Looking for a simple recipe for dinner? Try this (Indian inspired flavors) Ratatouille Quesadillas - loaded with fresh vegetables, bold flavors and cheese.
I had an amazing day on Mother's Day.
Woke up to hugs, snuggles and wishes from my husband and Sonshine.
This was followed by my (daily) morning dose of delicious cuppa coffee.
And then it was time for an extra-super-fluffy omelet, toast and cereal - all courtesy of my husband and Sonshine.
Lunch was semi-homemade stuff (a little bit of left overs from Saturday and some store bought stuff). Nothing fancy-schamancy, but I was not allowed to lift a finger to get the lunch on the table.
Dinner was a surprise! Dinner was posh! Dinner was at a restaurant that we have been planning to go since New Year's but did not get a chance till now.
Well, my family pampered me, celebrated the motherhood and I could not have asked for a better day.
This recipe goes out to Sonal who is looking for recipes to add to her collectives of semi-homemade stuff. I love collectives or round up posts - they deal with a single idea, but different variations. Recently, my chia seeds breakfast bowl (it is super-healthy and super-easy) was recently featured in a round up by The Belly Rules The Mind featuring 7 different breakfast ideas in one post. You get the idea?
One blog post and you are spoiled for choices.
Sonal connected with many bloggers she knows (through FaceBook) some time back. I knew I wanted to be part of the collective and hence I was brainstorming for ideas to submit to the collective and was getting nowhere. I wanted it to be unique, easy, semi-homemade and wanted some Indian flavor in it.
You get the drift?
When I obsess over an idea, everything else goes into an oblivion. My focus is only on that particular idea. Well, my routine stuff happens, but things that need extra attention, take a back seat. So I have been obsessed over this requirement of semi-homemade dish for a few days. I brainstormed with myself, slept over different ideas and finally...
I made Ratatouille Quesadillas for dinner one night (two weeks back) for myself and my husband. Well, I wish I could say I made these Ratatouille Quesadillas for myself, my husband and Sonshine. But alas, no! Sonshine is still crazy about simple cheese Quesadillas and anything with zucchini (except for this amazing Zucchini Beet Bread) is frowned upon by him. So these quesadillas are just for my husband and me.
That's it! Hey, it is semi-homemade, it is vegetarian, not too complicated and is loaded with vegetables. - it fits all the requirements.
So yeah, I decided to send this to Sonal's collective.
My obsession with Ratatouille started after watching the movie with the same name. I found the dish exotic and kinda beyond my capabilities. At that juncture in my life, food was a question of mere sustenance and survival. Working a job, taking care of the toddler and managing a house - it was all super crazy at that point in time - food was the least of all my worries.
So, I left the obsession with Ratatouille to sleep in some far away corner of the brain. The move to the US was a game changer for me in terms of cooking. The availability of everything-at-your-finger-tips, exotic& ethnic restaurants in every corner, lotsa free time at hand - all contributed to the fact that I started experimenting with food like no one (in my family) thought I would. That is when I remembered about Ratatouille and tried many a different recipes for Ratatouille.
Search the internet for Ratatouille recipe, and you will find many variations. Typically, it has some vegetable like Onion, tomatoes, bell pepper, egg plant etc. some herbs and spices. It is the combination of the flavors that makes each recipe a different one.
Well, I decided to infuse my version of Ratatouille with some Indian inspired spices, to give it the Indian twist (a fusion dish, if you say) and I am happy to say that it works.
Mine is a quick version of the Ratatouille and it does not take long to prepare. But there is no compromise on taste.
This is such a versatile dish that can be served with Chappati, and would be a great side with some jeera (cumin) rice (serving Ratatouille with cumin rice makes it a gluten free meal).
I have some fusion already going on, I decided to add one more layer of fusion to it.
How abut make it into Ratatouille Quesadillas?
Make some Ratatouille, sandwich Ratatouille and cheese (I used Pepper jack; vegans, use vegan cheese) in between two Tortillas, and you have a quick dinner.
Perfect for the hot furnace like weather that makes me cringe about an elaborate meal.
- 1 (150-200 grams) onion
- 1 (400-500 grams) eggplant
- 1 (150-200 grams) zucchini
- 1 (about 150-175 grams) Bell Pepper
- 1 tomato (medium sized, I used Roma Tomato)
- 1.5 tablespoon oil
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds/jeera
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander/coriander powder
- 1 teaspoon ginger garlic paste
- ½ teaspoon turmeric/haldi
- ½-1 teaspoon red chilli flakes (adjust to taste)
- ½ teaspoon garam masala
- 1-2 tablespoon finely chopped cilantro/coriander leaves
- juice of ½ lemon (adjust to taste)
- salt to taste
- Small flour Tortillas
- Grated cheese (your choice; I used pepper jack)
- To serve - Avocado slices, sour cream and salsa
- Wash and dice the vegetables into desired size.
- Heat oil in a kadhai or large skillet over medium high heat.
- Add cumin seeds and when they splutter, add the red chilli flakes followed by onions.
- Saute the onions till translucent (about 2-3 minutes). Mix the spice powders (ground coriander, turmeric powder and garam masala) with the onion and fry till aromatic. Combine the ginger garlic paste with onion-spice mix and fry till the raw smell goes away.
- Add the diced vegetables (except tomato) and cook for 5-8 minutes. Stir in the tomato and simmer for about 10-12 minutes.
- Remove from heat, stir in the lemon juice and season with salt.
- Garnish with finely chopped cilantro.
- Heat an indoor grill on high or a skillet on stove top over medium high heat.
- Place a portion Ratatouille on one tortilla and top it with some grated cheese. Top this with a second tortilla.
- Spray oil on the heated indoor grill or on the skillet.
- Place the quesadilla on either the indoor grill or on the skillet and cook on each side for 2-3 minutes or till golden brown. Spray oil if required.
- Serve hot with avocado slices, sour cream and salsa.
1. The cook time denotes the time you would need to cook the Ratatouille. Add about 5 minutes for each Quesadilla.
2. The actual yield depends on the size of the tortillas and the amount of filling you use for each Quesadilla.
3. To make it more cheesy, follow this pattern- tortilla->cheese->Ratatouille ->cheese->second tortilla.
Learn how to keep Cilantro fresh for days with these simple tricks.
Have you tried any fusion dishes? Let us know in comments.
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Till we meet again, have a great week.