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Charred Carrots with Black Mole

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 1 hr 5 min
  • Active: 40 min
  • Yield: 6 to 8 serving
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2 cloves garlic, skin on, crushed

2 tomatillos, cut in half

2 medium tomatoes, cut in half 

1 white onion, cut in half

1 ripe plantain, peeled and halved lengthwise

2 dried guajillo chiles

2 medium pasilla chiles

1 ancho chile

1 small dried chipotle morita chile

1/4 cup almonds

1/3 cup sesame seeds, plus more for garnish

2 tablespoons raisins

1/2 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano

1/4 teaspoon ground Mexican cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

4 tablespoons lard

1/4 cup finely chopped Mexican chocolate


1/4 cup kosher salt

12 to 15 large carrots, split in half lengthwise

Freshly ground black pepper

Chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish

Lime juice, for garnish


  1. For the mole: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Place the garlic, tomatillos, tomatoes, onion and plantain on a sheet pan cut-side up and roast until soft, about 10 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, tear or cut the guajillo, pasilla, ancho and chipotle chiles in half, then remove the seeds and stems and discard. Bring a medium saucepan filled two-thirds of the way with water to a boil. Add the chiles and boil for 5 minutes (see Cook's Note). Turn off the heat and let the chiles steep for an additional 10 minutes.
  4. Toast the almonds, sesame seeds, raisins, oregano, cinnamon and cloves in a medium skillet over medium heat until fragrant, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the lard to deglaze the skillet.  
  5. Blend the vegetables, chiles and 2 to 3 tablespoons of their soaking liquid and toasted nut and spice mixture in a blender until smooth. (Reserve the rest of the chile soaking liquid as needed to thin the mole if it's too thick.) Remove the puree from the blender and place in a medium saucepan. Add the chocolate and slowly warm, whisking, until melted. 
  6. For the carrots: Bring 3 quarts water and the salt to a boil in a large pot. Blanch the carrots by dropping in the boiling salted water, then cook until the water comes back up to a boil and remove the carrots to a large bowl. Add some of the mole to coat.
  7. Sear the carrots in a large cast-iron skillet on all sides until softened throughout, about 10 minutes. Serve with additional mole, black pepper, cilantro, lime juice and sesame seeds. 

Cook’s Note

Make sure to turn on the ventilation system in your kitchen when you boil the chiles.