July 08, 2007

AFAM-Watermelon



AFAM is A Fruit A Month blog event started by Maheshwari of Beyond the Usual..as the name suggests, its about blogging about a particular fruit selected by the host for the month. This month's event is hosted by the inimitable couple at Jugalbandi who of course had to select something special..and ended up with....watermelon.
My local grocery had watermelons on sale and I ended up carrying a whooping whole melon (10 Pound) across the store, belatedly thinking what on earth am I going to do with it. Usually a big chunk of it gets skinned and cubed into a big bowl, covered with plastic wrap for snacking. A bit of the rest get chopped up minutely and with added sugar(if not sweet enough), made into a spoon able drink ,while some of it is left intact to be cut into wedges for my little one to snack on.
But this time, I had seen a watermelon juice at Trial and Error and that kept popping in my head. It turned out to be a winner with this amazing thirst quenching quality and a tangy taste similar to punch. Thanks Nabeela.:)
The only change I did was to make a sugar syrup ahead of time and flavoured it with Cardamom. To make the sugar syrup, boil equal quantity of sugar and water for 5-10 minutes and add cardamom if you like. This can stay in the fridge for 3-4 days and is great to make lemonades and juices instantly.
The recipe is simple..
1/2 seedless watermelon,skinned and cut into cubes
Juice from 1 limes or less if you like less tart
1/2 cup sugar syrup
A handful of fresh mint leaves
1 cup cold water
1 lime, sliced

Puree the watermelon with the lime juice and sugar syrup. Taste and adjust as required. Add the crushed mint leaves and let it sit in the refrigerator for some time. Strain (thick drink is also nice) and serve with fresh lime and ice. Do try it, it beats soda or bottled juices any day!



There was still a lot of the melon left, so I scrounged the net and made watermelon salsa, which I promptly threw in the sink..blah! What were they thinking! The watermelon did not hold its own amongst the scallions, peppers and tasted funny. Salsas are best with strong flavored fruits such as peaches and mangoes, me thinks.

But I did try a granita with it and there is a bowl of it next to me right now, as a mid day snack. A spot of weeding outside in the July sun and I was spent! The NorthEast is hot when it decides to be! The watermelon granita tasted great as it is, with the crushed watermelong flavored ice slowly melting with each mouthful, cooling and refreshing at the same time, but it tasted better with a dollop of sweetened sour cream on it!
A Granita is an ice dessert somewhere in between a slushy and a sorbet (sorbets are creamier closer in consistency to ice cream) Granitas have a grainier texture (from the ice shavings) and is typically eaten as a refreshing and light dessert. They can also be used in the same way as one would a sorbet, between meal courses to "cleanse the palate".
It reminded me of the Ice Ka Gola from my childhood where different intense flavors are poured over shaved ice and you keep sipping on the ice till the flavor is dried out.


You will need:
2 cups peeled and seeded watermelon chunks
1/4 cup sugar syrup or 2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

Puree all the ingredients together.
Transfer the mixing bowl to the freezer and freeze for 30 minutes.
Remove the bowl from the freezer and use a fork to scrape any ice crystals from the sides of the bowl. Stir to break up the crystals. Return to the freezer.
Repeat this scraping procedure every 30 minutes, or until the consistency is “snowy” when scraped with a fork or spoon, at least 4 hours. Then scoop into bowls or dessert glasses and serve.

15 comments:

Sig said...

Wow, what a color... I could use the drink and the granita now... its pretty hot out here today.

So what happened to the salsa? Too watery? :)

Lata said...

Looks great

Jyothsna said...

Cool idea! I'm still scouting for one...

Mishmash ! said...

I had seen a recipe for watermelon+mint salad....glad that I didnt try it...would not be much different from the salsa you mentioned...:D though not a melon fan, I like 'em for their colour...so did u leave some for your lil one? :)

Shn

Vcuisine said...

The colour is inviting. Viji

Suganya said...

Not even a single seed in the melon.. Granita looks colorful!

Anonymous said...

v get water melon thru' out the yr here
vs india, where i hav only seen it in summer....

cool pics! (or did i mean red hot...!!)
ki

Mallugirl said...

sig,it was a hot day when i stumbled upon the granita and was it good!
the salsa was weird tasting, yeah, kind of watery.

Lata, thanks!!

Jyo, good luck.. looking forward to ur post on it.:)

SHN, i love melons and i did leave some for my little one to make a mess with..:)

Viji,Suganya, yeah, this was a really sweet watermelon..

Ki, we get watermeoln only in the summer here and we have pick ur own water melon farms somewhere too!hi, hi, my head was hot standing in the sun taking that picture.. i am sure my neighbours thot i was nuts.

DEEPA said...

man ....this color is just awesome ....very much summer time at ur place ...

Asha said...

Beautiful color.I made a cooler too but didn't strain it!
What a great fruit for Summer,isn't it?:))

ushaprashanth said...

Hi!

Pics are lovely!Juice is thirst quenching!!

Roopa said...

wow what a beautifull color.

indosungod said...

Shaheen, the color that is what is special about this fruit. I just shuddered when you wrote about Watermelon Salsa, exactly what were they thinking.

The granita and juice look super cooool.

babli said...

Fantalicious! woww... nice pics :) and yeah, i am sure the granita tastes yummy! Watermelons are your best buddies for summer. I will have to try this out.

Mallugirl said...

Deepa, yup, its hitting 101 nowadays and the car is like a sauna!

Asha, i don't strain it for the family, only when entertaining.I agree it is truly a summer fruit.

USha, Roopa, thanks!

Indo,glad to know u felt the same! do try the juice, its cool!

Babli, how is the summer treating u?