Friday, September 7, 2012

Frida Kahlo's Pueblan Mole Recipe

One of my favorite non-food related experiences in Mexico City was my visit to the Frida Kahlo museum in Coyoacan. It's actually her family home where she lived with Diego Rivera, and it's filled with beauty, books, and traditional pre-Hispanic Mexican arts and crafts - a stunning example of the merging of art and life.


Of course Poppa and I cannot resist making fools of ourselves wherever we go:
Here we are as Frida and Diego - Poppa is making a mean face and I am looking sad because Diego cheated on Frida with her own sister, and therefore, despite his undeniable talent, was a jerk:

You aren't supposed to take photos inside, but who could resist a snap of this amazing kitchen?

I love how it says "Diego" and "Frida" on the wall:

Just outside of the kitchen I noticed a sign with a recipe ... for mole. One of my favorite things. There were museum guards lurking, so I began to try to write it all down, but Poppa is sneaky and took a photo, undetected:
Right away I knew I had to make a version of this, but the funny thing is, nothing here in the text states whether or not this is actually an authentic dish that Frida and Diego made. So I did a little digging and found out that it is in fact Frida's recipe for Pueblan mole,  translated from a book called Las Fiestas de Frida y Diego: Recuerdos y Recetas. (The book has apparently been translated into English, and I would be curious to see if there are any differences in the recipes.) 

The original calls for a entire turkey or 4 whole chickens, and since I don't think that even Poppa Trix and I can eat that much, I scaled it down to one chicken and cut back on amounts accordingly. And left the raisins out altogether, as I believe raisins are an abomination. That said, this serves 10, and I can't imagine a better dish to serve at a party.

Here's a better look if you want to make it:

This was very different from the dark, almost black mole I had (and loved) at Fonda mi Lupita - it was instead a vibrant brick red, with notes of  bitter chocolate, cinnamon, peppers, and a lovely nuttiness from the almonds:


Yes, there are a number of steps but the results are well worth it. I hope you try it!

Buen provecho!





19 comments:

  1. One of my biggest regrets from my trip to Mexico DF last year is that I didn't have time to make it to the Casa Azul. I wish I had seen that incredible kitchen! Maybe next time...

    I do have the book. Funny, I haven't opened it in a good while, but I remember it has some delicious recipes, including moles of different types and colors, red, yellow, green and black... this one looks fantastic.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. PS: By the way, Papa Trix does look a little like Diego… ;=)

      Delete
  2. Ah so awesome! If I were there, I would've desperately wanted a copy of the recipe too, by hook or by crook... and the end result looks really delicious! Thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Oh me, oh my - what an homage!! I love this!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Oh, mole, mole, mole - how I love thee...If there is one food that I could roll around in and lick until I keel over from a bursting stomach - then it is probably mole. TMI?
    I am sorry, but if they posted a recipe then it was just begging to be photo'd... I am proud of your stealth photo skills...

    ReplyDelete
  5. My sister is obsessed with Frida Kahlo, she would be so jealous to see your photos. The kitchen is beautiful! I may be biased, but I love all the color in traditional Mexican decor. The photo and text of you and Poppa Trix made me laugh:) Your mole looks delicious. My mom's mole is also more red like this one, and actually he isn't sweet at all. Thanks for sneaking in the recipe photo, I'm defiantly going to give it a try as soon as I get all the chiles. Have a great b-day weekend amiga:)

    ReplyDelete
  6. Wow you have had one heck of a year on vacation or did you move there ? Regardless the photos and food are amazing! Mexican motiff appears to be agreeing with you too!

    ReplyDelete
  7. I have a guatemalan recipe for a mole that I've made for years... about 9 zillion ingredients and very good. The other mole I love from Diana Kennedy and is MUCH easier to make. I can't wait to try a new one. Moles make everything better... one of my fav ways to use it is with turkey thigh... oh I'm hungry just thinking about it.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I heartily approve of raisinless mole...looks wonderful! And may I come museum hopping with you and Poppa Trix? You two are such fun!

    ReplyDelete
  9. I am a bit of a Frieda freak myself and would love to visit here. It's been on my list for awhile. I have a FK cookbook I love. The mole looks perfect.

    ReplyDelete
  10. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Mexico city. For the food. For the art. It's a top 10 destination on my "never been" list. Darn this post hurts me. GREG PS Blogger no longer recognizes me and always posts me as anon. I don't know what changed. Sorry for the delete earlier...

    ReplyDelete
  12. What a cool way to discover a recipe. I am a fan of Frida Kahlo, there will be a show in Toronto this fall I am considering. Glad you were so naughty with the camera, the mole looks amazing.

    ReplyDelete
  13. oh wow! I absolutely love Friday, and now I love her mole. I love the lighter color of it. I have to try this recipe.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Um, I meant I love Frida...stupid spell check :)

      Delete
  14. Wow -- that looks stellar. Great post! Theresa

    ReplyDelete
  15. Well, I knew she had a mustache but a mole? I don't think I ever saw that in any of her expressive self portraits. This is a great story about a recipe and I bet it was good. Mole is definitely a favorite here and its not so easy to find a good rendition here. I do think, however, that you and Poppa could make short work of 4 chickens if you set yourself to it. Guy have the healthiest appetites on blogland.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I understand the steps of cooking Mexican completely and so, so well worth every effort we put into it... the raisins are a must, a whole nutter character, but I understand you - your mole is beautiful and looks so good I know I would lick my plate clean...
    don't you just love working with dried chiles? the taste is so incredibly different than chile powders...

    ReplyDelete
  17. I love Frida and I LOVE the kitchen! Who could be sad surrounded by all that vibrant color?
    I only made an Oaxacan mole and it was indeed darker. Very time-consuming, but worth it:) I would love to try this version but with raisins, even though there are a few in my family who would side with you:)
    I so want to go to Mexico City! Maybe Greg will bring me along when he goes? :)

    ReplyDelete