Watermelon Coconut Curry
Inspired by My Heart Beets
I was stumbling around the internet one night when I ran across this recipe from My Heart Beets … first, it piqued my interest because anything curried pretty much gets my attention, but then … um … what? did she say “Watermelon Rind CURRY?” … my grandmother used to make watermelon rind pickles when I was a child, but never ever ever have I ever heard (or dreamed) of such a thing as a watermelon rind CURRY. Yet, I was attracted to the idea of using up the massive pile of rind that always piles up every time we have a watermelon. I do put them in the compost bin, but still, wouldn’t it be better if there was a better use for them?
Well, it turns out there is. Watermelon rind–that white-ish portion of the melon so close to the skin–is very healthy and it contains more nutrients (particularly citrulline) than the red part we normally eat. It is kind of tough if you try to eat it raw, but when cooked, it takes on the texture and crunch of a cucumber. Like a zucchini, it absorbs the flavors that you cook it in, so you could use it in virtually any cooked dish, to add crunch and extra health benefits, according to this article:
Scientists know that when watermelon is consumed, citrulline is converted to arginine through certain enzymes. Arginine is an amino acid that works wonders on the heart and circulation system and maintains a good immune system.
“The citrulline-arginine relationship helps heart health, the immune system and may prove to be very helpful for those who suffer from obesity and type 2 diabetes,” …
Citrulline, the precursor to arginine, is found in higher concentrations in the rind of watermelons than the flesh.
I paired my crunchy watermelon rind with potato, to give both soft and crunchy textures to my curry, and then I used a Thai-style coconut curry sauce with spicy Sriracha over it, which, yes, the watermelon and potato both absorbed just delightfully.
- 1 15-oz. can light coconut milk
- 1 Tablespoon peanut butter
- 1 Tablespoon fresh grated ginger root
- 1 - 2 Tablespoons finely chopped cilantro leaves
- 1 Tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 Tablespoon rice (or white) vinegar
- 2 Tablespoons honey
- 2 Tablespoons fish sauce
- 2 - 4 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped fine
- Juice of 1/2 of a lime
- 2 Tablespoons Thai red curry paste (use more or less to taste)
- 1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped fine (use more or less to taste)
- Sriracha sauce, to taste
- 2 - 3 cups cubed, peeled watermelon rind
- 2 - 3 cups cubed potato
- 2 teaspoons oil
- 1 - 2 carrots, peeled and cut into slices
- 1 - 2 cups cilantro coconut curry sauce (depending on how "saucy" you want it)
- For extra heat: Sriracha sauce
- For garnish: fresh cilantro leaves
- In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together all the sauce ingredients. Set aside.
- Using a peeler, peel off the very outer green part of the watermelon rind and chop the watermelon rind into small chunks. Set aside.
- Put the potato in a small bowl and toss with 1 teaspoon oil. Microwave on high for 2 - 5 minutes until the potato is tender but not falling apart.
- Pour the other teaspoon of oil into a wok or saute pan. Add the watermelon rind and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, for about 10 minutes. Add the carrot and potato and curry sauce and cook for 5 more minutes or so until the watermelon rind and carrots are crisp tender. Add more curry sauce if you want a soupier curry. Turn the heat off, cover, and let cool just a bit so the mixture is still hot. Serve over hot cooked Basmati rice, with extra Sriracha (if desired) and fresh cilantro for garnish.
This dish is even better reheated the next day because the watermelon rind will soak up the flavor from the curry sauce.
RECIPE SOURCE: http://www.sumptuousspoonfuls.com/
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