I know what most of you are thinking......... watermelon in a curry? even saying it seems somehow funny. Mostly I have, in the past always associated watermelon with being one of the most awesome summer fruits and something that I like to have in plenty, on hot days. But when I say watermelon I am not talking about the sweet red fruit portion of the melon, I am talking about the white part of the melon. Have you ever thought about the white part of melon, the one just below the red fruit portion that we normally discard along with the skin and wondered if you can use it in cooking. I have never even spared a thought to that part of the watermelon until I came across this post on Nithya's site.Once I saw that post I was instantly intrigued and I could not resist trying out that part of the melon in my cooking. Cautiously at first I tried a small quantity of it, and when I was sure it tasted nice in savory dishes, I decided to experiment with it and make a curry with it.
I wanted to create a curry that would work well with roti's ( Indian flat bread) but this one would have worked just as well with plain steamed rice too. The curry was both mildly spicy and subtly sweet and the peanut and almond powders gave this curry some texture and a very slight creaminess. A surprising fact about this melon was that it managed to hold its shape even after being cooked, somehow I thought that cooking the melon would turn it into mush. It did not and the curry was really well liked. If you regularly buy this fruit and are in the mood for experimenting try this simple, unique and low fat curry, you may be pleasantly surprised by this one :-)
Ingredients and Method to make watermelon curry
1 large onion cut fine
2 medium tomatoes cut fine ( I used roma variety of tomatoes)
4 cups of white part of watermelon (skinned and cut into 1/2 inch pieces and the fruit part removed) (see notes)
1/8 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp red chilli powder (or according to taste)
1/2 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp cumin powder
1/2 tsp jaggery powder (or sugar) (optional)
2 tsp oil
3/4 tsp cumin seeds
3 tsp tomato ketchup
2 tbsp dry roasted unsalted peanuts (without skin)
1 tbsp almonds
Handful of cilantro (coriander leaves )cut fine (optional)
Heat oil in a large heavy bottomed pan. When hot add cumin seeds to it . When the cumin seeds start to splutter and onions and saute until onions are transparent.
Then add tomatoes and saute until tomatoes become soft and mushy.
Add turmeric powder, chilli powder, coriander powder and cumin powder and stir for a few seconds.
Add the cut white part of the melon, salt to taste, sugar (if using) and a little water (about 1/4 cup) and on medium heat let the melon cook.
In the meanwhile powder the roasted unsalted peanuts and almonds in a spice grinder and keep aside.
When the melon is cooked, add powdered peanuts + almond mixture and ketchup to it and let it simmer for a couple of minutes.
Garnish with cilantro and serve hot with rice or roti (Indian flat bread)
Serves approximately 3 to 4