Watermelon Chaat

Savory Fruit Salad
Watermelon Meet Jalapeño Meets Green Mangoes

This Pakistani savory salad combines Watermelon with Spices, Fruit Juices, and Mint Leaves. Refreshing and flavorful, especially on a summer day.

Watermelon Chaat

Pakistani

Ingredients:

2 pounds Watermelon
¼ teaspoon whole Cumin seeds

The Mixture:

¼t teaspoon Paprika
¼ teaspoon finely ground Black Pepper
¼ teaspoon Amchur Powder
Pinch of Cayenne Pepper, or more if preferred
¼ teaspoon Sea Salt
½ cup juice from an Orange, Clementine or Mandarin
½ teaspoon finely chopped Jalapeño Pepper
3 – 4 fresh Mint leaves, thinly sliced

Method:

First cut the Watermelon in one-inch cubes.

Put the Watermelon cubes in a wide platter with sides or in a large baking or serving dish and spread into a single layer.

In a small pan, toast the whole Cumin Seeds over medium fire until fragrant, about 3 minutes.  Remove and coarsely grind with a mortar and pestle. Do not grind too smooth, but leave a little texture in the spice.

Combine the ingredients of The Mixture.

Put the toasted and ground Cumin into a small bowl and add The Mixture.

Add the Citrus Juice, chopped Jalapeño, and Mint Leaves and mix well.  Pour the dressing over the Watermelon and mix to coat it.

Cover with plastic wrap and  marinate from 1 to 6 hours.  Serve chilled the same day. Makes 4 to 6 servings. Adapted from Pakistani-American food writer Malika Ameen

The Amchur Powder is made from dried Green Mangoes and is available from specialty grocers.

What are the nutritional aspects of this dish?  The Spices are generally healthy and beneficial, but they only account for a tiny amount of the volume of the dish.  The main ingredient, of course, is Watermelon.  According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, has a nature which is at once Sweet and Cold.  Watermelon contains Carotene and a number of Amino Acids, as well as Vitamins A and C.

Watermelon is thought to eliminate chest congestion as eel as easing soreness of the throat.  So watermelon is generally a healthy food with some benefits for the respiratory system.  Eating too much watermelon can result in the condition known in TCM as Dampness and Cold, so as always, moderation is the key.

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Head of Buddha, Pakistan, Gandharva Period

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