Pickled Watermelon Rind

We don’t often think about the rind of watermelon – do you? This year I have decided to pickle it, to extend our focus on lowering food waste and, as much as possible, using every edible part of a plant.

Pickling watermelon rind is quite easy but does take a couple of non-effort days. I have followed the non-cook approach, although some recipes do simmer the rind before or during pickling.

First the rind, sans the green skin, is salted overnight (soaked in brine), then rinsed and placed in a pickling liquid of vinegar and spices. It is edible after 1 hour, but is better if left a few days. It will keep indefinitely if stored in sterilised jars in the fridge.

In Nopi, Ottolenghi has an approach to pickling the rind which is pretty much the same as most other recipes. He uses the rind in a Watermelon Soup and also in a Watermelon Salad. They both sound delicious.

Similar recipes include Mango and Ginger Pickle, Green Mango Pickle, and Chinese Pickled Cucumber.

Browse all of our Watermelon recipes and all of our Pickles. Or explore our Mid Summer dishes.

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Mandarin and Star Anise Flavoured Soy Sauce

It is mandarin season and one of the things we do at this time of the year is to dry the skins from our home grown mandarins. They are used during the year in teas, stocks, soups, sauces and anything else I can justify throwing a little into.

We also make an orange flavoured soy sauce, simply by soaking the soy with the skins and some star anise. Why not try it? Use the soy sauce as you would use normal soy sauce for extra flavours.

Similar recipes include Chilli Soy Sauce, and Sesame Chilli Soy Sauce.

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Cumquat and Makrut (Kaffir) Lime Seed Syrup

We’ve been making lime pickles from the Makrut Limes (formally known as Kaffir Limes) from our tree. There are an awful lot of seeds in the limes. We don’t like to waste anything, and I also had a couple of dozen cumquats I was looking to use. The seeds from the limes are full of pectin, so I simmered them with the pulp that was left after juicing the cumquats. After straining, it made the most wonderful syrup.

The taste is sweet with citrus-bitter, a little like marmalade. It is almost set but now quite – a perfect consistency for toast and crumpets, and also for drizzling over rice pudding, Besan Payasam, icecream and other desserts. It is also a great drizzle over Brussels Sprouts and other veggies before roasting, onto soups, curries, rice etc.

Of course you won’t have lime seeds at your disposal. Make it anyway, just leave the seeds out. Or you can try with lemon seeds or seeds of other citrus. Add just enough sugar to retain the taste but overcome any sharp sour or bitter tastes. (You want to keep a little sour and a little bitter, don’t eliminate it altogether. We are not used to bitter tastes in our cuisines, but they are wonderful when used in the right way.)

Similar dishes include Cumquats Poached in Sugar Syrup, Cumquat Tea, and Cumquat Chutney.

Browse all of our Cumquat recipes and all of our Lime dishes. Our Syrups are here. Or explore our Mid Winter dishes.

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Makrut (Kaffir) Lime Pickle with Oil | Narthangai Oorugai

Kaffir Lime, now referred to as Makrut lime due to the previous name having racial connotations in South Africa, is close enough to Narthangai for the sake of making pickles. I will also use Makrut Lime in pickles in place of Kitarangai.

My Makrut lime tree is now bearing well enough to make a couple of types of pickles, and this first recipe is from Meenakshi Ammal in the first volume of her books Cook and See. It is a raw pickle (the lime is not cooked before making the pickle). The chopped limes are macerated in salt and turmeric powder for a day before more spices and sesame oil is added. It is a pickle that will keep for a long time.

Similar recipes include Lime Pickle without Oil, Green Mango Pickle, Green Apple Pickle, and Quince Aachar.

Browse all of our Indian Pickles. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Early Winter recipes.

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Tamarind Molasses | Tamarind Syrup

Very occasionally I come across some fresh tamarind in our local Asian shops. Sometimes it is ripe, sweet ripe tamarind, dark and luscious to eat. But more often it is green, unripe tamarind. The green tamarind has the most intense sour taste that you can imagine. It is eaten as a snack in India with salt and chilli – a hard but padded surface next to you is essential, to bang your fist on when the tartness fully hits you 🤣.

