Deep-fried and topped with lettuce and salsa, papadillas are a delicious vegetarian garnacha that will leave you licking your fingers after every bite.






Skill level

Average: 5 (1 vote)


  • 200 g small all-purpose potatoes
  • 2 tsp table salt
  • vegetable oil for cooking
  • ½ white onion, diced
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 5 fresh jalapeno, serrano or cayenne chillies, chopped
  • 10 11 cm corn tortillas, warmed

To serve

  • shredded iceberg lettuce
  • salsa verde
  • guacamole
  • cotija or fresco cheese, crumbled
  • coriander leaves


Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


1. Place the whole potatoes in a saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to the boil over medium–high heat, then reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes or until the potatoes are cooked through.

2. Drain the potatoes and transfer to a large bowl, then mash them with the salt. You can peel them if you like, but I don’t bother.

3. Heat 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil in a large frying pan over medium–high heat. Add the onion, garlic and chilli and cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes or until softened.

4. Add the onion mixture to the mashed potato and gently combine.

5. Make a papadilla by adding 50 g of the potato mixture to the base of a warm tortilla and folding it in half. Use a tooth pick to secure the quesadilla if it keeps opening up.

6. Heat 1 cm of oil in a frying pan over medium–high heat and add the papadilla. Cook for 1–2 minutes or until the base is crisp, then gently flip and cook the other side until crisp.

7. Drain the papadilla on a plate lined with paper towel and repeat with the remaining ingredients to make 10 papadillas.

8. Serve the papadillas with shredded lettuce, salsa verde, guacamole, crumbled cheese and a few coriander leaves and don’t forget to remove the tooth picks!


Recipe and image from Comida Mexicana by Rosa Cienfuegos (Smith Street Books, RRP $45).