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The Hidden Health Benefits of Watermelon Rind and How to Cook With It

Updated: Feb 12

Many of us are guilty of discarding the white rind of watermelon without a second thought. But did you know that like many other vegetables, this part of the watermelon is also nutritionally rich? This crunchy, low-calorie vegetable can be cooked in various delightful ways when paired with other healthful ingredients. Here are a couple of recipes under the theme: "Don't Waste the Waste Products".


1) Watermelon Rind Halwa

Halwa is a beloved dessert in Indian tradition, typically made with either refined sugar or nutritious jaggery, ghee, nuts, and dried fruits. This particular type of halwa is often served at Brahmin, especially Telugu Iyengar, traditional festivals.



Ingredients:

- Grated watermelon white rinds: 200g (1 cup)

- Refined sugar: 125g (3/4 cup)

- Ghee: 3 tablespoons

- Cardamom powder: 1/4 teaspoon (or a few drops of cardamom essence)

- Cashews: 6

- Raisins: 6-8


Cooking Procedure:

1. Grate the watermelon white rinds.

2. Transfer the grated rinds to a pressure cooker with its natural water.

3. Cook on a slow flame until you hear a whistle.

4. Turn off the stove and let the steam subside.

5. Extract the excess water using a strainer.

6. Return the steamed rinds to the pressure cooker and add sugar. Cook for another 5 minutes on medium flame.

7. In a separate vessel, heat ghee. Once melted, add cashews and sauté for a minute.

8. Add the raisins and cook for another 30 seconds.

9. Combine the ghee mixture with the watermelon rinds, stirring gently.

10. For a creamy texture, you can add sugarless milk khova before incorporating ghee and dried fruits. Enjoy your mouth-watering halwa!


2) Watermelon Rind Dosa



Ingredients:

- Watermelon white rind (exocarp): 200g

- Idli rice: 2 cups (250g)

- Urid dal: 3/4 cup (80g)

- Red dried chili: 2

- Asafoetida: 1/2 teaspoon


For Coarse Paste:

- Large onions: 2 (approx. 100g)

- Jeera (cumin seeds): 1 teaspoon

- Curry leaves: 10


Preparation:

1. Wash the rice and urud dal and soak for 4-5 hours.

2. Grind the rice, urud dal, red chili, and watermelon rinds with salt.

3. Allow the mixture to ferment for 4-5 hours.

4. Create a coarse paste using jeera, curry leaves, and onions.

5. Mix the paste into the dosa batter.

6. To make crispy dosa, use virgin coconut oil. Serve your dosa with coconut or mint chutneys and sambar.


Rediscovering the uses of often discarded parts of fruits and vegetables is not only eco-friendly but also helps us unlock hidden nutrition and flavors. Enjoy experimenting with these recipes and uncover the many tastes and textures of watermelon rind!

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