As mentioned earlier in one of my previous posts, watermelons are abundant in vital nutrients, vitamins, and very good for health. Most important it contains in abundance an antioxidant lycopene that protects us from various diseases. Same goes with the rind of the watermelon which is often discarded. It has a lot of nutritional value,it is rich in beta carotene, Vitamin C, is mostly made of water and and should be included in our diet. Watermelon pancakes are a regular in Konkani cuisine. I’m posting the savoury version of the same.
• 1 cup dosa rice
• 1 tbsp split black gram / urad dal
• 1/2 cup flatenned rice / poha
•1/4th tsp fenugreek seeds
• Approximately 2 cups white portion of the watermelon( peel the green skin of the watermelon)depending on the moisture released by the rind
• 2 green chillies, 1/4th” piece of ginger and 2 sprigs of coriander leaves ground to a paste
• 6 sprigs of coriander leaves finely chopped
• Salt to taste
• Oil to shallow fry
• Rinse and soak the rice, urad dal and fenugreek seeds for at least 4 hours. Approximately 10 minutes before grinding the mix rinse the flattened rice well till water runs clear, squeeze out the excess water and set aside for about 10 minutes. Drain all the water from the soaked rice mix and grind it along with watermelon rind pieces as required to a smooth thick batter. Then add the softened beaten rice and grind again.
• DO NOT add water as watermelon rind contains water and also jaggery will liquify the batter. Add salt to taste. Mix the batter well using your hands.
• Transfer the batter in a container, cover it with a lid and set aside overnight or for 8 hours to ferment. Next day add green chilli, ginger, coriander leaves paste, finely chopped coriander leaves. The batter should be of thick dropping consistency. Heat a cast iron pan on medium flame, drizzle a little oil, grease it, add a ladle of the batter and spread it so that the thickness of the pancake is medium thick. Leave oil from the sides, reduce the flame to low. Cover and cook on low flame, till the top is dry and the underside is golden. Flip over and cook the other side too, leaving oil from the sides.
• Remove from pan once done, and serve hot with white butter and chutney of your choice. I served it with raw mango chutney. Tastes best and also you get the perfect texture when cooked on a cast iron tawa.
• Traditionally 2 tbsp freshly scraped coconut is added in place of urad dal.
• The batter has to be of thick dropping consistency. Proper fermentation results in a porous texture.
• Add 1 1/2 cup watermelon rind pieces first while grinding and then add more if required depending on the moisture released by the rind.
• The texture seen in the pic is obtained when prepared on a cast iron tawa. Using a nonstick skillet does make it easier to cook these pancakes but I prefer using a cast iron skillet though it requires a little extra oil to get the perfect texture and flavour.
• These pancakes taste best if prepared just before serving and eaten hot.