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.

Overhead view of a white bowl filled to the top with watermelon curry. To the left, a stem of curry leaf and to the diagonal right, a neon green and yellow Rajesthani cloth

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.

Rajesthani women dressed in full regalia dancing to drums being played by Rajesthani men
Photograph found on / 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)

Black and white photo from the 1970s of the author and mother

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.

Closeup view of a curry leaf stem

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.

Overhead and closeup view of a white bowl filled with the Rajesthani Curry

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.

If you like this curry, then I think you will like my Corn on the Cob Curry and Sweet Potato Curry

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.

Overhead view of watermelon cubes in a blender

2) In a wok or medium saucepan, add 2 tbsp of sunflower oil.  Keep the heat at medium high.

Overhead view of a 1 Tbsp of measuring spoon filled with oil

3) After 30 seconds, add 1/2 tsp mustard seeds and 1 tsp black mustard seeds.

Overhead view of a pan with oil, mustard seeds in oil on a pan

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.

Watermelon curry recipe - Watermelon recipe like no other. This is a vegan recipe for Sunday dinner. It is quick and simple recipe. Perfect for family dinner night. Rajasthani Indian food recipe.

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.

Overhead view of a pan with oil, mustard seeds and cumin seeds in oil and in a pan

6) Immediately add the chick peas.  Turn down the heat and stir well for about 3 minutes.

Overhead view of chickpeas in oil with thai peppers in a pan

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.

closeup view of chickpeas in watermelon sauce

8) Stir and then add 1 tsp of cumin powder and 1/2 tsp of garam masala.

White dish with 2 compartments. One side has cumin powder and the other has 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.

Cubed watermelon in pan with chickpeas and watermelon sauce

10) Mix well and cook for another 5 minutes.  Adjust the taste at this point.  If you like it spicier, add more Thai chilies

Overhead view of watermelon curry in final stages of cooking

11) Transfer to a bowl and serve with naan and rice

Printable Watermelon Curry Recipe

Overhead view of a white bowl filled to the top with watermelon curry. To the left, a stem of curry leaf and to the diagonal right, a neon green and yellow Rajesthani cloth

Watermelon Curry (Rajasthani Style)

This Indian curry recipe is an homage to Rajasthan. Watermelon curry takes about 25 minutes to make. Uses all generic Indian spices. Curry leaves are key.
4 from 2 votes
Prep Time 7 minutes
Cook Time 18 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Servings 6 servings
Calories 111 kcal



  • 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



Nutrition Info is approximate
I like to keep the watermelon cubes large. This way, they don't break apart easing when cooked.


Calories: 111kcal
Keyword rajasthani food, savory watermelon recipes, unique curry recipes
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
Watermelon curry recipe - Watermelon recipe like no other. This is a vegan recipe for Sunday dinner. It is quick and simple recipe. Perfect for family dinner night. Rajasthani Indian food recipe.

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  1. What a bold and beautiful idea to pair sweet melon and sour curry. Very exotic and I bet delicious too!

  2. I love everything about this post. From the story to the recipe. Well done

  3. What a wonderful curry Rini and love the combination of flavors! I can almost smell this now!

  4. Rini, Yes! I also think that is the most adorable baby pic of you and your mother (even if her face is blurred!)! What a special first vacation. I’m dying to try this fruit curry. Never have tasted anything that sounds this interesting!

    1. Thank you, Sandra. It was a great vacation from what my Mom told me. I really like that baby pic of mine. This watermelon recipe will be great dinner idea for your family.

  5. I’m so happy you posted this. I NEVER would have put curry and watermelon together. It looks delicious. Fun to see a little of your family history wrapped up in this recipe too!

  6. This sounds amazing! Love the flavor combination. I think watermelon would make a great curry base. And I just so happen to know where I can purchase curry leaves.

    1. Thank you, Lydia. I think I am going to try using watermelon puree as a curry base from now on. It came out so great.

    1. Thank you, Becca. The watermelon was the perfect sweetness. I didn’t have to add any other sugars which made me very happy.

  7. Dear Rini, what an interesting and delicious idea for watermelon. I love all those exotic Indian spices…this sounds wonderful! xo, Catherine

  8. You definitely get the prize for “Most Interesting Way to Prepare Watermelon!” I have not heard of watermelon curry. I have two huge watermelons sitting on my countertop begging to be served as something other than sliced and chilled. Looks like I will be headed to the Indian grocery to look for these ingredients. Wow! Thanks for sharing this!!!

    1. Thank you, Cali! I am so happy to hear that you like it. Please send me pics of the recipe

  9. I LOVE the sound of this! I would have never thought to try watermelon in a curry but think this would be lovely and if I don’t add to much chilli then I’m sure my boys would love this too. I will give it a go this weekend and let you know how it went. I’m glad I found you on #TryABiteTuesday 🙂

  10. What a wonderful-sounding curry! I can’t tell you how much this intrigues me. I have a watermelon, and all the spices. I really thing I might try this for tonight’s dinner. My family is adventurous so I”m sure they will be as happy to see this on the table as I will be. Lovely lovely!

    1. Thank you, Kellie. I love having foodie adventurers trying my recipes. Let me know what your family thought of it.

  11. wow!! I am so in love with this combination of flavors. I have never tried a watermelon curry but can’t wait to make this. Its sounds amazing!

  12. So many herbs/spices and good/healthful ingredients in this watermelon curry! Luv that there’s even chickpeas in this vibrant dish…just lovely!

  13. Rini this looks so good!! I am incredibly intrigued by this! I grew up eating fruit curries (Apple, Mango etc) but NEVER watermelon! I really want to try it out… I can imagine it would definitely taste awesome with it’s natural sweetness too! 🙂

    1. Thank you, Dini. I think you will like this recipe. I have tried apple curry before but never mango. That will be an interesting experiment.

  14. What a cute pic of you! I have to try this curry, I am dying to see what it tastes like. I’m glad I made chicken tikka masala because I’ve been craving Indian food this week and this would have put me over the edge 🙂