May 9, 2009

Chilled Watermelon Juice/ Soup/ Granita: The Perfect Summer Cooler


Here is yet another antidote for the heat of the summer. Along with mangoes, this also the season for various varieties of thirst quenching cucumbers, musambi (sweet lime), and watermelons. We do get two varieties of watermelon here, a lighter green one which is a light to medium shade of pink on the inside and a darker green watermelon which is dark pink to an almost ruby red colour inside.

Right now, it seems to be the season for the lighter coloured variety. It is a common sight to find small Egyptian pyramid-like mounds of watermelon for sale, stacked on the sides of the road.
Whatever the colour these sweet watermelons are, they are a great and tasty way to keep quench a summer thirst. If just biting into crisp juicy slices of this fruit begin to feel monotonous, there are other many ways to have your watermelon and eat (or drink) it.






Here are a couple of ways we have out watermelons. These recipes are very flexible and you can add or subtract ingredients according to your taste.


Ingredients:

about half a fresh water melon, cut into chunks
juice of 1 sweet lime (musambi)
juice of half a lemon
1 tbsp honey
1 1/2 tsp fresh ginger juice
3/4 tsp salt
1 tsp chaat masala (optional)


OR

about half a fresh water melon, cut into chunks
2 tomatoes, deseeded and chopped
1 cup orange juice
1 tbsp honey
1 tsp rose syrup
freshly crushed pepper
5 to 6 torn mint leaves
3/4 tsp salt


Method:

If you chill the watermelon chunks and then blend them, you can serve this cooler almost immediately, when the flavours are very fresh which would be the best way to serve this.
Whatever your set of accompanying ingredients, put them along with the water melon chunks and blend till a smooth homogenous mixture is obtained.
If you do not like the grainy texture of mixture, strain and serve. Do add sugar if you feel your watermelon isn't sweet enough.
You can serve this in a glass as a drink or in a bowls as a chilled fruit soup. If you freeze this mixture, you can serve it as granita.






If you prefer ice in your cold drinks, adding ice to these watermelon coolers only dilutes them and makes them taste awful. Here are two suggestions to overcome this:
- You can pour out a couple of glasses of the watermelon concoction into ice trays and freeze them for use in these, instead of ice.
- You can also chill the watermelon cooler in the freezer for about halfan hour to an hour till the top layer just freezes. Break this layer, mix and serve this slush-like mixture.

This recipe makes enough for 3 to 4 tall glasses.

The only thing about watermelons I don't like is trying to cut them into chunks without wasting the pulp yet getting rid of the seeds! So if any one has some time tested method of chunking watermelon without agonizing over those pesky black seeds, I shall be grateful to hear your suggestions.


I shall be conspicuous by my absence here and at all my regular blogs and others for the next two weeks or so. We're off on a trip back home for a short break. It will not be much of a vacation as we will be going to attend to some family related matters, but a break is a break.
So see you all at the end of May.

Also featured by Chicago Sun-Times




33 comments:

Parita said...

Wow watermelon soup looks very delicious, apt for summer :)

Cham said...

Sounds like watermelon gaspacho! Delicious looking!

Suparna said...

Hi Aparna,
That's a lot of thngs to do with watermelons :) chillers of any kind in summer is a grand welcome.
Have a happy satisfying break :) will see u soon.Have a safe journey to and fro.
TC

Simran said...

Looks great!

Seeds are indeed a nuisance. What I do is try and look out for those small chinese watermelons (that's what my supermarket calls them). They have practically no seeds.

Enjoy your trip. Eat lots and have fun :)

Curry Leaf said...

Enjoy the trip.Love the granita or gazpacho .Perfect summer treat. again.

Madhumathi said...

Perfect treats for summer!

sra said...

Like the version with the ginger, made watermelon juice with ginger for MBP once.

jayasree said...

Liked the straw in the first pic. Nice presentation.

How i wish we get the seedless variety of watermelons here.

Indhu said...

perfect for summer :)

Priya said...

Gorgeous drink and granita, prefect for hot summer..

Jescel said...

too funny, i was just contemplating on making some kind of a watermelon drink/shake since i have one sitting on my fridge..and then I see your blog.. could it be a sign? lol. your additon of ginger juice is interesting.. hmmnnn..

Ramya Vijaykumar said...

Delectable and refreshing... nice color and I am so craving to have some now...

Soma said...

I am taking all of it:-D we are just waiting for the heat to shoot for the watermelons. I remember my mom would scoop out the reds inside the shell, put everything inside & let it sit for a few hrs. & then blend it.

Mints! said...

Oh look at those wonderful colors. I am sure it tastes as good as it looks. I will sure try this.

indymoney said...

Wow!! This is the first time I hear about watermelor soup :) interesting!! Let me try this week.

bee said...

slurp. i have a nit to pick. you forgot to add the tequila. :D

Bong Mom said...

I simply love watermelon juice, a glass like the one in your pic. But I like it simple nothing in it but watermelon :D

Aparna said...

Thanks, and it is delicious.

Ture Cham. Definitely another gazpacho.

Simran, unfortunately the watermelon I get has lots of seed. :(

I liked the ginger version better too, Sra.

I think it must be a sign, Jescel! :)

You'll have fun with this, if you like watermelon, Indymoney.

Bee, unfortunately this happens to be alcohol-free zone though we live in feni country! :D

Sandeepa, we like that version best but this isn't too far behind.

♥Rosie♥ said...

Gorgeous drink and soup Aparna! Have a good trip and see back here soon.

Apologies for not calling by earlier due to my back circumstances.

Rosie x

Jamie said...

Great ideas for using watermelon Aparna. Love the color!

Bharti said...

Mmmm..they sound delicious. I esp. like the ginger and watermelon together. No musambi here :-(

Pavithra said...

Wow thats looking so deicious nice attracting colour and recipe.

Barbara said...

This sounds like such a refreshing drink, Aparna. How do you make fresh ginger juice?

Aparna said...

Barbara, you need to cut a bit of fresh ginger into small chunks (add 1 tsp water) and crush them (I use my mortar and pestle) well. Then using your fingers, press out the juice from the crushed ginger.

Otherwise, you can use about 2 tsps ginger paste instead, but you will not get quite the same flavour as with the juice.

Parita said...

Hi Aparna...I have got something special for you on my blog..pls do visit :)

Divya Vikram said...

Perfect for summer!

Renuka said...

wow..i love water melon..prefect for summer...

Saee Koranne-Khandekar said...

Hey, nice blog! Love the look of your baked goodies.

Jude said...

I'm liking those little watermelon sticks for stirring. Sounds very refreshing.

Miri said...

Absolutely gorgeous!!

di_ani said...

Hello Aparna,
Hearty greeting and
a prize Butterfly Award!

Here
http://trydiani.blogspot.com/2009/05/butterfly-award.html

Congratulations!

A2Z Vegetarian Cuisine said...

Lovely blog, excellent recipes, very nice photography and presentation. Just loved it.

Aparna said...

Thank you Parita and Di_ani for the awards.

Thanks to you tooo, Saee and A2Z for your kind comments about my blog. :)