From India to Istanbul to Fredericton – a taste experiment

Andrea and I had a wonderful eggplant dish in Istanbul at an indian restaurant named Dubb. Loved it, loved it, loved it! After much searching, we think we may have found the recipe. This blog entry charts our attempt at duplicating the beloved Dubb taste treat. Wearing our new aprons (given to us by Eric and Chris), we forged ahead into uncharted gastronomic territory.

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Punjabi Baingan Bharta is just one of the several versions of eggplant bharta there are in Indian cooking. The word ‘bharta’ (pronounced BHURR-taah) refers to dishes in which the ingredients are roughly mashed either before or after the dish is prepared. Bhartas are largely North Indian in origin and made from all sorts of vegetables. This recipe serves 4.


  • 3 medium-sized eggplants (roughly 500gms/ 1 pound)
  • 2 tbsps vegetable/ sunflower/ canola cooking oil
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 medium-sized onions chopped fine
  • 1 tbsp garlic paste or garlic chopped very fine
  • 1″ piece of ginger grated fine
  • 2 green chillies or other hot stuff
  • 2 large tomatoes chopped fine
  • 1/2 tsp coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • 2 tbsps finely chopped fresh green coriander

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For this recipe, Andrea ground all the spices for an heavenly, aromatic garam masala from scratch. Worth it just for the scents!


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Baingan Ka Bharta requires that the eggplant be roasted, and by roasted, I mean charred and left on the grill long past when you think you should remove them. Roast on a gas cooktop or a BBQ by just placing the eggplant straight on the burner and keeping the flame on med-low setting. Keep turning and cooking till all the skin on the eggplant is charred and the inner flesh looks really soft. A good sign to watch for is that the eggplant seems to ‘cave in’ on itself.

Once the eggplant is roasted, allow it to cool fully and then peel off and discard the charred skin.

Once cool, coarsely mash and keep aside for later use.

Photo 11-09-04 10 22 13 AMNow set up a pan on medium heat and add the cooking oil.

When hot, add the cumin seeds and cook till the spluttering stops.

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Add the onions and fry till soft and translucent.

Add the garlic and the ginger and fry for 1 minute.

Add the tomato and all the powdered spices, including the garam masala. Stir well and cook for 3-5 minutes, stirring often to prevent the spice mix from sticking to the pan. Sprinkle a little water if needed.

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Now add the eggplant and mix well. Add the chopped fresh coriander and stir.

Cook another minute and turn off the heat.

Serve hot with chapitis or Rice and your favorite daal dish.

It is good! I don’t think we quite captured Dubb’s unique flavours, our our version is very tasty.

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She’s been around…

This baby has been rode hard. Handmade from a skateboard that looks like it has been around the world and back. Think about wearing all that speed and joy around your neck. Think about the stories this Neckboard could tell. It is the scrapes and the scuffs that make a Neckboard something special. Zebra stripes lilac and black…it’s an original!

Check out the rest of the latest batch of one-of-a-kind skateboard necklaces HERE


I finally managed to get a few new (broken, smashed, scuffed) skateboards! I advertised on kijiji and got a response fro “schizo skater”. He has several boards he’d trashed and was willing to donate to the cause. I met Schizo at a Tim Hortons and he was a real sweetheart. I gave him a couple of keychains with skateboard dongles and thanked him profusely. It really is great when someone is willing to help me out with a donation!

I can’t tell how much usable area I can get from each one, but it looks like I may get some interesting art.

It will be too hot for the next few days to get any cut up, but I’m almost finished working the grip tape off. It’s a dirty job.

hopefully, in 3 or 4 weeks, you’ll see me posting photos of the Neckboards I made from these boards.

Big, bold, beautiful

Complexity. This large Neckboard has a lot going on. Purple is splashed across the surface to top up some premium scuff work done by a wild skater. Black calms the left side of the necklace down and provides a pool for four gold tadpoles to swim to the top. Gold rivets down the center hold it all together. Everyone sees something different when they look at this handmade necklace.


This upcycled skateboard necklace and many others are available for online purchase HERE

Basic black and cool

Jet black and so smooth it looks as though it’s made of glass. This upcycled skateboard is cool, confident and ever-so-funky. Black is statement of the necklace, but little shoots of yellow, white dots and a quirky little red and white flag bring it up to another level. The board this Neckboard was made from was one of those seldom seen beauties, with layers of teal tinted maple sandwiched between natural wood. Finished off with a stainless steel cable and a great, no-fiddle magnetic clasp…nice.


Want to see more Neckboards? Fresh ones just made and put in the shop, right here – click, baby, click

Here is one for a skater

This Neckboard is for a real skater. Almost all of the art on this necklace is clean deck art – hard to find on a well travelled board. Sharp, edgy, a real statement. The warm layers of maple beneath the funky deck art make an interesting contrast. People will take note of you with this handmade Neckboard floating around your neck on a thin, super strong, nylon covered stainless steel chord. $30.

Take a look at all the other unique Neckboards HERE

Layered gold

Could this complex gold on gold creation really have been a skateboard at one time? The seven layers of alternating light and dark maple showing on the side of the necklace say yes. Around your neck, this Neckboard looks more like liquid gold swirling in glass. Look closely at this stunning piece, you’ll see gold in 2 tones, hints of green and yellow peeking out from behind and black dots floating over top. The back of this necklace is maple, stained a medium grey and showing the wood grain. It’s deep…

Many more Neckboards are available for purchase at my website HERE All of these handmade beauties are carefully crafted, using the best materials. Saving broken skateboard decks and giving them a new life makes recycling a beautiful thing.