Frida Kahlo’s Black Mole From Oaxaca

Frida black mole negro

A celebration of recipes loved by Frida Kahlo, from: Frida’s Fiestas: Recipes and Reminiscences of Life with Frida Kahlo, by Guadalupe Rivera and Marie-Pierre Colle

Frida cookbook

On this Frida Friday, we share the recipe for the Oaxacan black mole served at Frida Kahlo’s and Diego Rivera’s wedding reception. The date of their boda was August 26, 1929—but before the newlyweds slipped away to honeymoon in Cuernavaca, a raucous fiesta was thrown by Frida’s bridesmaid, the photographer Tina Modotti, according to Frida’s Fiestas: Recipes and Reminiscences of Life with Frida Kahlo, written by Diego’s daughter, Guadalupe Rivera, with Marie-Pierre Colle.

In addition to this special mole negro, the wedding guests enjoyed mucho tequila and a traditional wedding feast—made by Diego’s second wife (Frida was No. 3) Lupe Marín and cooks specially hired from the local marketplace. The menu included: oyster soup (for all the aphrodisiac-y reasons), white rice with plantains, huauzontles in green and red sauce, chiles stuffed with cheese, chiles stuffed with picadillo, pozole rojo, flan, and a lavish wedding cake ordered by Frida.

Let’s Cook Like Frida in Honor of Her Art

We are celebrating favorite traditional Mexican dishes loved by Frida—like this mole negro—in honor of her many exhibitions this year. One of the most famous and recognizable artists of all time, Frida Kahlo is extra everywhere right now. Thanks to a seven-city Immersive Frida Kahlo show, the Mexican painter’s work and larger-than-life vida are being celebrated in light, sound and immersive visuals in: Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, Pittsburgh, San Francisco and Toronto. For more information and tickets, visit https://www.immersive-frida.com.

And if you happen to live or be in the Chicago area, catch more Frida at the National Museum of Mexican Art. Home to one of the largest Mexican art collection in the United States, the museum is hosting two shows about the artista this year. The first is Surrounding Kahlo: Works from the Permanent Collection, March 5, 2022 to January 15, 2023. The second is Frida Kahlo, Her Photos, a powerful exhibition of her own photography, open April 1 through August 6, 2022. We plan to go to all three shows here at Familia Kitchen. And then come home and cook like her!

If you want to go deeper into la history of this traditional dish, check out our go-deep history of mole in Mexico.

Make the Oaxacan Black Mole Served at Frida’s Wedding

Frida Kahlo’s Black Mole From Oaxaca

3 from 13 votes
Recipe by Guadalupe Rivera, Frida’s Fiestas: Recipes and Reminiscences of Life with Frida Kahlo Cuisine: Mexican
Servings

16 to 20

servings
Prep time

30

minutes
Cooking time

3

hours 

Ingredients

  • For the Mole Negro Sauce
  • 1 lb chihuacle chiles—if you can’t find, use cascabel chiles

  • 1/2 lb mulato chiles, seeded, deveined, seeds reserved

  • 1/2 lb pasilla chiles, seeded, deveined, seeds reserved

  • 3/4 lb lard

  • 2 onions, large, roasted

  • 1 head garlic, roasted

  • 3 tortillas, stale

  • 2 slices egg bread

  • 3/4 cup almonds, blanched

  • 1/2 cup peanuts, shelled

  • 1 cinnamon stick

  • 1/2 cup sesame seeds

  • 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds

  • 1 pinch anise seeds

  • 1 tsp cumin seeds

  • 1 tsp thyme, dried

  • 1 tsp marjoram, dried

  • 2 tsp oregano, dried

  • 10 coriander seeds

  • 10 black peppercorns

  • 8 cloves

  • 3/4 cup raisins

  • 3 large bars Mexican chocolate

  • 4 lbs tomatoes, roasted and peeled

  • 1 lb tomatillos, small

  • 8 Tbsp lard

  • sugar, to taste

  • salt, to taste

  • For the Turkey or Chicken
  • 2 guajolotes (small turkeys) OR

  • 4 chickens, large

  • carrots, chopped

  • 1 onions, chopped in half

  • water, to cover

  • herbs, not specified in recipe

Directions

  • Boil the 2 guajalotes (small turkeys) OR the 4 large chickens in strong broth with carrots, onions and herbs until cooked.
  • In a separate pan, warm the lard.
  • Quickly fry the chiles in the hot lard, being careful not to let them burn.
  • Place the fried chiles in a large sauce pan, filled with hot water to cover. Bring to a boil, then simmer until soft. Scoop out and set aside.
  • In the same pan with the hot lard, sauté the onions and garlic until translucent.
  • Add the tortillas, bread, almonds, peanuts, cinnamon, reserved chile seeds, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, anise seeds, cumin seeds, thyme, marjoram, oregano, coriander seeds, peppercorns, cloves, raisins and chocolate. Sauté for a few minutes.
  • Puree this mixture with the tomatoes and the chiles. Strain the puree and cook in the 8 Tbsp lard.
  • Stir in the sugar and salt.
  • Stir in 2 cups of the turkey broth or chicken broth. Simmer for 20 minutes.
  • Chop the turkeys or chickens into serving-size pieces. Add to the mole sauce and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes to blend the flavors.
  • If the mixture is too thick, add more broth, as needed. Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds.

Notes

  • What are chihuacles, you ask? They are prized chiles from Oaxaca. If you can’t source them, substitute with cascabel chiles.
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