This Indian Curry Recipe is an Homage to Rajasthan. Watermelon Curry Takes About 20 minutes to make. Uses All Generic Indian Spices. Curry Leaves Are Key.
This watermelon curry is an homage to the Indian state of Rajasthan which was my very first vacation.
When my birthday comes around, my parents tend to get a little nostalgic.
Even though my birthday is still about 2 months away, they have already started reminiscing. A few weeks ago, they pulled out old albums and started telling me about the early days.
Normally, I tend to roll my eyes and just zone out while they reminisce. This time, I was very attentive.
“You know, your first true love was watermelon!”
Say what? Did I just hear true love and watermelon?
I snap out of my stupor and start paying attention to what they are saying.
It turns out, when I turned one, my mom and cousins took me on my first vacation. They took me to visit Rajasthan, a state in the North West part of India. It just happens to be India’s largest state with some of the oldest civilization. I felt that I needed to create a watermelon curry to honor their culture.
Rajasthan is one of the most vibrant cultures of India. They have a slightly nomadic existence and they tend to be a very happy group of people.
Photograph found on Rajasthantravelbuzz.com / Gaurav Hajela Photography
I really wish I had photos from my trip to Rajasthan. The best I can do is this picture of my mom and me about a month before our trip.
Tooting my own horn here, don’t I just look super adorable??
(Yes, I blurred my mother’s face)
On my first vacation, the only thing I ate was watermelons. They are abundant in Rajasthan, so, I couldn’t get enough. My parents told me that I didn’t eat anything else during my trip.
As I researched the Rajasthani people and their cuisine, I am beginning to see watermelons in a whole new light. It is was no longer just a fruit for me. I see endless possibilities with it and don’t be surprised if you see more watermelon recipes on my blog.
In this recipe, curry leaves make a significant difference. I wouldn’t suggest you make this recipe without them because it provides a wonderful aromatic and spice flavor.
As far as watermelon recipes go, this watermelon curry is my all time favorite. I went with fresh watermelon but it was a challenge cutting it.
You have to admit that is definitely a very unique Indian curry recipe, right? This watermelon curry is a healthy curry recipe because it doesn’t use heavy creams.
There are so many Rajasthan tourism deals being offered on the web, so, I definitely want to go back to India and explore it. In the meantime, I will just keep reading about them and learning their culture.
After making this watermelon curry, if you have extra watermelon leftover, I have recipes you can make. Some of my favorites are delicious watermelon granita recipe, watermelon salad, watermelon lassi, grilled watermelon salad.
How To Make Watermelon Curry (Uses traditional Indian Spices)
1) Take 1 cup of crushed watermelon and blend it to a liquid consistency. Set it aside. Personally, I like using a smoothie blender.
2) In a wok or medium saucepan, add 2 tbsp of sunflower oil. Keep the heat at medium high.
3) After 30 seconds, add 1/2 tsp mustard seeds and 1 tsp black mustard seeds.
4) It will take about 30 seconds – 45 seconds for the black mustard seeds to start popping. When they pop, add the 1 tsp cumin seeds.
5) Now add the following in this order: 1 tsp crushed Thai chili, 1 tsp of crushed ginger, 1 tsp of garlic, 1 tsp of cayenne pepper, 1 tsp of turmeric powder and 5-7 curry leaves.
6) Immediately add the chick peas. Turn down the heat and stir well for about 3 minutes.
7) Add the crushed watermelon and 2 tsp of salt. I think I am going to start using watermelons a a base for all my curry sauce recipes.
8) Stir and then add 1 tsp of cumin powder and 1/2 tsp of garam masala.
9) Mix well and let it heat on medium heat for about 5 minutes or until the sauce starts to thicken. Then add 1 cup of cubed watermelon. I make the cubes large. This way, they don’t break apart easing when cooked.
10) Mix well and cook for another 5 minutes. Adjust the taste at this point. If you like it spicier, add more Thai chilies
11) Transfer to a bowl and serve with naan and rice
Printable Watermelon Curry Recipe
Watermelon Curry (Rajasthani Style)
- 1 cup watermelon pureed
- 1 cup watermelon cubed for the curry
- 2 Tbsp sunflower oil
- 1/2 tsp yellow mustard seeds
- 1 tsp black mustard seeds
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 tsp Thai Chili De-seeded & crushed (Sub: jalapeno peppers)
- 1 tsp ginger crushed
- 1 tsp garlic crushed
- 1 tsp red chili powder
- 1 tsp turmeric powder
- 7 curry leaves
- 1 cup chick peas from a can, drained
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp cumin powder
- 1/2 tsp garam masala
- In a wok or medium saucepan, heat sunflower oil on medium high
- After 30 seconds, add both types of mustard seeds
- When the black mustard seed start to pop, add the cumin seeds
- Now add the following in this order: Thai chili, ginger, garlic, red chili powder, turmeric powder and curry leaves
- Immediately add the chick peas and turn down the heat to medium
- Keep stirring for about 3 minutes
- Add the pureed watermelon, salt, cumin powder and garam masala.
- Mix well and let it heat on medium heat for about 5 minutes or until the sauce starts to thicken
- Add cubed watermelon.
- Mix well and cook for another 5 minutes.
- Transfer to a bowl and serve with naan and rice