Watermelon Curry with Grilled Shrimp
Do you have leftover watermelon from the strawberry-watermelon smoothie? Try this fantastic curry. It is a great summer soup and can be served chilled. The curry comes together so nicely, it is surprising that pureed watermelon is the base of this dish. The cubes of watermelon maintain some of the most refreshing and sweet qualities of watermelon, adding a nice contrast to the curry.
I admit, initially, I found the flavor combinations weird. But, by the second bowl, I was hooked! It’s always fun to challenge your taste buds with something they’re not accustomed to. There’s a world of flavors out there!
- 5 pounds watermelon
- 1 3-inch long piece peeled, fresh ginger
- 4 cloves garlic
- 3 tablespoons water
- 2 tablespoons Madras-style curry powder
- 2 teaspoons salt
- pinch cayenne pepper
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 3-inch long cinnamon stick
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh mint
- 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lime juice
- 1 pound medium-large shrimp, shelled and deveined
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1/2 of a lime
- Grilled Indian flat bread for serving
- For the curry: Remove the rind from the melon; cut the flesh into 1″ chunks and remove the seeds. Puree two cups of the chunks. Set aside the remaining chunks.
- If you have a mini food processor: blend the ginger, garlic, water, curry powder, salt and cayenne pepper to a paste. To make by hand: finely grate the ginger and garlic into a small bowl. Sprinkle with salt and with side of a knife, mash and smear the mixture to a coarse paste. Stir the paste with the water, curry powder, and cayenne.
- Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the cinnamon stick and cook it until it unfurls, about 30 seconds. Add the ginger-garlic paste and cook, stirring constantly, until it is quite fragrant and lightly browned, about 3 minutes. Add the reserved watermelon puree and the sugar, reduce the heat, and simmer until thick, about 5 minutes.
- Stir in the reserved watermelon chunks and simmer for 2 minutes more.
- Transfer the curry to a bowl and cool. Stir in the mint and lime juice and refrigerate.
- For the shrimp: Heat a grill to medium-hot, or a grill pan to medium heat. Toss the shrimp with the melted butter in a large bowl; season with salt and pepper to taste. Grill the shrimp, turning once, until just cooked through, about 4 minutes.
- Transfer the shrimp to a plate and squeeze the lime juice over them.
- To serve, ladle the curried watermelon into serving bowls and arrange the shrimp in the centers. Serve with grilled Indian flatbread if desired. (If you don’t like cold soup, heat the curried watermelon before serving).
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