Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Watermelon Rind Chutney

Watermelon Rind Chutney
Adapted from Gourmet July 2004

This recipe uses water which is unusual for chutney recipes, but the watermelon rind is denser than the soft fruit than I usually use. It simmers for a long time, so the water keeps it from the sugar from burning.

I made a few changes from the original recipe. I use distilled white vinegar instead of apple cider vinegar (that's what I have this AM.) I added 1 Tbsp. brown mustard seeds for visual interest, 1 tsp. ground turmeric for color and health, and I use crystallized ginger instead of fresh in all my recipes. The crystallized ginger adds a toothsome bite when slice into 1/2 x 1/4-inch pieces. I also added 1 cup of dark raisins; I like raisins.

Active time: 45 min Start to finish: 25 1/2 hr (includes chilling)

1 (8-lb) piece watermelon (flesh and rind)
1 1/2 cups distilled white vinegar
1 1/2 cups water
2 cups sugar
1 cup sliced crystallized ginger
1 1/2 tablespoons sliced garlic
1 teaspoon salt
1 Tbsp. brown mustard seeds
1 tsp. ground Turmeric
1 cup dark raisins

(other optional ingredients include: 1 onion, coarsly chopper, 2 sticks cinnamon, or 1 jalapeno chile, minced)

Remove watermelon flesh from rind and reserve flesh for another use. Scrape off and discard any remaining pink flesh from rind, then cut rind crosswise into 2-inch-wide strips and remove green peel with a Y-shaped vegetable peeler or a sharp knife. Discard green peel. Cut white rind into 1/2-inch cubes (you will have 5 to 6 cups). I find laying the watermelon rind on a chopping block with the green side facing away from me and slicing the peel off with a sharp paring knife the easiest. I don't mind a little of the pink flesh remaining on the rind either.

Bring rind and remaining ingredients to a boil in a 4-quart heavy saucepan over moderate heat, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until rind is tender and translucent and liquid is syrupy, 45 to 55 minutes. Cool chutney, uncovered, then chill in an airtight container 1 to 3 days to allow flavors to mellow.

Cooks' note: Chutney keeps, covered and chilled, 1 month.

We'll see how this turns out. When I want to preserve chutneys, I process the hot sauce in pint or half-pint jars in a boiling water bath for 15 minutes.

It turned out really awesome.  The watermelon rind keeps its shape and gives the chutney some "tooth"; most soft fruits turn to mush by the end of the cooking process.  I usually hold back a couple of cups for the end.  In India, they use a special variety of green mango.  Sometimes it can be found in Indian grocery stores; it makes a difference in Mango Chutney.

If you want to know more about the benefits of consuming your watermelon rind, check out this site:

No comments:

Post a Comment