Tony Tan's Rajasthani watermelon curry

Tony Tan's Watermelon curry with Persian pilaff rice.
Tony Tan's Watermelon curry with Persian pilaff rice. Photo: Marina Oliphant

Inspired by Camellia Panjabi's 50 Great Curries of India.


2 kg seedless watermelon

1 1/2 tsp chilli powder

1/2 tsp turmeric powder

1 tsp ground coriander

1 tsp garlic, minced

3 tbsp vegetable oil

1/2 tsp cumin seeds

1/2 tsp brown mustard seeds

salt and sugar to taste

juice of 1 lime, or to taste


Cut the watermelon into large cubes. Blend one cup of chopped watermelon to make juice, strain and discard the pulp. To the juice, add chilli, turmeric, coriander and garlic.

In a large pan, heat the oil. Stir in cumin and mustard seeds. As soon as they change colour and pop, about five to 10 seconds, add the watermelon juice. Reduce heat and simmer until the liquid reduces by half. Add salt and sugar.

Add chopped watermelon and toss gently until the pieces are coated with the spice mixture. Cook over low heat for two to three minutes.

Add the lime juice and ladle the pieces into a serving bowl. Place in warm oven. Keep reducing the sauce until it is syrupy. Spoon over the fruit and serve.

* Serve as part of a selection of dishes. See Tony Tan's Addas polow (Persian rice pilaf and lentils) recipe.