Recently, a friend of mine hosted a homemade Indian luncheon at her home. I am a big fan of Indian cuisine, but have never been treated to such a feast as this. She made a vegetarian meal consisting of six dishes and homemade Indian bread. There was chickpea curry, stuffed eggplant with spices, potato curry, coconut green beans, rice pilaf, and a yogurt soup. Over the past several years, after taking a few Indian cooking classes, I’ve learned to make a handful of dishes and am now comfortable enough with Indian spices to try different recipes. However, this feast, which took my friend two hours to put together would probably have taken me at least twice as long.
The day of the luncheon, I rushed home after a morning of meetings and tried to think of what I could bring. Looking through my fridge, I found a big piece of watermelon which I thought of cutting up to bring; but, I wanted to make something a little more special. I came across a video for making an Indian Watermelon Lime Salad from Tabla exec chef Floyd Cardoz in New York City which intrigued me as it was a savory watermelon salad. The one ingredient that threw me was Chat Masala spice mix, which I had never heard of. Since I didn’t have any, I decided to make my own spice mix using a recipe I found on eCurry. That’s what I love about the internet. You can find a recipe for just about anything.
After making this Indian Watermelon Lime Salad, I got a little nervous. What was I thinking…bringing an Indian salad to a lunch prepared by an Indian cook. I had no idea if my salad tasted authentically Indian or not. In addition, I wasn’t sure how my friends would respond to a savory watermelon salad. Fortunately, everyone at the luncheon loved this interesting watermelon salad. In fact, my youngest son, who is a huge watermelon fan, was curious about this savory watermelon salad and asked for it for dinner that night. To my surprise, he loved it too.
Just goes to show that sometimes it’s worth taking a risk trying something new.
Indian Watermelon and Lime Salad
- 4 cups watermelon diced and seeds removed
- ¼ cup breakfast radish thinly sliced
- 1 lime zested and cut into segments
- 1 lime juiced
- 1 teaspoon fresh root ginger peeled and minced
- 1 hot chili pepper seeds removed, finely minced
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 sprigs mint
- 1 sprig cilantro
- Chat masala to taste available at Indian and Asian groceries
- Black pepper to taste
Combine the watermelon, radishes, and lime segments in a medium bowl.
Add lime zest, lime juice, ginger, chili, and olive oil. Add chopped mint and cilantro. Toss gently. Season with chat masala, salt and black pepper.
This post has been linked up to Beyond the Peel’s Whole Food Wednesdays event.