Black bean mole with choko salad

Black bean mole with choko salad

Chris Middleton

When you travel thorough Mexico you realise how much the Mexicans adore beans. So much so, in fact, that some develop bean fatigue, as a scoop will be served with every meal, whether breakfast, lunch or dinner. Here in Australia we haven’t quite caught the bean bug, though this lovely dip should get the party started. The savoury, salty, caramelised garlic notes here have Moorish influences, though the dish fits well into our modern interpretation of Mexican food. Black garlic is now available in supermarkets, and its fermented caramel notes make this dip far more mysterious and exotic. As does avocado leaf – if you’re lucky enough to have a tree or know someone who does then do give them a try, as the flavour is unique.


Quantity Ingredient
80ml light olive oil
1 avocado leaf, torn into 4 pieces, (optional)
or 1 star anise, (optional)
200g dried black beans or borlotti beans, soaked overnight in cold water, (see Latin Larder)
6 black garlic cloves
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
2 large handfuls oregano leaves, roughly chopped
1 red onion, finely chopped
1 jalapeno, finely sliced
pinch ground cumin
pinch ground cloves
sea salt, to taste
lime juice, to taste

Choko salad

Quantity Ingredient
1 choko, diced
1 jicama, diced, (see Latin Larder)
1 red onion, diced
25g cooked black beans
2 limes, juiced
1 bunch mint leaves, chopped
100ml sesame oil
1 teaspoon ground allspice
2 tablespoons chia seeds, toasted
2 tablespoons black sesame seeds, toasted
sea salt, to taste


  1. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large frying pan and fry the avocado leaf or star anise until fragrant, then transfer it to a medium saucepan. Add the beans, garlic cloves, bicarbonate of soda and half the oregano and cook for 40 minutes, or until very soft and extremely well cooked. Drain the beans, reserving any cooking liquid. Discard the garlic cloves and avocado leaf or star anise.
  2. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in the frying pan over low heat. Cook the onion and jalapeño until soft and caramelised, then add the beans and remaining oregano and cook for 2 minutes, until soft and thickened. Transfer to a food processor and blend, adding a little of the reserved cooking liquid and remaining oil, to make a smooth purée.
  3. Meanwhile, for the salad, combine the ingredients in a bowl, toss together to coat in the dressing and leave for 15 minutes for the flavours to mingle.
  4. When ready to serve, season the mole with the spices, salt and lime juice and either return to the pan to serve hot or refrigerate to serve cold (it’s delicious either way, though you may need to reblend it to aerate and lighten it if serving straight from the refrigerator). Serve with the salad and blue corn (tortilla) chips.

* Tips

  • Leftover black bean mole is perfect for making quick quesadillas – simply spread over tortillas, add your favourite cheeses like a queso Oaxca, Valdeon blue and goat’s cheese and serve with Pomegranate mojo.
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