01/8Summers in India are long and harsh
India is one of those countries that face the summer season a little too harshly than other countries. And now that the summers are here, many people across the country will be seen indulging into ways to make them feel refreshed at all points. Thanks to mother nature, we have fruits and vegetables that also help us a great deal in spending a good summertime.
02/8Watermelon rinds make for a delicious food ingredient
When the temperature outside reaches 40 degrees, a bowl full of chilled, lush red watermelon can barely sound like a bad idea. It is one of those fruits that have been named perfectly. Watermelon, similar to cucumbers, is 92% water and the rest is, well, melon. But does your heart also sink when you cut the whole fruit out but have to throw away the white-green portions, also known as rinds? What if we told you that you can put them to use and not just pity-use, you can make delicious food out of them? Surprising, right? Watermelon rinds have been used as a useful ingredient in many delicious dishes and also to make pickles and chutneys for a long time now.
03/8Health benefits of watermelon rinds
Watermelon as a fruit is already loaded with nutrition and its rinds too provide various health benefits. It has been found through various studies that the rind of the watermelon is rich in citrulline, an amino acid that promotes blood dilation into the vessels. It also helps the muscles to breathe better and is useful if had before hitting the gym. The amount of citrulline also helps people with mild erectile dysfunction. It is not The cure for it but the amino acids help a little bit without side effects. It has also been found effective in reducing blood pressure, especially in people who have high blood pressure.
So, including watermelon rind can certainly reap you many benefits. Here are some ways in which you can enjoy them at home:
Preparing jams might seem like a lot of hustle but it is one of the easiest recipes to make. All you need to take care of is the heat temperature and your patience. So, to make watermelon rind jam, you will need 1 cup of the rind, diced into small pieces and 1 cup of apple also diced. 2 cups of sugar and lemon juice with 1 tsp of vanilla extract. Add all of these ingredients to a saucepan and heat it until it comes to a boil. Keep stirring and cooking until the rinds become soft and mushy. You can also add a cinnamon stick or some cinnamon powder to give it a spicy taste. Now take it off the flame and add to heated glass jars. Close the lid and put the jars in boiling water for about 5 minutes. Now take them out and let them cool. Your Rind jam is ready.
Now, this recipe for the chutney is similar to the jam but it has more spicy and a bit of tangy flavour to it. For this, you will need about 3-4 cups of rind with green skin removed and grated or diced into small pieces, 1 cup of sugar, ½ tbsp of ACV, ½ tsp salt, ½ tsp pepper and some grated ginger. Now the easy part, add the ingredients to a cooker and or a pan and let this cook for 3-4 hours minimum. You can also add red chilli powder if you want to increase the spice in it. Once the chutney comes together, you can either have the same consistency or can blend it to form a paste.
This recipe for Rind Dosa is famous in various parts of South India and is had on special occasions. To prepare, soak 1 cup of dosa rice for 2 hours before preparing the recipe. Also, soak ½ cup poha by straining it through a sieve. Meanwhile, take 1 cup of rid and blend it into a smooth paste along with shredded coconut. Now blend the rice and poha and blend them too. Once it all comes together, leave it to ferment for about 5 hours. Add some salt to it and very little water. Heat a tawa and start making your dosa!
Yet another easy and super delicious way to save your watermelon rinds from going to the bin. We will need 1 cup of watermelon juice and ½ a cup of the watermelon rinds. Juice out the watermelon and grind a paste from the rinds using as little water as possible. Now 2 tbsp of ghee in a pan and roast 2 tsp of cashew or almond powder. Once it becomes fragrant, add the rind paste and mix. You will know the paste is ready when it will start leaving the ghee. At this point, add the sugar and watermelon juice. It will now start thickening. Bring it to a boil and let the water get soaked in completely. Your rind halwa is ready!
Watermelon rind makes for delicious salad additions. They provide a crunchy and delicious taste to it. To prepare a sweet and spicy salad, take 1 cup of grated rind with 1 cup of grated carrot, thinly sliced yellow and red bell peppers and some roasted peanuts. All these to a bowl and add season with some salt, pepper, fish sauce, sriracha and ¼ tsp of ACV. Give it a good mix and you have a coleslaw salad ready!