Watermelon Curry

Here's an unusual recipe for one last end-of-summer hurrah! You can still find watermelons at the growers' markets right now, and the ones in my garden are just getting ripe - this yellow variety is called Desert King.

I got this recipe from the Albuquerque Journal several years ago, but it comes from Rajasthan, and was originally published in The Great Curries of India, by Camellia Panjabi. It's hard to categorize – it could be an appetizer, a salad, a dessert a side dish, or even a main dish, because it is actually quite filling. It's sweet and refreshing, but watch out - when the watermelon juice runs down the back of your throat, it's spicy! You'll be addicted before you know it.

About 10 cups cubed watermelon (one small watermelon, like a Sugar Baby)
1/8 t. paprika
1/8 t. turmeric
1/2 t. ground coriander seed
1/2 t. salt
1 garlic clove, crushed/pureed
1 t. ground red chile or cayenne
Juice of one lime
1/2 T. sugar
2 t. oil
1/4 t. cumin seeds

After cutting the watermelon, pour the juice from the bottom of the bowl into a cup. Add the paprika, turmeric, coriander, salt, garlic, chile, lime juice and sugar to the watermelon juice. Heat the oil in a skillet over high heat and fry the cumin seeds until they begin to brown, about 20 seconds. Turn the heat to medium, add the juice, and simmer until the liquid is reduced by about half. Add the watermelon pieces, turning to coat them evenly with the syrup, and cook 3-4 more minutes, until heated through.


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