3 Avocado Leaves.
    • 1/2 tablespoon of Salt.

    1. Mix the saucepan ingredients and bring the red chichilo mole to a boil over high heat.
    2. When the red chichilo mole boils reduce to low heat and cook it for about 25 minutes, until it thickens a little and it acquires a more intense dark red color; stir occasionally.
    3. When the cooking is done discard the 3 avocado leaves.

    Typical Oaxacan Flavors

    Variation: Another mole that is prepared with chilhuacle peppers.

    Did you like the Chichilo Mole?  

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    The avocado leaves are very important in the preparation due to the aniseed flavor that they provide.

    Know more about the Mexican moles.

    In this recipe many ingredients will be roasted and a good griddle like the Lodge is needed.