I am Neuroscience PhD, a humanist, skeptic, feminist, avid reader, science enthusiast, woolly-liberal über-nerd, and, as of October 2015, father to the Lykketroll.

I moved from England to Norway in January 2012 and live in Lørenskog with my wife, the Lykketroll, and our two aging rescue cats, Socrates and Schrödinger. 

I am on paternity leave from the 4th of July to the 18th of November. 

The job I am on leave from is as an  Associate Professor and Head of Studies at the Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences. My background is in child neurodevelopment (my PhD looked into the relationship between fatty acids like omega-3 and cognitive development in young children) but I now work on a hodge-podge of things roughly within the field of Universal Design of ICT 50% of the time, the other 50% of my time I am Head of the 'General' Studies (Allmenn in Norwegian) Unit, which is comprised of around 24 academics within a range of fields, including mathematics, physics, Norwegian, and technology and leadership.

In between working and doing the usual dad things,  I like hiking and running in the beautiful Norwegian outdoors, cooking and playing video games. 

If I believed in souls I would say that mine was born in Norway. 

I plan to sleep when I'm dead.

Recipe: Good for anything curry sauce

This sauce is one I've kind of made up myself, based on the basics that my mum has been teaching me. I called it Good for Anything Curry Sauce because it is just that. If you're a meat-eater, it tastes best with chicken but it works just as well with fried veggies (red and yellow bell peppers) and paneer or chickpeas. This recipe makes enough for about four portions. I usually use half on the day and then stick the rest in a jar. It should keep for a week in the fridge, or around a month (maybe longer, I haven't tried; it usually gets eaten by then) in the freezer.

Ingredients

  • 1 large onion, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 cm piece of ginger, peeled and finely grated
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
  • 400g tinnned chopped tomotoes
  • 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cumin seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon of chilli powder
  • 1/2 garam masala
  • 1 small green chili, de-seeded and finely chopped (leave out for a milder sauce)
  • 1 teapoon of coriander powder (works just as well without if you don't have it)
  • Pinch of salt
  • A good handfull of fresh coriander leaves, roughly chopped

Instructions

  1. Heat the oil on medium-high heat and add the cumin.
  2. Once the seeds start to crackle and pop, add the ginger, onion and garlic, turn down the heat and fry gently until the onions just start to brown.
  3. Stir in the turmeric, chili and coriander powder and fry for a minute or so, stiring constantly. The spices will start releasing their aroma and your kitchen will begin to smell amazing.
  4.  Stir in the tomatoes and then the garam masala and salt. 
  5. Let the sauce simmer on a medium heat until it has reduced by around a third. 
  6. Whizz the whole thing in a blender.

If you're not using the sauce straight away, let it cool down and then pour into air-tight containers.

For a meaty curry:

  1. Brown some sliced chicken breast in a little oil.
  2. Chuck in some chopped spicy chorizo.
  3. As soon as the chorizo starts to release its oil, pour over the curry sauce and warm through.

My wife's grandfather, who loves a spicy curry, said it was one of the best things he'd ever eaten, and this man knows is food.

For the veggie version (which, as someone avoiding meat as much as possible, I recommend over the meat one):

  1. Thinly slice one red and one yellow pepper and fry in a little oil until they start to soften.
  2. Chuck in a couple of handfuls of 1cm cubes of of paneer and fry until golden.
  3. If you're using paneer, you'll want to heat the sauce seperately and then mix just before you serve. If you warm the sauce in the same pan with the paneer, you risk the paneer going rubbery, which is just horrible. 

Whatever you're using the sauce for, make sure you sprinkle over a little coriander just before you serve. It really does make all the difference. 

 

 

 

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