Watermelon Rind Kootu / Watermelon Rind Lentil Curry

30 mins
Serves 6 people
Author: Rajni Ram
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In south India, especially the Tamilnadu region, Kootu refers to any lentil based curry. There are many versions of Kootu cooked with a variety of lentils. Some are tamarind based(puli kootu), some milk based(pal kootu), some with spices and coconut gratings(poricha kootu).

This Watermelon rind kootu came about when I saw an contest alert in one of my social media pages, asking to contribute recipes towards sustainable living. Traditionally, India is a country where we have had the practice of using things without wasting them. This tradition lost its value with globalization , and the  “use and throw” phase. Now in the millennium as the world faces so many issues, “sustainable living” has become the mantra.

In my house, I have seen my grand mother and mother use the peel of many vegetables like Ridge gourd, Bitter gourd etc to make chutneys. And we prepare Kootu using vegetables from the Cucumber familiy like, Ash Gourd, Pumpkin, Country Cucumber etc. As Watermelon also belongs to this family, I thought, why not give it a try, and believe me this kootu turned out so delicious.

So, I no more waste the rind of the Watermelon. I use it to make this Kootu, grind the rind and add it to Dosa batter, and also grind the rind into a chutney.

While you are here check out other recipes here like, Menthiya Keerai Kootu, Vatha Kuzhambu, Bonda Morkuzhambu, Dosakaya Chutney, Pachai Mochai Kuzhambu and more…

Here is the recipe for Watermelon rind Kootu

Ingredients

Ingredients for Kootu

  1. Watermelon rind of half a watermelon, cut into cubes
  2. Moong dal (yellow split dal) 1/2 cup cooked soft in pressure cooker
  3. Green Chilli 1 split
  4. Turmeric powder 1/2 tsp
  5. Coconut gratings 1 tbsp
  6. Dry red chillies 2
  7. Peppercorns 4-5
  8. Cumin seeds 1 tsp
  9. Salt as required

For tempering

  1. Oil 2 tsp (coconut/ refined oil)
  2. Mustard seeds 1/2 tsp
  3. Urad dal 1 tsp
  4. Chana dal 1 tsp
  5. Curry leaves a few
  6. Dry red chilli broken 1
  7. Asafoetida 1/4 tsp
  1. Pressure cook the Moong dal for 4 whistles, and keep aside. After using up the pulp of watermelon, remove/peel the dark green skin and discard. Cube the lighter portion as shown in the picture. Put the cubed rind pieces in a vessel, add the split green chilli, salt, and turmeric powder, pour water(about 1.5 cups), and cook the water melon rind until soft, but not mushy.
  2. Now in a blender add the coconut gratings, peppercorns, dry red chilli, and cumin seeds and grind to a smooth paste adding little water. Pour this paste into the cook watermelon rind and bring to a boil.
  3. Now, nicely mash the cooked dal with the back of a ladle and pour it into the vessel having watermelon rind and coconut paste. Stir nicely to mix the spices evenly. Cook for 2 minutes on low flames and put off the flame.
  4. Now in a tadka/tempering kadai take oil and heat. Add mustard seeds and remaining ingredients mentioned under tempering and fry for 30 seconds. Pour this tempering into the cook rind and dal mixture. The healthy and delicious Watermelon rind kootu is ready.

Pressure cook the Moong dal for 4 whistles, and keep aside. After using up the pulp of watermelon, remove/peel the dark green skin and discard. Cube the lighter portion as shown in the picture. Put the cubed rind pieces in a vessel, add the split green chilli, salt, and turmeric powder, pour water(about 1.5 cups), and cook the water melon rind until soft, but not mushy. Now in a blender add the coconut gratings, peppercorns, dry red chilli, and cumin seeds and grind to a smooth paste adding little water. Pour this paste into the cook watermelon rind and bring to a boil. Now, nicely mash the cooked dal with the back of a ladle and pour it into the vessel having watermelon rind and coconut paste. Stir nicely to mix the spices evenly. Cook for 2 minutes on low flames and put off the flame. Now in a tadka/tempering kadai take oil and heat. Add mustard seeds and remaining ingredients mentioned under tempering and fry for 30 seconds. Pour this tempering into the cook rind and dal mixture. The healthy and delicious Watermelon rind kootu is ready. This can be served with rice or Rotis.

Notes:

  1. This Kootu can be made with most vegetables like Snake gourd, Ash gourd, Cabbage, Bottle gourd and more.
  2. If one prefers the taste of pepper, more can be added while grinding.
  3. Tempering in coconut oil works best, but vegetable oil can also be used.

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