Thursday, 31 July 2014

Baked Cottage Cheese Quesadillas (Baked Paneer Parathas)

A lot of Western food can be seen to be derived from Indian kitchens. These Quesadillas are one such which is quite close to its Indian counterpart, the much loved Paneer Paratha. The Quesadillas however have an added advantage of being baked or toasted on the stove top without the oil which makes them super healthy and nutritious. While the filling for the Quesadillas is entirely upto your taste and liking, you cannot miss the crunchy crust which almost reminds you of a thin crust Calzone! It is a must try in your kitchen and especially if you are watching your calories and still want to enjoy something interestingly delicious!
2-3 cookedtortillas/leftover chapati (I used store bought wholemeal chapatis. It is best to use left over chapatis which are a day old. You may not get the crunchy crust with a freshly prepared chapati. Also, I recommend rolling the chapati a little bigger and thinner than the usual one so that the filling can be adequately placed)
1 cup paneer roughly crumbled with your hands
1 medium onion chopped
1 small tomato chopped
1/2 cup mixed bell peppers chopped
1 sprig coriander leaves chopped
1 green chilli chopped
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp freshly crushed black pepper powder
Salt to taste
Grated cheddar cheese (quantity depends on how cheesy you like it. I used about 1 tbsp per quesadilla)
1 tsp olive oil

Prepare the filling first. Heat oil in a pan and fry the onions till translucent. Add the chillies and tomato and fry till soft. Now add the bell peppers and cook till just done. Add the fresh coriander and the spices and salt and mix well. Switch off the flame and add the crumbled paneer or cottage cheese. We do not want to cook the paneer. Let the mixture remain in the hot pan with the flame off. This heat is sufficient to soften the paneer. Let it cool on its own.
Pre-heat the oven at 175 degree celsius in the broiler mode or top rod only. Line a baking tray with aluminium foil. Take one tortilla or chapati and brush it with room temperature water on both sides. Now put the filling on one half of the tortilla/chapati. Do not put a heaped filling. It should be in a single layer so that the other half closes in comfortably. Leave a little space on the sides. Now sprinkle the grated cheese on top and fold in the tortilla/chapati covering the filling.
Place this on the prepared baking dish. Repeat for the rest of the tortillas/chapatis. 
Bake in the pre heated oven for 10-15 minutes till crispy on the outer side and slightly browned. Flip the side and bake for another 5-10 minutes till crispy and browned on both sides. You can adjust the oven timings and temperature as per your oven settings. 
Remove from the oven and cut into wedges. Serve hot with your favorite dip. 

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