Homemade Corn Tortilla and A Delightful Mixed Vegetable Cheesy Quesadilla
Sometimes a simple and easy recipe with a tongue twisting name can make you a winner. And when I was confused as to what to take for my weekend pot luck party, this scrumptious & cheesy Quesadilla did it for me. I used the normal cornflour (very fine variety) for the recipe here and am able to bring the taste and texture of an authentic Quesadilla to a certain extent.
If you have never used cornmeal or cornflour before I suggest you make the Tortillas with wheat flour first, as there is no gluten in cornflour which makes it difficult to handle and roll out into thin circles.. Keep reducing the quantity of wheat flour and increasing the cornflour in the recipe as you get more confident dealing with the not so friendly cornflour dough
Wish I could have seen the reaction on my mom’s face when I casually informed her over phone that I am making Quesadilla for a party, and added that I have been eating it since childhood.
“What..but I never made this dish before neither do I know a recipe with such an unusal name” she said as a matter of fact.
“These are nothing but the very famous cornflour chapattis or ‘Makki Ki Rotis’ you make during winter and serve us with all the fresh seasonal vegetables, mom” I replied to her query. Cornflour flat bread is very common in many houses of Rajasthan in India during the winter season. I love hot cornflour flat bread with a dollop of fresh butter and spicy mint chutney.
Quesadilla is my son’s favorite dish and he often asks for the same whenever we visit our favorite Mexican restaurant on weekends. The crispy cornmeal Tortillas made with authentic Masa Harina and loaded with gooey cheese is what attracts him to Quesadillas.
Masa Harina; It is a very fine ground corn flour made from dried corn kernels that has been cooked in slaked lime, dried, and then ground to make the powder. The lime water that has been used to cook the corn gives that distinctive taste to the Masa Harina. This powder when mixed with warm water makes soft and pliable dough unlike the normal cornflour and can be easily rolled out into thin sheets. More here.
The Tortillas I made has fine quality cornflour available in super markets and added a little wholewheat flour to bind the dough. I am including an easy recipe for making Tortilla shells also with wheat flour dough. Homemade Quesadilla is a real fun and opens up a new world of international cuisine in your kitchen, you can experiment with the dough and the fillings to make it more interesting, healthy and a scrumptious recipe.
- 1 1/2 cups cornflour or Masa Harina
- 1/2 cup wholewheat flour
- 1 1/2 cups warm water
- 1 tbsp. butter/oil
- 1/2 tsp Baking soda
- 1/2 tsp. Salt
Method; Mix cornflour, salt, baking powder and oil in a large vessel. Add warm water little by little and bring all the ingredients together to make a ball.
Cover the dough with a damp cloth as it will start drying up fast and the shells will break apart when you roll them out.
Cut out a square plastic sheets and take little cornflour in a plate for dusting the tortillas.
Take out a golf size ball and coat it with the dry cornflour in the plate. Keep it over the plastic sheet and roll it lightly into a circle. Do not lift the shell at this stage, just keep rolling the plastic to make a circle. Make all the Tortilla shells in the similar manner.
Heat a girdle and dry fry the Tortilla shells without oil on both the side. Cover them with a kitchen towel to keep the Tortilla soft and pliable.
- 2 cups of mixed veggies
- (Zucchini, color bell pepper, fresh corn kernels, green peas)
- 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 2 tbsp. chopped onion
- 1 tbsp. chopped coriander leaves
- 1 tbsp. Olive oil/vegetable oil
- 2 Garlic pearls
- 1 tsp. chilli flakes
- 1 tsp dry/fresh herbs
Method; Wash and dice all the vegetables into small pieces. Heat oil in a skillet and add chopped onion and garlic, saute for a minute. Add all the chopped vegetables and cook for about 2 minutes on high heat.
Take off the skillet from the flame and add the chopped fresh coriander leaves, herbs and chilli flakes in the cooked veggies.
Take a cooked Tortilla shell and sprinkle 2 tsp. of grated cheese over it. Add about 2 tbsp. of cooked veggies and add another layer of grated cheese to it. Cover the Tortilla shell with another Tortilla and press it lightly.
Heat a girdle and place the filled Tortilla shells over it gently. Cook for about 2 minutes at medium heat and turn to the other side. Cook for another few minutes and take it off. You can even grill or bake thee filled Tortillas in your oven.
I made a few wholewheat veggie Quesadillas also (for those sensitive to cornflour) and folded them into crescent shape for the party. Normally Quesadilla are cooked without any oil, but you can brush them with a little oil if you wish.
Cut the Quesadilla into wedges and serve with veggie salad, Guacamole or just plain. Homemade Quesadilla is much healthier option as you can add fresh veggies and also control the portion of cheese that goes in the recipe
- Use more of wholewheat flour or all purpose flour (maida) if you are not used to make flat breads form cornflour.
- Do not use cornmeal in place of cornflour, the consistency of the flour should be that of very fine powder.
- Start making Tortillas using wheat flour first if you are new to rolling the cornflour dough.
- Some cornflour absorb more water, you need to check the consistency of the dough once you start rolling it.
- Plastic sheets makes it easy to roll out the dough without breaking it.
- Tortillas made with cornmeal is slightly difficult to fold in crescent shape, but you can do it with wholewheat Tortillas.
- Add mushrooms or greens such as spinach to the filling for more nutrition into your recipe.
- Search for the authentic flour Masa Harina to make the Tortillas if you can.
- An important tip is to add a little cheese to the base of the Tortillas before adding the filling. As the melted cheese will help both the Tortillas stick together and make perfect wedges.