Monday, August 8, 2011

Watermelon rind Kootu (lentil Curry)

I can't seem to walk past a watermelon without feeling guilty about not buying it. DD2 adores watermelon and eats it as fast as we can cut it. Buying all this watermelon and throwing away the rind seemed a shame. My ever sportive mom came up with a few recipes when I asked her idea for using up the rind.

The first recipe she made was a mor kuzhambu (spiced buttermilk curry). The buttermilk curry is best when cooked with ash gourd. The white portion of the water melon tastes exactly the same. The second was a kootu with Bengal gram (kadalai paruppu) which also tasted very very good. The spice paste and recipe are very simple and puts those watermelon rind to good use. This uniquely south Indian dish is just the vehicle to show case this very tasty throw away part of the fruit.

Do you cook with watermelon rind? If so what recipes have you tried?

Watermelon rind kootu
1. 2 cups of watermelon rind cubed (the fleshy portion sliced off and the skin peeled leaving just the white portion)
2. 1/4 cup Bengal Gram soaked for an hour
3. seasonings: curry leaves and mustard seeds
4. 2 generous tbsp of yogurt
5. 1 tsp oil
6. salt to taste

For the Paste
1. 1 tsp coriander seeds
2. 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
3. 4-5 green chilies
4. 1 tbsp grated cococunt
5. a pinch of asfoetida

Slightly roast the coriander and cumin seeds and blend to a paste adding a tbsp of water along with the green chilies, coconut and asfoetida

1. Pressure cook the watermelon cubes with the bengal gram for 2 whistles just enough to cook the lentils but not turn them to mush
2. Add the spice paste to the cooked lentils and watermelon with a 1/2 cup of water and let it come to a boil. The consistency should be slightly thick. Add salt and turn off the heat.
3. In a small seasoning pan add oil and when hot add the mustard seeds and curry leaves and pour it over and let it cool to room temperature.
3. Whisk the yogurt to smooth and add it to the curry.

Serve with rice.


  1. Yum n healthy ...I have long plan to make this :)

  2. Very interesting and i can see why they wuld go well in the kootu and mor kuzhambu

  3. I so wanted to try a curry with the rind the last time but didn't.. must definitely try this next time. Looks real good.

  4. I used to make mor kuzhambu and kootu in the 70s. I used to work in the Indian Embassy,and all of ladies would try any thing those days and share our recipes and the dishes at lunch. We all found out though one thing, that we all fell sick with cold. The fruit did not do that but the rinds gave us cold. Then we stopped using the rinds. It is just a warning. Be careful.

  5. Anonymous,
    Thanks for the warning. Will keep that in mind. We have tried this a few times and no cold so far.

  6. I am glad no one got cold, we did not have any other sickness but cold. Good luck with your experiments and postings.

  7. wow, that's new for me. Looks delicious :)

  8. I was thinking of doing a thoghayal, like peerkangai thogayal. Also found a cucumber thogayal recipe. Must adapt well for watermelon rinds also. Will hunt for the recipe and post it in the comments.

  9. I saved up a paper from Hindu or maybe Indian express... what to do with rinds...I think water melon rinds were dried up in hot sun and used as vadaams? If I ever find that clipping again, I'll send it to you.. A few other rinds were pickled..

    Indo, just to make sure I understand correctly, the green part is cut off and thrown away and only the white part is used, right?

  10. Kay, vadagam with watermelon rind sounds interesting.

    Yes, peel the outer green skin and use the white part of the melon.


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