Persian Watermelon Rind Jam

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Summer Treat © Carolyne Pehora | Dreamstime Stock Photos

Dear yogis,

Here’s a recipe for a nice exotic jam that’s perfect as a summer treat. You can make use of all those watermelon rinds that would otherwise be thrown away. Eating watermelon rinds also has numerous health benefits! Watermelon rinds are high in citrulline, vitamin C, and vitamin B6. If not in a jam, try peeling the green part off and eating the rind raw, in a stir fry, or in a curry.

Even most Iranian people I know haven’t heard of Watermelon Rind Jam, making it a rare delight and a perfect gift to friends. Try reusing a clean glass jar. You can sterilize the lid and jar by soaking them in boiling water. Make sure to temper the glass jar before you do so to avoid it breaking due to extreme temperature changes (you can do this by pouring warm/hot but not boiling water inside for a few minutes so the glass heats up). After you’ve poured the cooled jam into the cooled jar you can cut a round piece of fabric larger than the lid and tie it on with a ribbon or string. Design your own label on a sticky label and you have the perfect gift.

Persian Watermelon Rind Jam

1kg watermelon rind (with pink interior and green exterior peeled off)
3 cups brown sugar
½ cup honey
Rind of one lime
½ teaspoon fresh ginger, shredded
6 pods cardamom
2 tablespoons lemon/lime juice

Dice rind to desired size for chunky jam/Cut into 1×2” strips for a more blended jam
Cover in cold water
Bring to a boil on high heat
Reduce heat and allow rind to simmer until translucent (between 30-60minutes)
Drain and reserve 3 cups of liquid
Dissolve the sugar in reserved liquid
Boil lemon rind for one minute to remove bacteria
Drain lemon rind
Add honey, boiled lemon rind, ginger, and cardamom to liquid and bring to a boil
Skim any foam
Add drained watermelon rind and boil at a medium heat for 30 minutes
Remove from heat, cover, and allow to cool overnight

Bring pot to a boil at medium heat again until syrup thickens to desired consistency:

Option 1: Chunky jam
Simmer until liquid has reached desired thickness (30-60 minutes)

Option 2: Blended jam
Simmer liquid until syrupy (20-40 minutes)
(Liquid doesn’t need to be as thick because as you blend, the rind will give desired texture to the jam)
Either blend with hand blender or pulse gradually in food processor until you have desired consistency

You can store this in the fridge for months if you keep it in a tightly sealed container. Bacteria is not your friend! If you plan to take jam out often from the same container, remember to use a clean spoon to remove jam. Contaminating the jam invites mould to grow in the jam. (In other words, don’t double dip!)

If you are making a lot of the Watermelon Rind Jam, it’s best to store what you’re not using in a container that doesn’t get opened and have a smaller container to serve the jam you want to eat from!

Summer Treat © Carolyne Pehora | Dreamstime Stock Photos

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