Made with watermelon rind, this Nepali-style watermelon rind pickle is a fantastic condiment or a side dish to all your meals.
I love freshly cut, chilled watermelons with little black salt on a hot Summer day. Who doesn’t right? But how about the watermelon rind that often gets thrown away. In the last year or so, I have learned to utilize the watermelon rind ….remember the easy and delicious Watermelon Rind Curry? My aunt suggested I make a pickle with watermelon rind, similar to Nepali Mula Ko Achar or Khalpi Ko Achar (ripened cucumber pickle).
Nepali Watermelon Rind Pickle indeed turned out to be very delicious, with a crunchy yet little soft texture and so much flavor! I am intrigued by the texture of watermelon rind, how it’s close to ripened cucumber. In Nepal, it is served as a condiment with rice, or a main dish. During the festivals and get together, it is typical to serve a variety of vegetable-based achar (pickles) such as Nepali Mula Ko Achar, Khalpi Ko Achar, Tomato Achar.
I hope this festival season, you will add something different to your table with Nepali Watermelon Rind Pickle. Here is a rough recipe from a small personal sized watermelon rind. I was able to get 1-32 oz jar worth of pickle from it. You can easily scale up or down the recipe based on your needs.
Nepali Watermelon Rind Pickle
For about 1 -32 oz jar
600 grams chopped watermelon rind (only the white part, skin peeled)
1 .5 tablespoon salt ( I used coarse Kosher salt so please adjust accordingly to you taste)
1 heaping tablespoon red chili powder (add more/less based on your taste and how hot the peppers are )
2 teaspoon turmeric powder
2 tablespoon mustard powder
3 tablespoon mustard oil
Reserve the watermelon rind. Scoop out flesh/red part with a knife or an ice cream scoop. Peel the skin (green part) . We only need the white part for the recipe.
Cut the white part into small-medium bite size pieces. Pat dry the rind with paper towel, . If you have time, it is best to let it sun-dry for few hours to remove the excess moisture.
In a bowl, add watermelon rind pieces then add salt, spices – turmeric, red chili powder, and mustard powder. Add mustard oil to the mix until spices evenly coat the watermelon rind. Give a quick taste and adjust salt and spices per your taste.
Pack the watermelon rind with spices/juices into a clean glass jar. I used a 32 oz glass jar. Use a jar that leaves a little space on top. Too much air in the jar can lead to spoilage of pickles.
Cover the jar tightly with a lid, and place it outside in the direct sun for few days and bring it indoors in the evening.
Use a clean spoon to taste it after 4-5 days; the pickles are ready when you see air bubbles forming in the jar. The pickles should be still crunchy with a sour taste.
Leave the jar on your kitchen counter top if you’d like more sour taste. Once you are happy with the taste, move the pickle jar to the refrigerator.
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