Watermelon Rind Curry

I never knew that watermelon rind could be used to prepare curries – though it seems pretty obvious that the rind should be edible. I first heard of this in a FB group on cooking that I belong to. I was fascinated and began researching the topic. There were several recipes, almost from all the states of India. When I mentioned this in a FB post, several friends wrote that this ‘vegetable’ used to prepared in their homes. So, this is not all that ‘exotic’ as it seems. I then asked Hari what recipe I should provide him – and he promptly answered ‘South Indian’. So, here goes.

Watermelon Rind

2 cups watermelon rind
1 tsp rasam or sambar powder (for recipe, please refer to the section ‘Chutneys and Powders’ in this blog)
1/4 tsp turmeric powder (haldi, manjal podi)
1 tsp date paste
Salt to taste
3 tbsp grated coconut
To Temper
1/2 tsp mustard seeds (sarson, kadugu)
1 tsp split black gram (urad dal, ulutham parupu)
A pinch of asafoetida (hing, perunkayam)
1 sprig curry leaves
2 dried red chillies, broken into two pieces
Shave the green portion of the rind, as thinly as possible, and discard
This recipe will only use the white portion
Chop the white portion into bit sized pieces
Set aside
Heat a wok and add mustard seeds
When they begin to splutter, add asafoetida, red chillies and curry leaves
Saute for a few seconds
Then add the chopped watermelon rind
Saute for a couple of minutes
Add salt, rasam/sambar powder and date paste
Mix well
Cover and cook for 8-10 minutes or till done and the dish is more or less dry (no need to add water)
Remove from flame and garnish with grated coconut
Serve hot with red/brown rice or Indian breads

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