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ISO Dried Chiles

skippy66 Nov 16, 2009 07:31 AM

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?

  1. Luther Nov 16, 2009 07:38 AM

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

    1. StriperGuy Nov 16, 2009 07:49 AM

      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. c
        cbcpapa Nov 16, 2009 07:57 AM

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

        1 Reply
        1. re: cbcpapa
          StriperGuy Nov 16, 2009 08:44 AM

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

        2. BarmyFotheringayPhipps Nov 16, 2009 08:39 AM

          Penzey's in Arlington Heights.

          1. b
            bear Nov 16, 2009 09:07 AM

            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
              StriperGuy Nov 16, 2009 09:30 AM

              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
                bear Nov 16, 2009 09:36 AM

                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
                  StriperGuy Nov 16, 2009 09:52 AM

                  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
                    Luther Nov 16, 2009 11:26 AM

                    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
                      StriperGuy Nov 16, 2009 11:33 AM

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

                      1. re: Luther
                        bear Nov 16, 2009 11:50 AM

                        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. TomH Nov 16, 2009 09:55 AM

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

                  1. okra Nov 16, 2009 10:38 AM

                    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. m
                      Madrid Nov 16, 2009 11:15 AM

                      Amigo's Market on Broadway in East Somerville.

                      1. elbev Nov 16, 2009 01:44 PM

                        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
                          chickendhansak Nov 16, 2009 02:23 PM

                          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
                            elbev Nov 16, 2009 07:02 PM

                            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
                              okra Nov 17, 2009 05:35 AM

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

                              560 Pleasant St, Watertown, MA 02472

                          2. re: elbev
                            marcreichman Mar 7, 2010 11:40 AM

                            Are they in chelsea MB also?

                            1. re: marcreichman
                              bizkat Mar 8, 2010 07:48 AM

                              Yes. In the produce section.

                          3. d
                            deglazer Nov 16, 2009 06:41 PM

                            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
                              StriperGuy Nov 17, 2009 05:06 AM

                              Fresh mole for sale, that is noteworthy.

                            2. BobB Nov 19, 2009 08:27 AM

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

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

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