Chilies, salsas and Moles! Ep.16



Presented by: Rocio Carvajal Food historian, cook and author.

Episode 16

In Mexican cuisine chilies are as important as salt! Back to the essentials with this episode dedicated to chilies, salsas, grinding stones and the king of dishes MOLE!

Mexico has more than 64 different varieties of chilies of all flavours and colours, no wonder why Mexicans eat about 15 kilos of chilies a year.

Get the recipe to make Salsa Borracha: click here.

Revisit the history of Pozole soup: click here.



This show is the audible companion of: SABOR! This is Mexican food magazine


Drunken sauce or Salsa borracha

Drunken sauce or Salsa borracha



  • 200g Dried pasilla chilies
  • 4 tomatoes
  • 1 small spanish onion in quarters
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 cup pulque or ½ cup of orange juice and ¼ cup tequila
  • 100 g grated queso añejo or feta cheese
  • Salt


  • Remove the tails and seeds of the chilies and slice lengthwise, place them with the tomatoes onions and garlic on a pan and cook by pressing the chilies against the pan using a pair of tongs, the skin must blister and toast evenly but don’t let it burn.
  • Turn the onion and garlic every now and then to allow them to cook as they blister and turn slightly black on the edges, the tomatoes will take a bit longer to cook.
  • Remove the chilies after 4 minutes and continue cooking the rest for a total time of 8 minutes.
  • Place the cooked ingredients to a blender, add the pulque or orange juice and tequila and blend until you have a smooth puree.
  • Serve in a bowl add the grated cheese and season with salt to taste



The Mendoza Codex, created fourteen years after the 1521 Spanish conquest of Mexico It contains a history of the Aztec rulers and their conquests, including descriptions of daily Aztec life, manifested in traditional Aztec pictograms with Spanish explanations and commentary.

Although the codex is not on display it has been held at the Bodleian Library at Oxford University since 1659. In page 60 of this document we see how children were disciplined by their teachers for failing to behave by forcing them to inhale chili smoke. This page also describes the proper allotment of food for each child at each stage of can read morea bout this fascinating document here.

The image on the left is a drawing found the journal of the Earl of Sandwich portraying a man grinding cocoa to prepare chocolate and the painting on the right presents a costumbrista scene of tortilla makers grinding corn masa and coking tortillas on a clay griddle.

click on the images to enlarge.









Metates help slowly bring together textures and flavours when grinding a mole paste.

Find the recipe to prepare a delicious Mole Poblano and enjoy the complete cultural history of it in the summer issue of SABOR!

click the image below to know more.



Click the images to enlarge.


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Food researcher, cook and author. Editor of SABOR! This is Mexican Food Magazine and producer of Pass the Chipotle podcast.

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