I love to capture that tartness, or the essence of it, by making a Tamarind Molasses (aka Tamarind Syrup). While I make this most of all with the green Tamarind pods, the recipe can also be used for ripe pods.

If you wanted to you can even make this from a block of dried Tamarind or some Tamarind Concentrate. See the recipe notes. It won’t be AS good as using pods, but will still be amazing.

Similar Recipes include Pomegranate Molasses and Quince Molasses.

Browse all of our Tamarind dishes. Or browse our easy Early Winter recipes.

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Quince Molasses

We now have a collection of molasses recipes that we cycle through year-round in our kitchen – pomegranate molasses, tamarind molasses, cumquat “molasses” and quince molasses. They are easy to make and divine with the sweet-sour flavours that can be used in spoon sweets, drizzled over sweet and savoury dishes, and mixed into dressings, soups, bakes and braises. They are essential accompaniments in our kitchen.

Here is the Quince Molasses we’ve been making for some time.

Similar dishes include How to Use Quinces, Quince Molasses and Tahini Dip/Sweet, Turnips with Quince Molasses, and Quince Pickle.

Browse all of our Quince Molasses recipes, and our Molasses recipes (more to come). Or explore our Mid Autumn dishes.

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Green Mango Pickle | Mango Aavakaaya

One of my first tastes of India, smack in the middle of South India, was of a pickle that was hot, sour, salty, all at once. I grew addicted to that taste. While most non-Indian people love the Sweet Mango Pickle, I am a devotee of Green Mango Pickle.

This recipe is fairly easy to make if you can get your hands on hard, green mangoes – make sure that they are really green, and not a half ripe sweet mango.

Mustard seeds – whole or ground – are a feature of many Indian pickles. Not only do they taste good, adding a pungency, they are anti-microbial so certainly help in pickles and other preserves.

Similar recipes include Pickled Watermelon Rind, Lime Pickle without Oil, Green Mango Pachadi, Quick Mango and Ginger Aachar, Indian Fresh Green Apple Pickle, Mustardy Carrot Pickle, and Onion Strings Pickled Salad.

Browse our Indian Pickles, and all of our Pickles. All of our Indian recipes are here, and the Indian Essentials Series is here. Or explore our Early Summer dishes.

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Fruit and Herb Flavoured Vinegars | and Orange Vinegar

Spring is a great time for making some flavoured vinegars for Summer Salads and vegetables. It also makes great presents for Xmas! The flavoured vinegars are easy to make and can be left to infuse the flavours for as little as 2 weeks.

We show you a general method, and then several specific flavoured vinegars. If you are growing your own fruits and herbs, this is an excellent way to use your crops. Don’t forget to sterilise all of your equipment and utensils.

Similar recipes include Glossy Strawberry Sauce, How to Make Quince Paste, How to Pickle Ginger, and How to Make Chilli Paste.

Browse all of our How To suggestions, and all of our Early Spring recipes.

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Orange and Green Chilli Relish

Chutneys, pickles and relishes define Indian food. Today we have an unusual one, and Orange Relish with Green Chillies. It is pretty good – sweet, spicy and sour-tangy all at the same time. It is cooked like a jam but with savoury spices with the oranges. The idea came from Tiffin, the book by Rukmini Srinivas, but we have altered it just a little.

The relish goes really well with Vegetable Cutlets (which are also very divine). It can be used with any snack, or in sandwiches and wraps, over rice, and with a nice, hard cheese on crackers.

Similar recipes include Mint Sambol, Green Tomato Chutney, Radish and Mint Chutney, and Roasted Tomato Chutney.

Browse all of our Indian Snacks, and our Patties. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Late Spring recipes.

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Collection: Delicious Chilli Pastes and Sauces

Where would we be without Chilli Paste? Our kitchen boasts 2 or 3 different ones at any one time, plus of course red and green chillies in the freezer, chilli flakes and 3 different chilli powders. We love a touch of heat in the kitchen, but not everyone has to go this far! A good chilli paste will be your godsend when you are looking to spice up a soup, sauce, pasta dish, dip, avocado mash, even a potato crush!

Browse all of our Chilli recipes, or explore our Early Autumn dishes.

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