When Mole Goes Pink

Introduced as Pink Fiesta Mole by Chef Vikas Seth at Sanchez this season, the Mole Rosa is one of the lesser known peers of the iconic dish – but immensely loved and shared by those in the know and dessert lovers

By Madhulika Dash

In most cases, Mole usually is known for its two Oaxacan version: one chocolate poblano, which is a rich sauce made of mulato peppers, chocolate and 20 other ingredients slow cooked into an overwhelming deliciousness; and two, is the green mole or mole verde made with a bunch of greens, chillies and 10 more ingredients that results in a tongue happy sauce.
Fascinatingly, the Mexican Iconic dish, which serves the same purpose as curries in India, has a much bigger repertoire than the two mentioned above – even including one that is made for desserts.
Yes, you heard it right a dessert mole. Introducing Pink Mole or Mole Rosa. Originating in the town of Taxco in the state of Guerrero, this dessert version of a mole, says Chef Vikas Seth (Culinary Director, Sanchez), “is one of the sweeter, almost dessert like sauce of the Mole family and is among the few mole versions that taste best, fresh.”
Traditionally, the pink mole or mole rosa, which is said to have earned its name because of its rose like colour because of the pink coloured pine nuts used in the base of the sauce, and is served as ensalada de frutas, a Mexican take on the ‘fruit salad’ topped with whipped cream and hibiscus juice. Time, trade and other influences have seen many variations mushroom over the years that is said to have used ingredients like white chocolate, toasted or caramelised nuts and seeds, and pomegranate juice to get the desired sweetness and result.
In our version of the pink mole though, says Chef Seth, who discovered it while working with Mexican chefs, “we use a combination of pine nuts, almonds and cashew nuts. This gives it that rich creamy texture and the underlying sweetness. To this we add roasted beetroot mash and pomegranate juice to give that beautiful rosa colour.”
Chef Seth who plans to eventually do a dessert version serves the pink mole as part of a specially crafted savoury dish he calls the Pink Fiesta Mole. “The idea behind choosing savoury instead of dessert was to showcase the versatility of this delicate mole,” says Chef Seth, who tweaked the traditional mole a wee bit to get the desired result while keeping the essence the same.
“Since it is savoury and we need a sauce that coats well, we use a stock made in house of the freshest vegetables. But what gives this mildly sweet and flavoursome sauce its unmistakable punch is the use of the Ceylon Cinnamon. We smoke the sticks and powder them before adding to the sauce to get that nice fragrance that reminds you of a happy spring garden.”
To put that ‘garden’ feel onto the plate, Chef Seth serves it with a serving of Mexican rice, corn chips and a generous helping of a Mexican street food favourite called the Elotes – a Mexican style corn on the cob generously sprinkled with Queso Fresco and served warm inside corn ears giving it that sweet, creamy mouthfeel.
Time to say ole to Pink Mole!