There are so many different Mexican mole sauces that the safest bet is not to guess a number at all. However, you can bet that a mole-based dish is present in most Mexican homes during the Day of the Dead celebration: a time where people build a bridge to connect with those who have departed. It is a joyous, yet bittersweet, occasion when families reminisce on what their dear ones loved the most. Especially their favorite foods. Traditional mole dishes are always on top of anyone's list.
One of my favorites is the amarillito, or “little yellow.” It is a classic and so easy compared with how laborious some of Mexico’s other moles can be—it can be made, as we Mexicans say, “with one hand on your hip.” It is light and bright, but despite the fact that it’s not actually yellow, the name has stuck.
The dish comes from Oaxaca, a state in southern Mexico known in the culinary world for its many versions of mole. The chochoyotes, or dimpled corn masa dumplings, enrich and thicken the sauce, and the dimple in the center of each one holds the sauce like a tasty, fluffy edible spoon. For celebrating Day of the Dead, or for any occasion when there is anything to celebrate, this dish speaks of a happy gathering. —Pati Jinich