Watermelon Rind Stir Fry: Enhanced With Coconut And Mild Spices

Watermelons are consumed as delicious fruits, but a lesser-known fact is that the rind is also edible. Though the rind doesn't really have any flavour of its own, it is used to prepare curries, salads, and stir fries, which need to be spiced up to add flavour. Watermelon Rind Stir Fry, cooked in the South Indian-style, is one such example. It is a tasty, healthy, and light dish that can be eaten for lunch or dinner. 

The fruit of the watermelon is scooped out, the outer covering peeled off, and then the rind is chopped and cooked. The rind is flavoured with turmeric powder and salt, enhanced with a mixture of grated coconut, cumin seeds, and dry red chilis, and spiced with mustard seeds, white lentils, dry red chilis, curry leaves, and a hint of jaggery. The lip-smacking dish only has a hint of bitter, due to the rind, but with the addition of spices and the grated coconut, it is transformed into a mix of flavours and textures. 

Health benefits

Watermelon rind has quite a few nutrients. For one, it is considered a diuretic and is believed to be good for controlling high blood pressure. It is also a good source of fibre, which is said to aid in digestion, control high blood sugar, and cholesterol levels, and, above all, it is believed to be good for weight loss. 

Every part of the watermelon is edible

It is not just the fruit and rind that are edible, but also the seeds, which is believed to be packed with nutrients. The seeds are said to be a good source of potassium, omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids, protein, magnesium, zinc, copper, etc.  The seeds can be eaten by itself as a snack. While the seeds can also be eaten raw, it is often roasted and consumed. 

Here is a recipe for South-Indian style Watermelon Rind Stir Fry: 


Half a watermelon

Refined oil

1/2 teaspoon of mustard seeds

1/2 teaspoon of white lentils 

3 dry red chilis

A few curry leaves

Turmeric powder

A small piece of jaggery



1/2 coconut grated

Cumin seeds 


Cut the watermelon through the middle to make it easier to chop the rind. Remove the fruit to be eaten separately, peel the outside hard covering, chop the rind into small pieces

In a pan, heat two tablespoons of oil, add half a teaspoon of mustard seeds, half a teaspoon of white lentils, dry red chilis, and curry leaves, and saute together

Add the chopped watermelon rind and saute

Add half a teaspoon of turmeric powder, one teaspoon salt, and jaggery, and stir all the ingredients well

Sprinkle two to three tablespoons of water and cover the pan to cook for a few minutes till the rind is soft

In a mixie, grind together the grated coconut, cumin seeds, one dry red chili

Add the above mixture to the rind curry, and mix well for some time

Serve the watermelon rind stir fry hot

Watermelon Stir Fry is best savoured with rotis.