Molotes Poblanos

​​Source: Gabriela Cárdenas

If you’ve ever heard of traditional Mexican dishes like mole, then you should also try molotes!

What makes this dish so special? It originates from the city of Puebla, which is known for its culinary history and famous cuisine like mole poblano, chiles en nogada, cemitas, and more.

What are Molotes?

A molote is prepared with two types of flour––corn and all purpose––which is then deep fried to golden perfection and is typically filled with quesillo (Oaxaca cheese or string-like cheese), chicken tinga, potatoes, and mushrooms.

Some vendors even sell Hawaiian-style molotes, which are made with pineapple and ham; however, my favorite stuffing has always included quesillo and epazote, which is the recipe I’ll be sharing with you today.

My Love for Molotes

Although I am not originally from Puebla, I was lucky to live there for eight years and I had the opportunity to try all the amazing dishes that Puebla offers. 

One of my favorite things to do on the weekends was to visit the market of Cholula and to taste the food prepared by local fondas (small stalls), which always sold a diverse variety of bites.

Molotes were a perfect after-party dinner, and a budget-friendly dish, which always kept me going during final exams in college. 

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​​Me and my friends having a Sunday brunch in the Mercado de Cholula. Source: Gabriela Cárdenas
I hope you enjoy these molotes, which I am sure will make you feel like you are visiting the mercado in Puebla! 
​​Source: Gabriela Cárdenas

Molotes Poblanos

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Yields: 10 medium size molotes

tips before starting

  1. For‌ ‌the‌ ‌masa,‌ ‌you‌ ‌can‌ ‌use‌ ‌lard,‌ ‌shortening,‌ ‌or‌ ‌butter.‌ ‌Adding‌ ‌fat‌ ‌to‌ ‌the‌ ‌masa‌ ‌makes‌ ‌the‌ ‌molotes‌ ‌softer.‌

  2. ‌Although‌ ‌the‌ ‌most‌ ‌common‌ ‌stuffings‌ ‌for‌ ‌the‌ ‌molotes‌ ‌in‌ ‌Puebla‌ ‌are‌ ‌cheese,‌ ‌mushrooms,‌ ‌tinga‌ ‌and‌ ‌potatoes,‌ ‌you‌ ‌can‌ ‌always‌ ‌use‌ ‌any‌ ‌leftovers‌ ‌like‌ ‌picadillo‌ ‌or‌ ‌any‌ ‌vegetable‌ ‌of‌ ‌your‌ ‌preference.‌

  3. ‌Avoid‌ ‌stuffing‌ ‌too‌ ‌much‌ ‌into‌ ‌the‌ ‌molotes‌ ‌to‌ ‌ensure‌ ‌these‌ ‌don't‌ ‌break‌ ‌while‌ ‌frying.‌ 

  4. Before‌ ‌making‌ ‌the‌ ‌molotes,‌ ‌consider‌ ‌the‌ ‌pan‌ ‌you‌ ‌will‌ ‌use‌ ‌to‌ ‌fry‌ ‌them.‌ ‌This‌ ‌way‌ ‌you‌ ‌make‌ ‌sure‌ ‌the‌ ‌shape‌ ‌of‌ ‌the‌ ‌molotes‌ ‌are‌ ‌not‌ ‌too‌ ‌big‌ ‌for‌ ‌your‌ ‌pan.‌ ‌This‌ ‌is‌ ‌key‌ ‌to‌ ‌cook‌ ‌the‌ ‌molotes‌ ‌evenly.

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​​Source: Gabriela Cárdenas

Ingredients for the molotes

  • 1‌ ‌cup‌ ‌of‌ ‌all‌-purpose‌ ‌flour‌ ‌

  • 3‌ ‌cups‌ ‌of‌ ‌masa‌ ‌harina‌ ‌ ‌

  • 2‌ ‌tablespoons‌ ‌of‌ ‌shortening‌ ‌ ‌

  • Salt‌ ‌to‌ ‌taste‌ ‌

  • Water‌ ‌as‌ ‌required‌ ‌ ‌

  • Oil‌ ‌for‌ ‌frying‌ ‌

  • 1‌ ‌cup‌ ‌of‌ ‌Oaxaca‌ ‌cheese‌ ‌or‌ ‌any‌ ‌melting‌ ‌cheese‌ ‌ ‌

  • Epazote‌

For garnishing

  • Sour‌ ‌cream‌ ‌

  • Crumbled‌ ‌cheese‌ ‌(queso‌ ‌fresco‌ ‌or‌ ‌any‌ ‌white‌ ‌cheese‌ ‌of‌ ‌your‌ ‌choice)‌ ‌

