When you go to a Mexican restaurant, you will probably see red and green chile sauce on a majority of dishes. It is a staple of New Mexican cuisine, right? But what other tasty sauces could you come across? Mole? You say? Yes! The dark, chocolate and ground chile sauce is another favorite. If you have ever had a plate of chicken mole, you are familiar with the distinct taste and flavors that make up this sauce. But if you automatically associate chocolate with moles, your taste buds will be pleasantly surprised to find that there many types of moles and not all of them have that chocolate taste.

Negro Mole

This is your standard black mole that you can expect to find that chocolate taste in. It’s a savory-sweet recipe that takes time and patience to make and a lot of ingredients. A typical recipe includes onion, garlic, cinnamon, cloves, black pepper, cumin, dried chiles, pumpkin, sesame seeds, joha santo, cilantro, bread, it can sometimes use dried fruit to add a bit of sweetness, and a lot of dark, bitter chocolate. You can try making it at home, but it might be better to leave this to the restaurant professionals.

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Rojo Mole

This type of mole is similar to Negro mole, but has a sweeter, spicier flavor and tends to be more versatile. This recipe has many of the same ingredients, but has less chocolate and uses numerous types of dried red chile like pasilla, guajillo, and ancho. If you order up this type of mole, see if you can pick out flavors of raisins, almonds, or peanuts. Chicken, pork, or beef is commonly added to this sauce and cooked until tender, but can also work well with cheese and fresh tortillas for breakfast.


This mole took a step on the wild side. It’s translated to “a shade of red,” or “on the naughty side.” The mole is brown in color, somewhere between the red and black moles. The same base ingredients are used, including spices, onions, garlic, seeds, and chocolate, but also adds an ingredient to help with thickening and sweetening. Ripe mashed plantains are added to give a subtle sweetness.


Mexican RestaurantsA mole sauce without the chocolate, this basic sauce can be poured over a variety of dishes and takes out all of the sweet flavors. This sauce is comparable to an Indian curry sauce.


Another common Mexican restaurant sauce that uses pumpkin seeds, or pepitas. This sauce also includes fresh tomatillos, jalapenos, and cilantro and has a bright green color. The sauce can be diluted with chicken stock to give it a soupy texture.


Using homemade beef stock, rehydrated dried chiles de arbol, anchos, and guajillos, mixed together with onions and garlic, chichilo mole is dark, spicy, and intense. The sauce is thickened with masa, corn flour, or fresh tortillas. This is another mole sans chocolate.


Translating to “tablecloth-staining,” this mole is bright red and made with chorizo grease, tomatoes, ancho chiles, fresh pineapple, and plantain. Add this sweet, spicy, and fruity sauce to any dish for a unique and beyond delicious flavor.

At Tortilla Flats, we have a lot of delicious sauces that your taste buds will be delighted with. Come in tonight and experience the tastes of our New Mexican restaurant serving up the finest cuisine in Santa Fe.