Transform your watermelon rind into a quick, delicious, & one-pot curry! Enjoy the curry alongside rice, naan, or other grains/sides of your choice. Plant-forward, gluten-free, and allergy-friendly recipe!
This year, I am fully enjoying the watermelon season and learning new recipes along the way. A perfectly ripe, sweet, and juicy watermelon is great by itself (maybe a sprinkle of black pepper). If you need something totally new and refreshing, perhaps try watermelon poke I shared last week. Then utilize the rind, which would normally end up in a trash can or compost bin to make this quick and delicious watermelon rind curry. I used my go-to spices such as cumin, coriander, and turmeric and along with a mirepoix of onion, ginger, and garlic paste. I could see this working with curry powder in lieu of individual spices or Thai curry paste and that’s the beauty of this recipe. It’s a very forgiving recipe like most curries and you can adapt to your taste buds and ingredients on hand.
The word “curry” has a long interesting history dating back to early 1500s when the Portugese first came to India in search of spices. Curry has traveled worldwide and every region/country has their own interpretation of a curry. For me, anything (vegetables & animal protein) that is cooked in gravy/sauce with spices, I refer to it as curry. It’s a very complicated and diverse term but here are some good articles you should read if you are interested :
I don’t know if the world needs more curry recipes but I really hope this recipe will inspire you to think about food waste we generate every day in our kitchen. This recipe really got me thinking about how something we normally throw away can be transformed into a nourishing, meal-worthy dish. I have been more mindful about food waste by only buying what I need, re-purposing ingredients, freezing perishables before they spoil, saving veggie scraps for broth etc. It’s definitely a life-long learning process and I’d love to hear what are some of your food waste reducing tips?
I served the watermelon rind curry with some naan and pickled onions but feel free to serve it with rice or other grains of your choice. You can also chop it finely and make tacos or wrap..or toss the leftover watermelon rind curry with eggs to make omelette or frittata.
The rind has a consistency and taste very similar to a squash and it soaks up flavors really well. Depending on how you plan to serve it, you can cut the watermelon rind pieces accordingly and adjust the amount of water for thin or thick gravy.
Watermelon Rind Curry
1 tablespoon neutral oil such as canola or avocado oil
2 teaspoon cumin seed
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon ginger-garlic paste (or use couple cloves of minced garlic and small knob of minced ginger)
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
3 cups - ¼ inch cubed watermelon rind, only the white part (peel the green part using a peeler and use a knife or spoon to scoop out the flesh)
1 teaspoon cumin powder
1 teaspoon coriander powder
½ teaspoon chili powder
1.5 teaspoon kosher salt
1 medium tomatoes, finely chopped
¼ - ½ cup water
chopped cilantro, to garnish
In a medium pan, heat oil over medium heat and fry cumin seeds until fragrant.
Add chopped onion and sautee until translucent. Add ginger-garlic paste along with turmeric and cook for 2 minutes, stirring gently.
Add watermelon rind to the pan and stir with other ingredients. Add cumin powder, coriander powder, chili powder, and salt and cook for 3-5 minutes.
Add chopped tomatoes to the pan and cook until tomatoes start to soften.
Slowly add ¼ cup water to the pan, lower the heat and cover the pan for few minutes.
Simmer until watermelon rind softens (but not mushy), then turn off the heat.
Adjust any seasonings and garnish with chopped cilantro.
If you end up trying this recipe, please don’t forget to share it with me or tag on instagram @foodpleasurehealth or pin this recipe for later use.