Summers are here and watermelons are being consumed in plenty. While we chomp down huge quantities of the red centre, I just thought I could make use of the white part of the watermelon, the rind. The rind usually goes waste and is discarded without a thought. When I began using it, I realized it was a nutritious source of Vitamin B and C.
It doesn’t take much effort. Once the red pulp is consumed, you need to separate the white from the green skin. This part of the watermelon has loads of water. You could simply churn it in the blender with some lemon and mint and sprinkle some salt and pepper to make a healthy smoothie. But I tried some healthy recipes. Here they are:
Jowar-besan thalipeeth with watermelon rind
Ingredients (to make 7-8 thalipeeth)
Watermelon rind- 1 cup Jowar (sorghum) flour- 1 cup Gram flour (besan)- 1 cup Yoghurt – 1 cup Ginger garlic paste- 1 tsp Onion-1 Green chillies-2 Coriander leaves- 1 sprig Turmeric powder- 1 tsp Black pepper powder- 1.5 tsp Cumin powder- 2 tsp Red chilly powder- 1 tsp Coriander powder- 1 tsp Garam masala powder- 1 tsp Salt to taste Oil- 2 tsp
Remove the green skin of the watermelon after the red fruit has been separated. Use only the white watermelon rind. Turn it through a chopper or grate it. Place in a muslin cloth and squeeze out all the moisture from it.
Take jowar (sorghum) flour and besan in a large bowl. Add a cup of yoghurt. Add ginger garlic paste. Add grated watermelon rind.
Add finely chopped onion, finely chopped green chillies and chopped coriander leaves.
Add turmeric powder, black pepper powder, cumin powder, red chilly powder, coriander powder, garam masala powder and salt to taste
Add water. Whisk well to make a thick batter. Let the batter rest for 10 minutes.
Heat a nonstick tawa and grease it with some oil. Pour a large ladle of batter and shape into a thalipeeth.
Keep flame on medium and let it cook well. Sprinkle a few drops of oil. Flip over and cook the other side till done.
Serve with green coriander mint chutney.
This recipe will give you a soft thalipeeth. If you want it crisp, add 2 tablespoons of rice flour in the batter.
Watermelon rind- paneer koftas
Ingredients (Makes 10 koftas)
For the koftas:
Watermelon rind- 1 cup Paneer- 1/2 cup Gram flour (Besan) – 1 tbsp Ginger garlic paste- 1 tsp Turmeric powder- 1/4 tsp Red chilly powder- 1 tsp Cumin powder- 1 tsp Coriander powder- 1 tsp Garam masala powder- 1/2 tsp Black pepper powder- 1/2 tsp Salt to taste Oil for frying the koftas
For the gravy:
Onions-2- grind to a paste Tomatoes -2 – puree them Curd- 1/2 cup- whisked well Ginger garlic paste- 1 tbsp Turmeric powder- 1/2 tsp Red chilly powder- 1 tsp Cumin powder- 1 tsp Coriander powder- 2 tsp Garam masala powder- 1 tsp Black pepper powder- 1 tsp Bayleaf-1 Green cardamom-2 Cloves-2 Cinnamon- 1 small stick Cumin seeds- 1 tsp Salt to taste Oil – 1 tbsp Coriander leaves- to garnish
Separate the white part of a watermelon. Make sure that the green skin is discarded completely or it may cause the koftas to taste bitter.
Run the rind through a chopper or grate it fine. Squeeze it through a muslin cloth until all the moisture is removed.
Mix the watermelon rind with paneer, besan, ginger garlic paste, all the above mentioned masalas and salt (You can omit the paneer from this recipe if you have more watermelon rind. The quantity of rind was too less for the number of people at home so I added it to make sufficient number of koftas.
Heat oil in a kadhai until hot. Fry the koftas brown and keep them aside.
In a separate pan heat 1 tbsp oil. Add the bayleaf, cardamom, cloves, cinnamon and cumin and let it splutter.
Add the onion paste and saute well. Add ginger garlic and saute well
Add tomato puree and saute
Add all the masalas and the salt.
Saute until the oil leaves the sides of the masala.
Lower the flame and add the curd. Keep stirring until the masala is done
Add 1 cup of water. Bring the gravy to a boil.
Arrange the koftas in a serving dish and pour the gravy over it.
Garnish with coriander leaves.
Serve with hot rotis or steamed rice.
We are facing temperatures above 46 degrees Celsius in Vidarbha and the consumption of watermelons has been high. Since I had collected lots of watermelon rind, I decided to experiment and make both dosa and chutney using watermelon rind.
Watermelon rind dosa
Ingredients (Makes 5 dosas)
Watermelon rind- 2 cups Semolina (suji) – 2 tablespoons Rice flour – 2 tablespoons Gram flour (besan) – 1 tablespoon Ginger – 1/2 inch piece Green chillies -2 Salt Oil
Grind the watermelon rind with the ginger and green chillies to a smooth paste. Pour into a large bowl.
Add the semolina, rice flour and besan to the watermelon rind paste and whisk well, gradually adding water till you get the consistency of a pancake or dosa batter.
Add salt to taste. Whisk well and set the batter aside for 10 minutes.
Heat a nonstick tawa well. Grease with oil. Pour the batter and shape into dosas. Sprinkle oil and let it cook. Flip over and cook the other side too.
Serve hot with chutney
Watermelon rind chutney
Watermelon rind – 3/4 cup Cumin seeds- 1 tsp Black mustard seeds- 1tsp Red chillies-2 Curry leaves- 3-4 Red chilly powder- 1 tsp Cumin powder- 1/2 tsp Black pepper powder- 1/2 tsp Vinegar- 2 tsp Salt Oil – 1 tsp
Grind the watermelon rind to a smooth paste
Heat oil in a small pan. Add cumin seeds and black mustard seeds. When they splutter add red chillies and curry leaves
Add the water melon rind and cook well
Add the red chilly powder, cumin powder and pepper powder along with salt. I wanted the chutney a little spicy and tangy so used a lot more chilly. You may reduce it if you wish..
Cook until oil leaves the sides of the mixture.
Add the vinegar and cook for a minute more (this can be replaced by lemon juice but in that case switch off the heat before adding)
Transfer the tangy chutney to a serving dish
There are other recipes you could try with the grated water melon rind. A raita would be cool and delicious. The taste of the rind is quite like a cucumber or a bottle gourd. It can be kneaded into parathas as well. Try it and let people guess what these are made of!