Watermelon Pickle

Don't throw away your watermelon skins, but use them to make this unusual home-smoked pickle from Marwari cook Gunjan Goela
By Gary Rhodes
Watermelon Pickle
  • Rating:
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes plus 10 minutes smoking
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes plus cooling, and maturing
  • Effort: hard


  • 1 small watermelon, skin only with ½ cm flesh attached
  • 2 handfuls charcoal
  • 1 tbsp ghee
  • 1/4 tsp asafoetida, (hing)
  • 1 litre water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp red chilli powder
  • pinch turmeric
  • 1 tsp mustard powder


1. Cut the watermelon skin into small wedges. Cook in boiling water for 10-12 minutes, until tender. Drain and leave to cool.

2. Heat the charcoal either in a hot oven (preheated to 220C/gas 7) or over a gas flame. Using tongs (take care), transfer the coal to a karahi or wok over a high heat. Sprinkle over the ghee and asafoetida. Sit a large pan upside down over the wok so the smoke from the charcoal infuses into it. Leave it to absorb the aroma for 10 minutes.

3. Mix the cooked watermelon pieces with the water, salt, chilli powder, turmeric and mustard powder. Pour it into the smoked pan, cover and leave to mature for 2-3 days.

About Gunjan Goela
Gunjan Goela works with top-end hotels, resurrecting traditional Marwari vegetarian dishes for the five star palate. As Marwari cuisine is often regarded as limited (using only the ingredients available from the Rajasthan desert region), Gunjan adds modern flavours and techniques to traditional dishes.

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