  • Salsa‌

Green avocado salsa

  • 1‌ ‌large‌ ‌ripe‌ ‌avocado‌ ‌peeled‌ ‌and‌ pit‌ ‌removed‌ ‌

  • 1‌ ‌teaspoon‌ ‌of‌ ‌minced‌ ‌garlic‌ ‌

  • 1‌ ‌jalapeño‌ ‌or‌ ‌any‌ ‌chili‌ ‌pepper‌ ‌of‌ ‌your‌ ‌preference.‌ ‌ ‌

  • 1‌ ‌small‌ ‌onion‌ ‌

  • 1‌ ‌handful‌ ‌of‌ ‌coriander‌ ‌

  • 1‌ ‌teaspoon‌ ‌of‌ ‌lime‌ ‌juice‌ ‌

  • 2‌ ‌tablespoons‌ ‌of‌ ‌water‌ ‌

  • Salt‌ ‌to‌ ‌taste

​​Source: Gabriela Cárdenas


  1. In‌ ‌a‌ ‌large‌ ‌bowl‌ ‌add‌ ‌the‌ ‌dry‌ ‌ingredients‌ ‌for‌ ‌the‌ ‌dough:‌ ‌masa‌ ‌harina,‌ ‌all‌ ‌purpose‌ ‌flour,‌ ‌salt‌ ‌and‌ ‌mix‌ ‌well.‌
  2. Add‌ ‌one‌ ‌cup‌ ‌of‌ ‌water‌ ‌in‌ ‌batches,‌ ‌dissolving‌ ‌the‌ ‌masa‌ ‌with‌ ‌your‌ ‌hands‌ ‌and‌ ‌adding‌ ‌water‌ ‌as‌ ‌required.‌ ‌Make‌ ‌sure‌ ‌you‌ ‌don't‌ ‌add‌ ‌all‌ ‌the‌ ‌water‌ ‌at once.‌ ‌Every different type of masa‌ ‌harina‌ ‌has‌ ‌different‌ ‌hydrating‌ ‌points,‌ ‌so‌ ‌it's‌ ‌better‌ ‌to‌ ‌be‌ ‌cautious‌ ‌when‌ ‌adding‌ ‌the‌ ‌water.‌
  3. ‌Add‌ ‌the‌ ‌shortening‌ ‌and‌ ‌mix‌ ‌well‌ ‌for‌ ‌five‌ ‌minutes.‌ ‌
  4. The‌ ‌consistency‌ ‌of‌ ‌the‌ ‌masa‌ ‌should‌ ‌be‌ ‌smooth‌ ‌and‌ ‌should‌ ‌not‌ ‌stick‌ ‌to‌ ‌your‌ ‌hands.‌ ‌
  5. Now‌ ‌that‌ ‌the‌ ‌masa‌ ‌is‌ ‌ready,‌ ‌let's‌ ‌shape‌ ‌the‌ ‌molotes.‌ ‌Place‌ ‌a‌ ‌clean‌ ‌plastic‌ ‌bag‌ ‌on‌ ‌your‌ ‌working‌ ‌surface‌ ‌(the‌ ‌plastic‌ ‌bag‌ ‌will‌ ‌help‌ ‌to‌ ‌handle‌ ‌the‌ ‌molotes)‌ ‌
  6. Take‌ ‌a‌ ‌small‌ ‌piece‌ ‌of‌ ‌masa‌ ‌and‌ ‌form‌ ‌an‌ ‌oval.‌ ‌
  7. Close‌ ‌the‌ ‌plastic‌ ‌bag‌ ‌and,‌ ‌with‌ ‌the‌ ‌help‌ ‌of‌ ‌your‌ ‌hands,‌ ‌start‌ ‌spreading‌ ‌the‌ ‌masa‌ ‌in‌ ‌both‌ ‌directions.‌ ‌The‌ ‌amount‌ ‌of‌ ‌masa‌ ‌used‌ ‌will‌ ‌depend‌ ‌on‌ ‌the‌ ‌final‌ ‌size‌ ‌of‌ ‌the‌ ‌molotes.‌ ‌ ‌
  8. Spread‌ ‌the‌ ‌masa‌ ‌until‌ ‌you‌ ‌have‌ ‌a‌ ‌thin‌ ‌layer.‌ ‌Open‌ ‌the‌ ‌plastic‌ ‌bag‌ ‌and‌ ‌place‌ ‌in‌ ‌the‌ ‌middle‌ ‌of‌ ‌the‌ ‌oval‌ ‌the‌ ‌filling‌ ‌of‌ ‌your‌ ‌preference,‌ ‌I‌ ‌am‌ ‌using‌ ‌Oaxaca‌ ‌cheese‌ ‌and‌ ‌epazote.‌ ‌
