I have had a ton of mole in my day and this recipe is by far the best I have ever made or gone out for. I changed it the tiniest bit but I cannot take credit. I got it from “Cook, Eat, Cha Cha Cha“. This is a cookbook of recipes from the excellent restaurant Cha Cha Cha  in San Francisco. Many a night have been spent at this cult restaurant over the past 17 years. Lively, unique, full of flavor and sangria, I got the cookbook to bring it back to Portland. The recipe looks daunting because it has so many ingredients. It really isn’t and can be cooked up really easy and fairly quickly.

I started making corn tortillas for taco night. They are so much better handmade. Relatively easy, they do require some practice to make perfect. I have tried various masas, and they all vary in proportions. Get some masa and follow the directions listed. I did incorporate some tips at the end that helped me create a better product.

Keep scrolling down for photos to inspire you.


1/2 c diced onion

2 Tbl chopped garlic

2 Tbl oil

Stock made from previous post. Approximately 3-4 c

4 Tbl chopped  dried Mexican chili (Pasilla, Chipotle, Cascabel, Pasilla—best place for these is your local Mexican grocery store)

1 tsp cumin seed

1 tsp dried oregano

1 Tbl tomato paste

1/2 water

1 Tbl strong brewed coffee

1 Tbl chopped toasted almond, cashews were good too

1 tsp toasted sesame seeds

1 Tbl unsweetened peanut butter, or other nut butter

1 square or ounce unsweetened chocolate, chopped

1 tsp honey

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1 Tbl cilantro, fresh and chopped

1 tsp Gluten Free Tamari

1/2 rice tortilla, toasted and chopped. or any Gluten free tortilla (Food For Life, Trader Joe)

Cooked and shredded meat and/or diced roasted veggies, sauteed greens, etc.,.

Salt and pepper as needed


1) Start by heating up the stock, get it boiling. Put the chopped chili in a bowl, add boiling stock until it covers the chili. Cover dish and let sit until chili are softened. About 10-15 minutes.

2) Heat oil, saute onion with salt and pepper for 2 minutes, add garlic, cumin and  oregano. Saute for 2-3 minutes. Veggies should be translucent and spices toasted and warmed.

3) Add remaining ingredients except chili, meat and sauteed veggies (listed last). Cook for about 4 minutes to incorporate.

4) Add chili/stock mixture. Incorporate for 3-5 minutes. Puree in blender, food processor or with an immersion blender.

5) Put back in sauce pan and heat. Add stock to desired consistency. Salt and pepper as needed. Add meat and/or additional veggies.

6) Serve with corn tortilla, chips, Forbidden Rice. I like to add fresh salads, greens and herbs to the tacos. The watermelons, cucumbers, fresh corn and shaved fennel salads (dressed with lime, apple cider vinegar and oil) really balance the heat and flavor. Tomatoes, avocado etc are obvious additions. All except the avocados are beautiful and in season at the market now. Use whatever you find though that fresh from the market.

Tips for Tortilla:

1) Use warm water.

2) Let sit for an hour covered after you make dough.

3) Add 1/4 tsp baking soda to dough. Then you can have some puffing bubbles. I love that. I salt them as they come off the griddle.

4) The masa will absorb the water as it sits. Adjust accordingly as you make them.

5) Dough should be springy to the touch.

6) Rub masa over your hands before handling dough.

7) Cook on hot pan, non stick works best. No oil needed.

8) The first, like a pancake, usually isn’t great. Don’t let it psych you out.