Summers bring with them naturally cooling fruits and vegetables, and watermelons are no different. It is 92% water and rich in Vitamins A and C, minerals, amino acids and antioxidants. While most people enjoy the sweet red fleshy part of the fruit and use it in juices, shakes, slushies, salads, cocktails and much more, they usually discard the rind as inedible. That is such a waste, considering the fact that the white fleshy rind actually contains more amino acids than the red flesh of the fruit and the hard outer green rind is actually a good source of dietary fibers. The red flesh is rich in lycopene which imparts its bright red colour and it is a powerful antioxidant that is linked to repairing cell damage, protection against harsh sunlight and also improve cardiac health. It is also economical on our part to make use of the rinds especially because they are packed with Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, potassium and citrulline, which is an amino acid that relaxes and dilates blood vessels, improving muscle soreness and countering the free radicals in our bodies. 

But enough about the benefits of having more watermelon in our daily diet. In Rajasthan, people usually make curries out of the entire watermelon and it is something else entirely. The rinds of the watermelon actually hold up well while cooking and soak up all the flavours that are added to them. Even the green outer rind is edible which upon cooking becomes softer. But the red fleshy part of the watermelon is also turned into a sweet-sour-spicy curry that is refreshing, lip-smacking, and unlike any curry you’ve ever tasted before. Want to try them both out for yourself? Here’s an extended recipe for both those curries that aim at using the whole watermelon fruit, from Rajasthan, with love. 

Sweet and Spicy Watermelon Curry

Image Credit: food.com

 

 Ingredients: 

· 3 kg seedless watermelon 

· 1½ tsp chilli powder 

· ½ tsp turmeric powder 

· 1 tsp coriander powder 

· 3 cloves of garlic, minced 

· 4 tbsp vegetable oil 

· ½ tsp cumin seeds 

· ½ tsp brown mustard seeds 

· 1 tsp salt, or as required 

· 1 tbsp sugar, or as required 

· Juice of 1 lime, or as required 

Method: 

· Cut the watermelon into large cubes. 

· Blend one cup worth of chopped watermelon to make watermelon puree. 

· To the juice, add chilli powder, turmeric, coriander powder and garlic. 

· In a pan, heat the oil over medium high flame and add cumin and mustard seeds. 

· As soon as they start to splutter, add the watermelon puree. 

· Reduce heat to medium low and simmer until the puree reduces by half. Then add the salt and sugar. 

· Add chopped watermelon and toss gently until the pieces are coated with the spicy puree mix. 

· Turn the heat to low and cook for two to three minutes. 

· Add the lime juice in the end and serve! 

Watermelon Rind Curry

Image Credit: poonambachhav.blogspot.com

 

Ingredients: 

· 4 cups leftover watermelon rind, cut into small cubes 

· 3 tsp vegetable oil 

· 1 large onion, slice 

· 2 tsp ginger-garlic paste 

· 1 tsp mustard seeds 

· ½ tsp cumin seeds 

· 1 tsp coriander powder 

· 1 tsp chilli powder 

· 1 clove 

· 1 small cinnamon stick 

· ½ tsp turmeric powder 

· ½ tsp garam masala 

· 1 tsp salt, or as required 

· 2 tsp sugar, or as required 

Method: 

· Take the leftover watermelon rinds from the previous recipe and chop them into small cubes. 

· Place a skillet on medium heat and drizzle a few teaspoons of neutral cooking oil. 

· As the oil heats up, add the clove, cinnamon, mustard seeds and cumin seeds. 

· When the spices start to splutter, add the sliced onions and ginger-garlic paste. 

· Saute the onions till they turn soft and then add the cubed watermelon rinds. Stir till everything is incorporated. 

· Now add the turmeric powder, coriander powder, garam masala powder, sugar and salt. Mix them in with the watermelon rinds. 

· Cover with lid and cook for 10 to 15 minutes or until the watermelon rind is cooked. 

· That’s it! Watermelon rind curry is ready! Serve it hot with steamed rice or chapati.