Pumpkin moli

I’ve always tried to keep this blog free from personal opinions that don’t have anything to do with food. But this week has been very exciting and eventful. Like I’ve mentioned in past posts I love history, but witnessing a historic event is even better, a million times better. That’s why from this humble space I want to congratulate Mr. Obama, his supporters and this magnificent country in general for, one more time, making the world a better place to live and dream. If you want to read more about my thoughts on this historic event here’s the link to my other blog.

And since we are talking about politics already, I want to share just one more opinion about the world. And that is about the two countries that I love, Mexico and the U.S.A. The relationship between these two countries is many times misunderstood. Many Americans think of Mexico only as the poor neighbor with the beautiful beaches where many immigrants come from. And many Mexicans (especially the middle and upper classes that look up to Europe rather than to their North American neighbor) think of the U.S.A. as the bully neighbor that took away half of their territory and imposes its politics with force.

But the truth is that the two countries, despite their differences and past confrontations, are a lot closer in many ways than most people would think. For example, Mexico is the second largest, just after China, trading partner of the U.S. Mexico’s republican government is modeled after the U.S. constitutional republic. Mexico played an important role in World War 2 by providing raw materials and hundreds of thousands of workers to alleviate labor shortages created by the military draft.

I could sit here and write many other examples of partnership and cooperation between the two countries that I love, but I rather express myself the way I know best, with food. One of my favorite Mexican dishes is mole and one of my favorite American dishes is chili. So I made a dish that combines both and called it moli. I know it is not the best name but it was delicious.

Pumpkin moli
Makes 6-8 servings

For this recipe you will need:

  • 2 TBSP olive oil
  • 2 lbs ground beef or turkey
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cups kidney beans
  • 1 16oz can pumpkin puree
  • 1 16oz can tomato puree
  • 1/4 cup almonds
  • 1/4 cup peanuts
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 dried ancho chile, cleaned
  • 1 dried New Mexico chile, cleaned
  • 1 corn tortilla
  • 1 garlic head, cloves peeled
  • 2 TBSP sesame seeds
  • 1 TBSP allspice
  • 2 whole cloves
  • 1 bar Mexican Chocolate
  • tortilla chips


  • In a large cast iron skillet toast almonds, peanuts, dried chiles, cinnamon stick, whole spice, cloves, corn tortilla and garlic for 2 to 3 minutes minutes or until the aroma of the spices is very intense. Add sesame seeds and toast for another 30 seconds. Using a blender or food processor grind spices to a grainy powder.
  • In a large pot, sautee onion until translucent over medium heat. Add ground meat and cook until brown. Add kidney beans, tomato and powdered spices. Stir well and bring to a boil.
  • Reduce heat to low and add pumpkin puree, Mexican chocolate and season to taste. Cover and cook for 45 minutes and add chicken or vegetable stock if necessary.
  • Cook for another 30 to 45 minutes and taste to adjust seasoning if necessary.
  • Serve hot in a bowl over tortilla chips (optional) and sprinkle with dried cheese (optional) and enjoy.

If you want, you can clean a medium pumpkin. Fill it with moli and baked it at 400°F for 15 minutes. That will give it a very nice presentation and accentuate the pumpkin flavor.

Moli spices

Moli spices

There you have it. An amalgam of two of my favorite dishes in one delicious moli.

¡Buen provecho!


  • Simply lovely Ben. Chili in a pumpkin, cool. I just baked a stew in a pumpkin now I think I need chili or maybe moli!!

  • Hi Ben. Your chili recipe sounds and looks fabulous. Thanks for entering the chili cook-off challenge. I haven’t posted my recipe yet, but it’s called Chipotle-Mole Chili and it has some of the same ingredients you used–peanuts, chocolate, and cinnamon. Your presentation is beautiful!

  • Ben, what a wonderful recipe. I will definitely be trying this one. Sounds yummy. It’s like when I combined red chile with barbecue saue. It turned out surprisingly good. Bravo chico.

  • This is a great take on chilli Ben…looks very aromatic from th ingredients list. You had me won with that. Cinnamon, allspice and cloves!

  • I was going to suggest entering it in the Chili Cook-Off.

    P.S. Stop by my blog and see my latest post (a meme). I’ll say no more.

  • The election of Obama as Prez is the American dream itself and the few naysayers are Bush apologists and some still veil their racism.

    It’s a glorious moment in US history and despite the challenges ahead, things look good.

    This dish is a Mexican-American co-op in the kitchen…pumpkin associated with the American harvest and the flavours of Mexico…OLE!

  • this looks amazing ben! and I just love the photo!! and an interesting recipe too!

    btw, just wanted to invite you to participate in my vegetarian thanksgiving recipe event if you can find some time!:)

  • What g reat twist on the standard chili. I’ll take a bowl of moli, please.

  • Oh WOW! Cinnamon? Chocolate? This sounds intriguing Ben! Food always brought people together but this dish is also a tribute to people brought together, love it! Thanks for sending it my way :)

  • Beautiful presentation Ben! This is a combination of flavours that would not occur to me in a million years.

    We’ve got an award for you!

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