When watermelon is in season in Bangalore, it abounds at local markets, and vendors often serve it sliced and sprinkled with salt and red chile powder. This recipe for chile-spiked watermelon juice from the cookbook Vibrant India takes inspiration from that tradition.
1 cup water
2 Tbsp. sugar
¼ to ½ tsp. salt
4 cups watermelon chunks, seeded
⅛ tsp. red chile powder or cayenne pepper, to taste
Juice of 1 lime (about 3 tablespoons)
Tools: blender, fine mesh strainer
Glass: soda glass or highball
Garnish: fresh mint, lime wedge
Put the water in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the sugar and salt to taste until dissolved. Transfer to another container to cool.
Purée the watermelon chunks in a blender or food processor. Place a bowl underneath a fine-mesh strainer and pour the watermelon puree through to extract the pulp. Push the pulp against the mesh to get as much juice as possible. Whisk the red chile powder, lime juice and cooled sugar syrup with the watermelon juice. Serve over ice with mint leaves and lime wedges.
Reprinted with permission from Vibrant India: Fresh Vegetarian Recipes from Bangalore to Brooklyn by Chitra Agrawal. Copyright 2017. Ten Speed Press.
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