Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Cannelloni with Mixed Vegetables and Three Cheeses

This is my first attempt at making cannelloni. I saw several recipes on my friends blogs and adapted this to the way my family likes it. This recipe was a hit with my young son and his friends  so I am going to include it in the Mirage series recipes category.


4 cups of fresh or frozen spinach
2 cups of fresh or frozen mixed vegetables (I used carrots, beans, peas, sweetcorn and peppers)
1 Medium Onion
3-4 cloves of Small Garlic
500 grams of blended tomatoes (I used a can but you can use fresh or canned)
1 Large tablespoon of tomato puree
1 Tub 250 gms Ricotta Cheese
125 gms of fresh mozzarella cheese
1 teaspoon Salt for the filling and 1 teaspoon for adding to the water which you need when you precook the cannelloni.
1/2 teaspoon of chilly powder
1/2 teaspoon of cumin powder
1/2 teaspoon of turmeric
15 Cannelloni Tubes
200 gms Grated Cheddar cheese
I tablespoon cooking Oil


1. Heat the oil and add in the onions and garlic and cook for 2 minutes.

2. Add in the spinach, mixed vegetable,  tomatoes and tomato puree; plus the spices - salt, chilly powder, cumin powder, turmeric.

3. Cover and allow to cook for 10 minutes or until the vegetables are soft.

4. Once cooked, blend all the vegetables using a blender.

5.  Allow the mixture to cool.

6.  Now boil some water, add 1 teaspoon of salt to it  and precook the cannelloni for about 4-5 minutes.

7.   Mix the ricotta cheese and mozzarella cheese in a mixing bowl.

8.  Take 1 cup of the cooked vegetables and add it to the cheese mix.

9.  Mix the cheese and vegetable puree.  Now your stuffing is ready.

10.  Using a very small teaspoon, scoop the mixture and stuff the cannelloni tubes.

11.  Place the tubes in an oven proof dish.

12.  If you have any filling left, pour it over the cannelloni tubes.

13. Cover the cannelloni shells with the left over vegetable puree.

14.  Grate the Cheddar cheese and sprinkle it on top of the vegetable puree.

15.  Cover the dish with aluminium foil and cook it in the oven at 180 Degrees C for 15-20 minutes depending on the size of your oven.

  16.  Serve it hot with plenty of salad.   I am afraid that my picture of the final dish doesn't do it justice.  The cannelloni was absolutely delicious and got the seal of approval from my family.

Monday, 1 October 2012

Punjabi Pizza or Stuffed Paratha ? What shall I call it?

I have just realised who commands the Daily menu in my kitchen!! It's my children as you always worry if they don't eat their food.  You also worry if they are not eating all their vegetables.  I am always trying to think of ways to make a dish interesting for them so that they eat well.   My young son loves Pizzas and went through a phase where he had to either have a pizza every day or something with cheese added to it to make it look like a pizza!!  That's when I came up with this recipe which is of a stuffed paratha but with some of the pizza ingredients added.   I told my son who was very young at the time that it was a "Punjabi Pizza" and since that day, it's been called that in our house.  We really enjoy this dish as a weekend brunch dish.  I hope that you will all agree with me that this one is a real winner with children.  You can add what ever fillings you like and make it as spicy or as bland as you prefer.

Ingredients for 4 parathas:

For the filling:

2 medium sized potatoes
1 small Onion -cut in thin slices
1 pepper sliced thinly
1 tomato sliced thinly
1-2 cups of grated cheddar cheese
some green chutney or tomato sauce 
small bunch of coriander - cut finely
1/2 a teaspoon salt
1/2 a teaspoon chilly powder
some dried herbs like oregano

For the parathas:

2 cups of chappati flour (strong wheat flour)
pinch of salt
1 clove of garlic - minced
Some sunflower oil


For the filling: 

1. Boil the potatoes and mash them using a fork

2.  Add in the salt, chilly powder, coriander leaves and half the cheddar cheese. 

3. Mix well using a fork and leave the mixture covered.

4.   Slice up all the vegetables you want to use for the filling.

For the dough: 

5.   Sieve the flour into a mixing bowl.

6.   Add the salt and garlic to the flour

7.  Add two teaspoons of oil to the flour.

8.  Mix the dough with warm water and let it rest for half an hour.

9.    Divide the dough into small balls - smaller than a ping pong ball.

10.  Take one ball and roll out the dough to the size of a  6-7 inch diameter chappati

11.  Spread the chutney or tomato sauce on the rolled out chappati.  Recipe for the chutney is here

12.  Spread the cheese and potato mixture on top of the chutney or sauce.

13.  Spread the toppings like you would for a pizza.  I used peppers, tomatoes and onions.

14.  Spread some cheddar cheese and any herbs like oregano on the toppings just like you would for a pizza. Whilst putting all the toppings on the chappati, don't press too hard on it as the dough is quite delicate.

15.   Cover all the toppings with a similar sized chappati.  Now you see why I don't know what to call this dish? Pizza or paratha?? But what's in a name?

16.  Warm a griddle or a frying pan.  Add some oil to the pan and gently heat the paratha on a medium flame.

17.  You want to make sure that the filling cooks without burning the outer later,  You also don't want the cheese to cook too fast  or it will melt and ooze out of the paratha.

18.  Flip the paratha over and allow the second side to cook.

19.  The pizza/paratha is ready to be served.  I'll be very interested in your views on what I should call this dish!!

20.  Some serving suggestions: