Welcome to my world!

The reflections and comments of a resident in Southsea, Portsmouth, England.

Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Cupboard Curry

I love my cupboard curry, which often comes out after seeing a lot of leftover potatoes or wilting spinach that needs eating.

1 medium onions chopped
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp curry powder
1 tsp cumin, ground
1 tsp coriander seed, ground
Potatoes, cubed
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 can of chickpeas

Fry the onion with the cumin and coriander for 3 minutes, until the onion is translucent. Add the potatoes and chickpeas, garlic and curry powder, mix. Add the spinach and let it all wilt. If the mixture is too dry, add half a glass of water, or 150ml. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes.

Season to taste and serve with fluffly white rice.

Monday, 29 April 2013

A Pinch of Spice

A new curry house, A Pinch of Spice, proves to be an exciting new restaurant to try. My friends, Karen and Dom, introduced me to the place.

Last Friday night I had the most delicious Mumbai Mango King Prawn. The mango sauce was so divine!

Another dish I like there is the Handi Gosht made with the most tender lamb.

It's not a cheap curry place, my dish and lemon rice, plus a couple of beers cost me about £20. But it's a nice change from the usual.

Next Friday night, try it.

Sunday, 28 April 2013

Putting Portsmouth on the UK Culture Map

So on 30th April, next week, Portsmouth will submit a bid to be the UK City of Culture 2017. This is a joint bid with Southampton. The writers of the bid, poet Sam Cox and writer Sarah Cheverton, have been busy asking various people about what they think culture is and how we can make 2017 a fantastic 'year of the culture' in Portsmouth.

I think in the last couple of years Portsmouth has been gaining momentum in asserting itself to be a big player in the UK when it comes to tourism. Portsmouth, and with this I do mean Southsea and its wider surrounding area, has been slowly putting itself on the map of culture.

For a number of years Portsmouth has hosted the hugely successful Portsmouth Festivities and Music in the Round, an international chamber music series. Portsmouth people have also been busy celebrating our literary heritage. From Dickens to Conan-Doyle, Kippling and countless others.

We have a lively literary community in Portsmouth and last World Book Night saw a group of writers sharing their work and it was featured on BBC South. I was impressed! Look at Matt Wingett in his Sherlock's frock reading at the Square Tower.

January this year saw the launch of a new literary series, Portsmouth Thought, which celebrates non-fiction writing. With the University of Portsmouth in the heart of the city, such a series complements their public lecture series beautifully. In fact, the series is a partnership of the Portsmouth City Council, University of Portsmouth and Blackwell.

Here we are listening to Leo Hollis who has written a book 'Cities are Good For You: The Genius of the Metropolis' at the Spinnaker Tower. The perfect setting for the topic and our own marvel of an architecture and piece of engineering.

At the end of May we will see the opening of the new Mary Rose Museum. The museum we have been waiting for and a celebration of heritage as well as the endeavour to use science and technology to bring history to future generations.

So Portsmouth has many things to celebrate and will certainly be putting itself on the map. Fingers crossed for winning the bid!

Sunday, 7 April 2013

Spinach and Parmesan Soup


After a long sojourn, I'm back with some new recipes which I have tried and tested on a few people. The Easter holidays offered a respite after a very busy few months after Christmas. So lunch was relaxed and one afternoon I made this soup because we have been eating a lot of spinach lately and there is a pack languishing in the fridge.

I happened to read an article in the Telegraph Magazine about the production of Parmiggiano Reggiano cheese and this recipe was on it. I made some modification to make it for 2 people instead of 6 on the recipe and here's my version:

Spinach and Parmesan Soup for 2 people:

5g butter
half an onion thinly sliced
300 grams spinach
50 grams grated Parmiggiano Reggiano
a pinch of salt
1 medium potato thinly sliced
200 ml water
Parmesan shavings to garnish
balsamic vinegar

Melt the butter in a large saucepan and sweat the onion until translucent (about 3 minutes) then add the spinach and stir until it's wilted. Then add the Parmesan and a pinch of salt. Stir, add the potatoes and the water. Bring to a boil and boil for 15 minutes. Take off the heat and cool down. Blend it to a smooth consistency and then pour it all back into the pan and heat. Serve in a bowl with some Parmesan shavings and a drizzle of the balsamic vinegar.

It is delicious on its own or eaten with some garlic bread. The recipe also asks for some double cream to add to the soup at the heating up stage, but in the interest of healthiness I omit the cream and the soup is fine without it.

My vegetarian friends have also have given it a thumbs-up, so try it and enjoy!