  9. With‌ ‌the‌ ‌help‌ ‌of‌ ‌the‌ ‌plastic‌ ‌bag,‌ ‌close‌ ‌the‌ ‌molote,‌ ‌making‌ ‌sure‌ ‌all‌ ‌the‌ ‌corners‌ ‌are‌ ‌sealed‌ ‌very‌ ‌well‌ ‌on‌ ‌both‌ ‌sides.‌ ‌
  10. Carefully‌ ‌remove‌ ‌the‌ ‌molote‌ ‌from‌ ‌the‌ ‌plastic‌ ‌bag,‌ ‌it's‌ ‌time‌ ‌to‌ ‌fry‌ ‌it!‌ ‌
  11. Heat‌ ‌oil‌ ‌in‌ ‌a‌ ‌shallow‌ ‌saucepan‌ ‌or‌ ‌deep-fat‌ ‌fryer.‌ ‌ ‌
  12. Once‌ ‌the‌ ‌oil‌ ‌is‌ ‌hot,‌ ‌carefully‌ ‌place‌ ‌one‌ ‌molote‌ ‌at‌ ‌a‌ ‌time‌ ‌and‌ ‌fry‌ ‌undisturbed‌ ‌over‌ ‌medium‌ ‌flame‌ ‌for‌ ‌five‌ ‌minutes.‌ ‌
  13. Flip‌ ‌the‌ ‌molote‌ ‌and‌ ‌fry‌ ‌for‌ ‌further‌ ‌3‌ ‌minutes‌ ‌until‌ ‌golden‌ ‌and‌ ‌crisp‌ ‌on‌ ‌both‌ ‌sides.‌ ‌
  14. Transfer‌ ‌to‌ ‌a‌ ‌plate‌ ‌lined‌ ‌with‌ ‌kitchen‌ ‌paper‌ ‌to‌ ‌drain‌ ‌while‌ ‌you‌ ‌fry‌ ‌the‌ ‌remaining‌ ‌molotes.‌ ‌
  15. Serve‌ ‌hot‌ ‌and‌ ‌garnish‌ ‌with‌ ‌salsa,‌ ‌sour‌ ‌cream,‌ ‌and‌ ‌crumbled‌ ‌cheese

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To make the salsa

  1. Add‌ ‌all‌ ‌the‌ ‌ingredients‌ ‌listed‌ ‌under‌ ‌green‌ ‌avocado‌ ‌salsa‌ ‌to‌ ‌a‌ ‌blender,‌ ‌blend‌ ‌for‌ ‌30‌ ‌seconds,‌ ‌and‌ ‌transfer‌ ‌to‌ ‌a‌ ‌bowl.

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About the Author

Gabriela Cárdenas

Gaby is a passionate home cook from Mexico. Life took her to Mumbai, India where she fell in love with the country, the food and her husband Jasdeep. She is the brains behind @thepunjaxican, an Instagram account where she shares her favorite Indian and Mexican dishes with her own Punjaxican (Punjabi + Mexican) recipes as a homage to both ethnicities. Punjaxican is the type of fusion recipes she makes at home when they are “ni muy muy ni tan tan” Indian or Mexican.

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