Turkey Mole


It's pronounced moh-lay and not as in the burrowing animal! Moles have some unusual ingredients in them like ground up nuts and seeds but the most unlikely is chocolate (yes, chocolate). I made this not long ago for 10 people and no-one could guess the unusual ingredient but all thought it was pretty yummy. So try it and see what you think.


  • 1 tablespoon flaked almonds
  • 2 teaspoons sunflower seeds
  • 1 teaspoon sesame seeds
  • 3 tablepoons vegetable oil
  • 1 medium sized onion - finely chopped
  • 1 inch piece cinnamon or cassia bark
  • 2 cloves garlic - finely chopped
  • 1.5 teaspoons good paprika
  • half to 1 teaspoon hot chile powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander seed
  • 5 tablespoons (3 fl.oz.) plain passata (thick sieved tomatoes - buy the Tetra Pak, it's cheaper than the glass jars)
  • salt to taste
  • 12oz turkey steaks cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1 tablespoon chopped small pieces of dark cooking chocolate. Do buy the best cooking chocolate you can afford (preferably one where cocoa solids are the largest ingredient rather than sugar)
  1. Heat a small cast iron frying pan over low to moderate heat
  2. Put the flaked almonds in the pan and stir round and turn them over. The almonds will go brown round the edges. Remove from the pan, then do the same first with the sunflower seeds and then the sesame seeds. The sesame seeds will darken and the sunflower seeds will get brown mottling. Put the nuts and seeds on a plate to cool.
  3. Finely grind the nuts and seeds all together in an electric grinder or pestle and mortar and set aside.
  4. Heat the oil in a large heavy pan on a high heat
  5. Add the onion and cinnamon piece and stir for a few minutes.
  6. Add the garlic, stir, turn the heat to low and cook for 15 minutes.
  7. Add the paprika, chile powder and ground coriander, stir and cook for 5 minutes.
  8. Add the passata, salt, nuts/seeds and enough boiling water to make a fluid sauce and simmer gently for 20 minutes.
  9. While the mixture is cooking stir fry the turkey pieces in a large hot frying pan with a little oil until they are sealed and have changed colour.
  10. Add the sealed turkey pieces to the mixture and cook for another 20-30 minutes. Add a little boiling water if the mixture gets too thick.
  11. 5 minutes before the end of the cooking add the chocolate pieces and stir round until they melt. The sauce should now be a rich reddish brown colour and quite thick.
  12. Serve wrapped in a warmed flour tortilla folded in the shape of your choice. Makes enough for 4 large taco-sized tortillas.


© copyright David Smith 1996-2002

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