The recipe is adapted from one by Floyd Cardoz, famed chef at Tabla restaurant in New York City. Check out his cookbook, One Spice, Two Spice which features a very modern take on Indian food and spices.
For this salad use watermelon at its peak—crisp and sweet, dripping in its juice. The cucumber and radish add extra crunch, and the onion, a little savory bite. You can also add other seasonal fruits too—such as peach or other melon varieties. The secret to this salad is the marriage between the melon and the lime—the sweet and sour flavors balance each other with perfect simplicity. Don’t leave out the zest. You’ll be surprised at what it adds—tiny bursts of intense lime flavor.
You can easily omit the chaat masala if you don’t have it, but don’t be afraid to give it a try. The spice blend adds a wonderful warm counterpoint to the cool melon. Chaat masala can be found in any Indian grocery store, or if you feel ambitious, grind your own.
- ½ teaspoon ginger root, minced
- ¼ teaspoon chaat masala
- 1 half jalapeno (or to taste), minced
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 lime, preferably organically grown
- 6 cups watermelon, cut into 1 inch cubes
- ½ cup daikon or red radish, cut into ½ inch cubes
- ½ cup Persian or English cucumber, peeled and cut into ½ inch cubes
- 2 tablespoon minced sweet or red onion
- ¼ cup cilantro, finely chopped
- 1/3 cup mint, finely chopped
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- Carefully wash and dry the lime. Zest and juice the lime.
- Mix ginger root, chaat masala, jalapeno, olive oil, lime juice and zest in a small bowl. Let the mixture sit for at least 10 minutes, so the flavors meld.
- Put the melon, cucumber, radish, onion, cilantro and mint together in a bowl, and toss with ginger-lime dressing.
- Season with salt if desired and lots of freshly ground pepper.