Watermelon rind Morkootu

Thanks to Nithu’s ‘Best from Waste’ Event and to fellow bloggers who inspire me to try new things. Last week I came home from grocery shopping, and started planning my meals for the week, by chopping and bagging veggies. I had gotten a personal watermelon and set to disassemble it. I used a melon baller to scoop out the fruit for dessert or a snack. The leftover flesh, I juiced and made my Watermelon Mocktail. I peeled the skin off of the watermelon rind using a vegetable peeler and chopped the rind and saved it. In the end, the only wastage I got from the watermelon was this…

I was very proud of myself, and with the chopped up rind, I made this morkootu. The red flesh as you get closer to the rind, becomes non-sweet and flavor less. So, I left a little bit of the light red part on the rind, which added a beautiful color. (It lost the color when cooked, though) The chopped up rind itself was about half a pound which helped me make a substantial and filling dish.

Also, it tasted exactly like a poosanikai morkootu. We loved it and the fact that I made this out of something that would have ended up in the trash made it even more tastier.

Ingredients:
2 -3 cups chopped watermelon rind
1 onion chopped
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
3/4 cup yogurt
salt to taste

To grind:
1/2 cup grated coconut
3 green chillies
1 tsp cumin

Tempering:
1 tsp oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
a sprig curry leaves
1/4 tsp asafoetida

Method:
Place the watermelon rind, turmeric powder and salt in a pan over medium high heat along with 1/2 a cup of water. Cover and cook for about 10 minutes until the watermelon rind becomes soft. Alternatively you can also pressure cook this for 1 whistle.

Meanwhile, make a paste out of the ingredients listed under ‘to grind’ to make a fine paste. Add this paste to the rind, halfway through the cooking time. If pressure cooking, you can pressure cook along with the spice paste. When the watermelon is cooked switch off the stove and set aside to slightly cool. Add the yogurt and mix thoroughly. If the yogurt is added when the mixture is on the stove, it will curdle. Taste for seasoning.

Make the tempering by heating oil in a seperate pan, splutter the mustard seeds. Add the sprig of curry leaves and the asafoetida. Add the tempering to the kootu. Serve as a side dish for rice, or as a main dish to be mixed with rice and eaten. It tastes delicious either way.

Verdict: Spicy, yet cool from the yogurt. It didn’t taste sweet at all. It made for a delicious dish that we liked very much. Lesson learnt: Never throwing away the rind again. ūüôā

Sending this to ‘Side Dishes from India‘ Event.

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