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ISO Dried Chiles

I want to make mole.

Does anyone know a good local source for dried chiles? Anchos are easy to find, but mulato and pasilla chiles, not so much. Have car, will travel…

If not local, does anyone know of any online places that sell good quality Mexican ingredients?

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  1. Market Basket sells several varieties, though I forget which ones. They're in the produce area.

    1. Depending on where you live any half decent grocery store with some Mex foods should have them. I either get them at the place next to twin donut in Allston, or in some of the various places in Eastie. I am sure the Hi Lo in JP or Tropical Foods in Roxbury also has them.

      1. The spice store right next to Christina's ice cream in Inman Square has a selection of dried chilis.

        1 Reply
        1. re: cbcpapa

          Yah but they'll be 3X the money at a latino grocery and not as fresh.

          1. I've gotten all three at La Chapincita on Moody St. in Waltham. Sure wish they sold powdered chiles, though.

            6 Replies
            1. re: bear

              Whole chiles are WAY better.

              Get a cheapo blade coffee grinder <$20. I grind all my spices as I use them.

              With chiles I toast em first lightly on a flame on the stove, then blast them in the grinder.

              1. re: StriperGuy

                I do have a coffe grinder dedicated to spices. I guess I am still visualizing the mess from the couple of times I've made Bayless' mole poblano, but of course that uses toasted reconstituted chiles along with some frying, etc. I'd like to have some preground powder to make quick enchilada sauces, etc., so I guess I should just bite the bullet and grind my own.

                1. re: bear

                  Yah, for sure. I toasted just one dried poblano recently over the flame of my stove in 2 minutes. Busted it up and put it in the coffee grinder. No muss no fuss. It was painless. You can even bottle the leftovers and they'll keep for a couple of weeks.

                  Nevermind that once ground, chiles lose their flavor faster then any other spice in my experience...

                  1. re: bear

                    How exactly do you do it that it makes a mess? I take seeded chiles (toasted or not) and boil them in a small amount of water, then when it's soft I dump it all in the blender for a minute to make the sauce. Do you get a different flavor from grinding dry?

                    1. re: Luther

                      I agree, for mole you blend it at the end anyway.

                      1. re: Luther

                        The recipe calls for frying the stemmed and deseeded chiles, and then reconstituting and blending them with stock, frying raisins, seeds, etc., and along with a few other steps pureeing and straining a tomato mixture , and then frying the fully assembled sauce before simmering. Really delicious, but pretty messy.

                2. I second the Penzey's rec. I have purchased dried guajillo, piquin and dundicuts there.

                  1. If you find yourself down RI way, I have had good luck at

                    Sanchez Tortilleria Spanish Products
                    802 Atwells Ave, Providence, RI
                    (800) 479-6469‎

                    cardboard boxes of loose dried chiles, just ask for a bag and load up.

                    1. Amigo's Market on Broadway in East Somerville.

                      1. Somerville Market Basket has guajillo, pasilla, ancho (poblano), chipotle (smoked jalapeno), arbol, and I think something called New Mexico. Look in the produce section for the packaged Badia brand rack. All whole chiles and very flavorful when reconstituted. Now if only we could get some fresh tomatillos for a decent price...

                        5 Replies
                        1. re: elbev

                          In that very same corner of the Somerville MB you can get fresh tomatillos, above the peeled garlic and the jalapenos etc. If you knew that, then perhaps you think they are not fresh, not decently priced, or both. :)

                          1. re: chickendhansak

                            They are there sometimes, often confusingly stacked together with the brussels sprouts. A lot of (productive?) potential for confusion there. I suppose I should not complain, but compared to places with decent sized Mexican communities (Texas, Chicago, NYC, etc) they are quite expensive and of mediocre quality. Certainly much better than the canned stuff though.

                            1. re: elbev

                              Not to overstate the obvious, but I've had good luck getting tomatillos at

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                              Russo's
                              560 Pleasant St, Watertown, MA 02472

                          2. Restaurant Depot has chiles for crazy cheap. They sell them in big pillow case-sized bags for a few dollars a pound instead of a few dollars an ounce like at other retail places. Of course it's not open to the public and requires a membership, and the amount is more than most people could use in several years. Just throwing it out there.

                            Re:mole. Noticed The Hi-Lo has started selling a fresh mole in plastic pint containers in the cheese case. Has anyone tried it?

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: deglazer

                              Fresh mole for sale, that is noteworthy.

                            2. La Internacional in Union Square, Somerville has a good variety, mostly brought in from Mexico.

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                              La Internacional Foods Corp
                              318 Somerville Ave, Somerville, MA 02143