At DSB i try to create combinations which might be unheard of but they are taste assured and often with a healthy note. This time we combine a fruit peel with the starch and create a tangy and sensational pulao/pilaf recipe which is sure to create some buzz around ! Presenting my Tangy Watermelon Rind Pulao !
Last few weeks have been going crazy busy ! With 4 weeks gone by in the new city, this place has started feeling a little like home now. These past days have gone by in a breeze but i am enjoying every bit of it. We have been living in a temporary accommodation since our landing in San Diego. Now, anyone who does cooking often (maybe 3-4 meals a day, like me :P) can maybe sympathize with me and understand what constraints it brings. These are the times when you start to miss your kitchen the most. I miss my utensils, knives, pots/ pans and even the silicon spatulas 😛 Not to forget the fact that one cannot stock up the pantry as it would be a burden to shift things out. With all these constraints, it gets tough to dish out any substantial food, let alone creative meals. Am i right? Well maybe not 😛
Initial days were tough in this new city. Everything seemed unfamiliar and a bit strange. The weather in Montreal had changed to welcome the winters and we left it right when it was on the onset of snow. San Diego, in that regard, was a blessing in the true sense : Sunny, bright and spacious 🙂 This kept my spirits in real high and it got me charged up, ready to cook a storm. My first grocery shopping trip was done in a real haste and i hardly got a chance to pick all the things i need in my kitchen. I came back with just the basic spices, some rice and a watermelon. I know Watermelon sounds funny but we really needed one to cool off in the hot San Diego winters 🙂
The watermelon was consumed in the form of a simple basil, watermelon feta salad for lunch with a glass of chilled lemonade and all that left was rice and some watermelon peels for dinner. Now, fixing the dinner was on my mind and with just the basics on my hand, i was in a fix. In such times, creativity comes to rescue ! I thought of utilizing the peels and creating something different. What followed next was amazing !
Tangy Watermelon Rind Pulao
Tangy Watermelon Rind Pulao
- 3 cups cooked rice (you can use any type of rice but i prefer Indian Basmati rice for a fluffy look)
- 2 cups of Watermelon Rinds, roughly chopped (Remove the green outer layer and use the white flesh between the green peel and the watermelon pink flesh)
- Salt to taste
- 2 tablespoons Oil (vegetable/ canola/ any of your choice)
- 1 Tomato, diced into cubes
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 1/2 tsp red chili powder
- 1 tsp finely chopped ginger
- 1 tsp minced garlic (optional)
- 1 tsp Garam masala
- dash of lemon juice
- pinch of turmeric
- 1 tsp chopped coriander(optional)
We are using pre-cooked rice for this recipe but feel free to begin the recipe with cooking the rice first. For the above recipe, take 1 cup uncooked rice and soak in 2 cups of water for about 1/2 hour before cooking. You can make the Rind Masala first and then add the uncooked rice with water to cook everything together or cook both the rice and the Rind Masala separately and then combine. For this recipe, i would recommend cooking both separately so that the rice remain fluffy.
For Rind Masala
- In a pan, add the oil and bring to heat. Add in the chopped onion, ginger and garlic and saute till the onion turns translucent.
- Next, add in the chopped tomatoes, salt, garam masala and cook on medium high till the tomatoes are pulvarized and begin to dry out.
- Now, add in the Watermelon Rinds and turmeric and let this cook for about 5 minutes. Keep stirring occasionally. After 5 minutes, place a lid on the pan and let this cook for about 10 for minutes till the rind get soft and absorb some water. Rinds have a high water content in them and will release water if cooked on a simmer. Make sure to evaporate excess water with high heat once the rind are soft and juicy. The Rind Masala is ready.
For the assembly
Once the Rind Masala is cooked, add in the pre-cooked rice and mix well. Adjust salt and spices as per taste and let this simmer for about 5 minutes with a lid placed on the pan. Add in the coriander and the lemon juice and mix in.
Serve hot or Cold with a side of Tzatziki (recipe here), sour cream or fresh yoghurt.
This dish was unbelievably simple to put together and tasted absolutely divine. I have been throwing watermelon rind all these years and now i am so happy to have found myself a good use for it. This rice was tasty by itself and had a very tangy , sweet and sour taste which was purely from the rinds. This recipe requires very less ingredients and hence is a quick meal fixer…. so next time, u have watermelon in the house, you can enjoy it inside and out ! 🙂