This is my favorite quesadilla.
Maybe it because I’m Indian… Maybe it’s because I love to eat Mexican… Maybe it’s because this quesadilla tastes like I’m eating eating a cumin and coriander spiced Indian chaat in a warm black bean Mexican corn tortilla… I’m not sure really what it is, but there is something magical about this dish that makes me want to make it, and eat it, over and over and over and over again…
I mean, how can you go wrong? Delicious, savory, soft on the inside crunchy on the outside, topped with something fresh and colorful… comfort food on a plate – it’s literally what dreams are made of. Each element of this quesadilla would be great on its own, but put them together, and it makes for something truly outstanding. I’ve served these quesadillas to so many of our friends now, I might possibly have covered almost every single one on them!
Yield: Serves 4
Black Bean Paste
1 1/2 cups cooked black beans
1 tbs ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 bunch cilantro (leaves and stalks, about 1 oz), chopped
juice of 1 lime
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 tbsp white wine vinegar
3 green onions, thinly sliced
5 medium tomatoes, diced
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 mild fresh red chile, finely diced
1 bunch cilantro (leaves and stalks, about 1 oz.), finely chopped
3/4 tsp salt
juice of 1/2 lime
2 medium ripe avocados, diced
8 small soft corn tortillas
3/4 cup sour cream
4 1/2 oz good-quality sharp cheddar, grated
6 tbsp drained and roughly chopped pickled jalapeños
To make the black bean paste: Place all the ingredients in a food processor and quickly pulse until a rough paste has formed.
Make the salsa: First soak the red onions in the vinegar in a large bowl for a few minutes. Then add all of the other ingredients and stir well.
Prepare the barbecue, or heat a grill pan on medium-high heat.
Take one of the tortillas and spread with 2 tablespoons of the black bean paste, creating a large circle in the center but leaving about 3/4 inch clear all around the edge. Over one half of the bean circle spread a tablespoon of the sour cream, a sprinkle of Cheddar, a tablespoon of salsa and some pickled jalapeños. Fold over the other tortilla half.
To cook, gently place the quesadilla on the hot barbecue or grill pan. Leave for 2 to 3 minutes, then turn and cook for 2 to 3 minutes on the other side. The filling should be warm and the tortilla nicely charred.
Transfer the tortilla to a serving dish. Spoon another 2 tablespoons of the salsa on top. Serve immediately.