Watermelon Rind and Cucumber Koshimbir


Growing up, Hemant— Tamarind Tree’s chef and menu planner— saw that his mother never threw any food away. She ingeniously repurposed fruit and vegetable peels to make flavorful chutneys and unique dishes such as stir-fried banana skin and watermelon rind sabzi. Following in her footsteps, Hemant has created this refreshing salad that uses watermelon rind and is now a lunchtime staple at Tamarind Tree School. 


The dishes featured in the school’s menu are specially designed to encourage protein consumption in students, many of whom come from the Warli tribe that faces chronic undernutrition. The roasted chana in the salad not only amps up the protein content of the salad, but also adds a much loved crunch to the dish. The combination of cucumber, watermelon rind, and roasted chana along with the vinaigrette make it a refreshing summer salad.

Green cucumber 1 kg
Watermelon rind 2 kgs
Roasted chana, de-husked 500 grams
Vinegar 5 tablespoons
Salad oil 7 tablespoons
Salt To taste
Sugar 200 grams
Black Pepper 35 grams
Mint leaves To taste
Coriander leaves, chopped To taste

A mixer-grinder


Dice the cucumber into small 1 centimetre cubes.


Peel the watermelon skin until you are only left with the white part of the watermelon rind. Make sure to remove any traces of the pulpy red part of the watermelon.


Dice the watermelon rind into small 1 centimetre cubes as well.


Gently roast the roasted chana once more, and leave it to cool.


Grind the roasted chana until it takes the form of coarse pieces.


To make the vinaigrette, blend the vinegar, salad oil, salt, sugar, pepper, and mint leaves in the mixer-grinder until the mix takes a smooth consistency.


Mix the cucumber, watermelon rind, coarsely ground channa, and vinaigrette together.


Garnish with the rest of the chopped coriander leaves.


You can replace the mint leaves in the vinaigrette with any other Indian herb, such as Indian basil.

Tamarind Tree School in Dahanu, Maharashtra is an alternative, technology-driven English medium school that principles open-access education in all they do. The school runs on the belief that every child, regardless of their background, deserves a quality education that empowers them to become independent, lifelong learners.


The Locavore is currently fundraising for the nutrition program at Tamarind Tree School. The funds from this campaign, the goal of which is 10 lakhs, will feed the students of the school for an entire school year. To contribute, please head to this link.

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