Hot Curried Watermelon

by wjw on May 16, 2008

Mens sana in corpore sano, as we say here at Rio Hondo. High-level literary criticism, bracing outdoor activities, drinking and relaxing, and eating food as good as the stories. Here’s a typical day:

1. Critique stories by the likes of Daniel Abraham, Maureen McHugh, Ian Tregillis, or Alan DeNiro.

2. Forced march over the snow-covered 13,000-foot Williams Lake pass. (Tasers keep those sluggish SF geeks moving briskly)

3. Find bighorn sheep.

4. Kill it and butcher it on the spot.

5. Forced march back to the lodge, carrying the dripping meat on our shoulders.

6. Relax with beer in the hot tub while the Big Horn Chili simmers on the stove.

7. Eat vastly.

8. Repeat.

I may exaggerate a little for effect, but that’s pretty much what we’re up to.

The first night’s dinner was an Indian extravaganza cooked by me. Daniel mentioned that Rio Hondo was the only time when he ever got to eat hot curried watermelon, and since I’m not secretive about my recipes— especially the ones I cut out of the paper— I thought I might share it with the adventurous-minded among you.



1/4 of a large watermelon cut into 1-inch cubes (10 cups)

1/2 teaspoon paprika

1 1/2 teaspoons ground red pepper (or to taste)

1/2 teaspoon turmeric

1/2 teaspoon ground coriander

1 teaspoon chopped or pureed garlic

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons oil

1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds

1 tablespoon lime juice

1/2 tablespoon sugar

Drain off one cup of the watermelon juice, or puree enough watermelon to make a cup.

To watermelon juice, add paprika, red pepper, turmeric, coriander, garlic, and salt.

Heat the oil in a skiller over high heat and add cumin seeds. After 20 seconds, add the juice. Lower the heat and simmer until the juice is reduced by one-third.

Add lime juice and sugar. Add watermelon pieces and toss over low heat 3-4 minutes, until they are heated through. Do not overheat, as the watermelon will start to dissolve.

Serve immediately.

Will serve 4.

This is a very nice dish for summer, and will really surprise your guests.

Maureen McHugh May 17, 2008 at 3:11 am

Walter started doing the hot curried watermelon dish a year or two ago. And already it has become one of those things he has to make at Rio Hondo or there is protest.

The other thing he HAS to make is the Black Roux Gumbo dinner followed by Bananas Foster for desert. Otherwise, it simply is not Rio Hondo.

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