Vegetarian Quesadilla with Pink Cowpea and Bellpepper


A Mexican delight, which once used to be regular breakfast delicacy of mine. I would pick up a portion or two, of the quesadillas every morning along with a tall cup of coffee, on my way to office. The similarity it displayed with the Indian parathas, advantage of getting it customised with the vegetarian options, …well ..sincerely…I think that is how I was sold to it. It was always the standard vegetables and different cheese, some time would load them with jalapeno for me, certainly the dish came with me from NYC days. When we moved out to tier 2 cities in Europe, quesadilla came for rescue again. This time it was home made, customised with Indian spices, vegetables and packed off as breakfast or a brunch. They appear on our table frequently even now, when we are staying in our mother land, India.


As the name suggest, quesadilla – (as the spanish alphabet ‘ll’ is pronounced as ”elle’, when appeared in words, would sound between English ‘J’ and ‘Y’. With it’s colonial Mexican origin it has prominent ‘Y’ sound –  which we conveniently pronounce as quesadiya.) – this recipe should include some queso, some kind of soft/fresh cheese.


Preparing quesadilla is  quick, fuss free affair. No hassles of particular ingredients, measuments..all you need to do is to customise it to your need and taste. This recipe would arm you with some idea, use your imagination and create amazing quesadillas.



  • 4 tortillas
  • 2 cups of baked/steamed pink cowpea
  • 1 cup of chopped vegetables of your choice. I used bell pepper, tomatoes and red onion.
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 3/4 tbsp salt

Method – Heat the oil in a wok, add chopped vegetables. On a high heat cook them for 2 minutes. Lower the flame/heat, add baked/steamed cowpea and cook for two more minutes. Turn off the flame. Add salt. Taste and adjust the salt at this point.

On half portion of the tortilla, spread a layer of cottage cheese. Take two heaped spoon of vegetable and cowpea mix, and spread on the cheese layer. On this spread a layer of ricotta cheese. Remember, you are spread it on only one half of the tortilla and other half is left as is. Now fold this portion of the tortilla to cover the spreads in a half circle shape. Lightly press with you finger.

Heat the cast iron griddle or a frying pan, put the prepared tortilla on it. Press it slightly and hold it for few seconds, allowing the cheese to melt.Turn over and cook the other side for few more seconds. You need to cook the quesadilla, untill nice brown spots appear on them taking care, not to burn.

Take out of the heat and cut them in two equal size triangles. Serve them with sour cream or any salsa of your choice.

Makes 4 quesadilla, can be preserved for a day.




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