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  • 6 dried pasilla chillies
  • 10 dried ancho chillies
  • 8 dried mulato chillies
  • ½ cup raisins
  • 5 tomatoes
  • 6 tomatillos, tinned or fresh
  • ½ cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1 tbsp peanut oil
  • ½ cup unblanched almonds
  • 2 corn tortillas, cut in 1cm strips
  • 4 cloves, ground
  • 6 allspice berries, ground
  • 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 7 cloves garlic, roasted and peeled
  • 2 cups water
  • ¼ cup peanut oil, extra
  • 3 triangles Mexican chocolate
  • roasted sesame or pepita seeds

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Remove seeds from dried chillies, then dry-roast in a non-stick frying pan over low heat for about 20 seconds, or until fragrant. Place chillies in a bowl, add 2 litres boiling water and stand for 20 minutes to rehydrate. Strain chillies and reserve liquid if the taste is not bitter.

Place raisins in a bowl, cover with warm water and stand 20 minutes to soften. Drain.
Place tomatoes and tomatillos on an oven tray and grill under medium heat about 5 minutes, or place on an open flame, turning occasionally to char the skins without cooking the flesh.

 Dry-roast pumpkin seeds in a non-stick frying pan over medium heat for about 5 minutes until they stop popping. Do not burn.
Heat 1 tbsp oil and cook almonds over med-low heat until browned.

Place chillies, raisins, tomatoes, tomatillos, pumpkin seeds, almonds, tortilla strips, clove, allspice, cinnamon, garlic, water, ½ tsp salt and ½ tsp fresh ground black pepper in a blender and puree in batches, until smooth. Add a little water or water from chillies, if necessary.

Push puree through a sieve and discard solids. Heat extra oil in a heavy-based pot until almost smoking, reduce to medium, add sauce and cook, stirring constantly, for 10-15 minutes.

Melt chocolate in the top of a double boiler or in a bowl over simmering water, and gradually stir into sauce.

Reduce heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally, a further 45-60 minutes, adding more water or water from chillies, if necessary.
11.    Serve over roasted chicken or turkey and sprinkle with sesame seeds or pepitas.

Note: freezes well for up to 2 weeks. Serve this sauce over any other deep flavoured dish. Serve warm, not hot.

Chef Victor Pipasia from Victor’s Food