Watermelon Curry with Black Beans

If you give a cookbook and let me pick the recipe, I’ll probably go for the least photogenic red mush there is. I don’t know where that weakness comes from but ratatouilles, curries, tomato sauces, those are the things I’m instantly drawn to when I see the words, because quite often they come with no picture, and understandably so. This curry is a yet another Maria Elia’s recipe; I actually think of challenging myself to cook everything from her book, sinceanything I try turns out very good despite the doubts during preparations. With this one, the most difficult reservation to overcome was boiling the watermelon, but once I compared the puree to coconut milk (similarities: both sweet, both liquid) it just started to make sense. No one wants to eat coconut milk in the summer, yet curries are too good to give up for a quarter of the year. The original recipe has paneer in it, and the author suggests swapping tofu for it, but I just mixed in radishes for extra texture, and used more beans than asked for.

watermelon curry preparation

In other news, my computer decided to rebel against my drunk kicking it to turn it off and I need to reinstall the system which might happen only after the summer. Posting might be less regular than usually, and only if my flatmates have the mercy/trust to let me use their computers.

watermelon curry with rice

Watermelon Curry with Black Beans

(adapted from Maria Elia’s Modern Vegeterian)


(serves 2)


100g brown rice

3 cups watermelon cubes, divided (about ½ baby watermelon)

1 tbsp sunflower oil

1 small onion

2 small cloves of garlic

3cm fresh ginger

1tsp dried lemon grass

½ red chilli pepper

1tsp coriander

1tsp cumin

½tsp turmeric

½ cup black beans

5 medium radishes

1 lime

1tbsp cashews

1 handful basil

salt, pepper to taste

How to:

Cook the rice according to the instructions on the box.

Seed the watermelon cubes; puree 2 cups, set the other cup aside.

Heat up the oil over small heat.

Chop up the onion, add to the saucepan. Repeat with ginger, chili, and lastly, garlic. Add the lemongrass and the powdered spices, cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the watermelon puree, turn up the heat until the contents of the pan come to the boil, lower the heat and let simmer for 10 minutes.

Quarter the radishes and add to the pan, together with the beans. Cook for another 10 minutes.

Lastly, chop up the cashews and basil. Mix into the stew.

Divide the rice between two bowls and top with the curry. Finish with a sprinkle of both cashews and basil, and finally, with a squeeze of lime.