A specialty of the Indian state of Rajasthan, this delicious curry plays
the sweet, juicy flesh of the watermelon against a complex background of
chiles and spices. For a thicker curry, remove half of the cooked
watermelon pieces, blend them to a pulpy consistency, and stir them back
into the curry. This recipe is based on one that appears in 660 Curries by
Raghavan Iyer (Workman, 2008).
1 3-lb. piece seedless watermelon, rind left on
2 tbsp. oil
1/2 tsp. ajwain [At Amazon]
1/2 tsp. cumin seeds
1/2 tsp. nigella seeds (black onion seeds)
2 dried chiles de árbol, stemmed (optional) [At Amazon]
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. turmeric
2 tsp. chopped fresh cilantro, to garnish
Trim and discard the thin, dark green skin of the watermelon rind with a
knife, leaving the inner, whitish-green rind intact. Separate the rind from
the red flesh with the knife and cut both rind and flesh into 1" pieces.
Set aside in separate bowls.
In a 2-quart saucepan, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add ajwain, cumin,
nigella seeds, and chiles and cook, swirling the pan, until spices are
toasted and fragrant, 2-3 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, until
golden brown, about 30 seconds. Add watermelon rind, salt, and turmeric and
cook, stirring occasionally, until rind is lightly browned and liquid has
almost evaporated, about 7 minutes.
Pour 1 cup water into pan, cover, and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer
curry, stirring occasionally, until the rind pieces are tender, about 10
minutes. Uncover saucepan, add the red flesh, and stir to combine. Raise
the heat to medium-high and boil, stirring occasionally, until the flesh
softens slightly and the flavors come together, about 5 minutes. Transfer
curry to a serving platter and sprinkle with the cilantro. Serves 6.
From: Saveur: Savor a World of Authentic Cuisine