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
Ingredients: 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
Directions: 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
Tips: 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!