It’s summer here, so we are looking for foods to reflect the season. This fruit salad is such a dish. The combination of watermelon and lime makes a cool, refreshing counterpoint to any grilled meats. Again, Floyd Cardoz in his book One Spice, Two Spice gets credit for this recipe.
If you are concerned about the unusual ingredient chaat masala, you need not be. We ordered a small container of this spice mixture from indiafoods.com, and it was not expensive.
Chaat masala contains amchoor (dried mango powder), cumin, coriander, ginger, salt, black pepper, asafoetida, and chili powder. Amchoor is made from unripe mangoes, so it gives a fruity acid flavor. The other components are added in small amounts to add a spicy complexity to the acidity. You can substitute a little lemon or lime juice plus a small amount of garam masala or similar spice blend, but it won’t be quite the same. Trust us, ordering the chaat masala, which will last a long time, is worth the effort.
We found that there was a lot more watermelon in a 7-pound watermelon than we needed for this recipe.
1 tsp minced peeled ginger
1/2 tsp minced mild to moderately hot fresh green chile
3/4 tsp chaat masala
Fine sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
9 generous cups seeded diced watermelon (from 7 lb. watermelon)
1/4 cup thinly sliced radishes, halved crosswise if large
1/2 cup packed chopped mint leaves
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
Remove the zest from 1 lime with a peeler and cut it into thin strips. Cut the lime segments from the membranes, as you would an orange or grapefruit. (About 2 Tbsp lime segments) Squeeze the juice from the membranes into a small bowl. (About 1/4 cup lime juice)
Combine the lime zest, lime juice, ginger, chile, chaat masala, salt and pepper to taste, and olive oil in a bowl.
Combine the watermelon, radishes, lime segments, mint, and cilantro in a serving bowl.
Just before serving, slowly pour the dressing over the watermelon mixture and combine gently.