his is one of my most favourite curries to pair with rice. I grew up eating this curry,so it shouldn’t come as a surprise to me. Amma made chaaru curry with Vellarikka, Kumbalanga,Chembu etc. All of them are excellent and I enjoy them all! This time when we bought the first watermelon for the season, I wanted to try making something with the rind. I’ve been seeing a lot of recipes for it online, especially the pickled versions.
To prepare the rind, all you need to do is to save them once you are done eating the red flesh. I usually chop the flesh and store it in a container. Whatever method you chose, just wash them up after that and using a peeler or a knife, peel off the green skin completely and slice off any remaining red flesh. You just want the pale green,almost opaque rind alone. No green or red on it. Cut them into small cubes and use them as mentioned in the recipe below. You need only a cup of it for this curry.
WATERMELON RIND CHAARU CURRY
1 cup cubed watermelon rind
2-3 green chilies, slit
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
1/2 cup grated coconut
1/2 cup yogurt
1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
2 pearl onions, sliced fine
1 sprig curry leaves
3 dried red chilies, torn
Method: Into a small pressure cooker, add the rind, green chilies, salt to taste, turmeric powder and enough water to submerge them halfway. Cook for 1-2 whistles on medium heat.
In the meantime, grind together coconut, cumin seeds and just enough water to grind them to a smooth, fine paste. Add the yogurt to it and pulse once to smoothen it.
Once the pressure has died down on it’s own, open the cooker and add the ground paste to it. Turn on the heat to a medium and stir the mix continuously till it just starts to steam. Turn off the heat.
In a sauté pan, heat the oil and splutter mustard seeds. Add the pearl onions and when almost golden brown, add the curry leaves followed by the dried chilies. Turn off the heat and pour the tempering over the curry. Stir well to mix and adjust salt if needed. Let the curry stand for 30 minutes – 1 hour before serving for the flavours to meld.
This curry is very versatile like I mentioned earlier. If you want to make it with another vegetable, substiute it for Vellarikka, Kumbalanga, Chembu or even salad cucumber! It’s a mild curry, so if you want to spice it up, add more green chilies while cooking the veggies. The only place to take care is when you warm up the curry once the ground ingredients have been added. Do not bring them to a boil, as soon as you see the steam starting to rise, turn off the heat. If not, the curry might split and look curdled.If you want, you can turn off the heat as soon as you feel the curry has warmed up, even before the steam begins to rise.