I would like to make it abundantly clear that no moles were harmed in the making of the dish Vegetable, Lentil and Bean Mole that I’m about to blog about. Well of course they weren’t especially as this is a vegetarian dish! Mole is pronounced ‘mole-eh’ like guacamole I guess and it’s a dish from Mexico. This post is wearing a huge sombrero as it’s being entered for the Bangers and Mash Spice Trail Challenge which is all about Mexican Spices this month. It’s also not a bad recipe for increasing your 5+ a day and a great Meatless Monday dish. Phew what a useful post this is!
If you travel to Mexico you may never be dished up the same mole twice. It appears to be a dish veiled in tradition and each family attests that their secret ingredient makes it the best. I love the addition of dark chocolate which cools down the chilli heat. I don’t make my mole too spicy because I want to Figlets to eat it so play around with quantities according to taste.
Vegetable, Lentil and Bean Mole
1 large onion, chopped
1 large red capsicum, de seeded and chopped
1 large red chilli, de seeded and chopped (I used half)
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 tsp Mexican Spice Mix (see below to make your own)
3/4 cup dried, green lentils
400g can chopped tomatoes
400g can red kidney beans (or any beans), rinsed and drained
250g button mushrooms, washed or peeled
250g kumera, peeled and diced
1 Tbsp dark chocolate, grated
2 Tbsp fresh coriander, chopped
6 Tbsp sour cream to serve
Mexican Spice Mix
1 Tbsp cumin seeds
1 Tbsp dried coriander
1 Tbsp mild paprika
1 Tbsp ground oregano
1/2 tsp chilli powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
Crush the cumin seeds using a pestle and mortar….
….then stir in the rest of the spices. Now you might be thinking that this sound like Hard Work. If you have the spices to hand then it’s really simple and the pestle action quite stress-busting. I love the colours of the spices and was quite reluctant to mix them up. Start by gently sweating the onions in a little olive oil or coconut oil. Add the capsicum, chilli, garlic, Mexican mix and sauté for 5 minutes or so.
Add the lentils and stir well. Then add the beans, tomatoes and stock and bring to the boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Finally add the mushrooms and kumera and stir and simmer (covered) for another 25 minutes. Grate in the chocolate and coriander and cook for a further 5 minutes. The sauce should be lovely and thick.
Serve with rice and top with sour cream and coriander and slices of avocado if you have them. Of course I totally forgot to add the sour cream. That’s what blogging in the evening does to me I’m afraid! Enjoy your mole and have fun making it your own. Incidentally this makes a lovely Leftover Lunch – almost even better the next day 🙂