Watermelon & Paneer Cheese Spiced Salad
I’m not a lettuce, cucumber and tomato salad type of girl, I just can’t get excited about that combination, it’s like an out dated fashion item…it’s a little boring. I could convince myself of course to eat it if it had a few olives and a big hunk of feta cheese on top of it and I was sitting beach side on one of the Greek Islands, the only way to eat a Greek salad really! Location makes a big difference doesn’t it? Saying that I live beach side in New Zealand and it is every bit as beautiful as Greece but I’m not always on holiday and more likely to be in a cold air conditioned office and need salad with a little more substance and variety for lunch.
When I saw this recipe in the Australian Gourmet Traveller I wasn’t too sure how it would turn out but decided to give it a go. The original recipe is just watermelon salad but I have added paneer cheese to make it more of a complete meal and I added a few extra herbs & spices. P wouldn’t touch it, he does do fruit and savoury together so the girls and I enjoyed it for lunch at work two days in row! I have a few other watermelon salads up my sleeve too if you enjoy this one.
It’s a perfect refreshing salad for those hot humid days. It can bee served on it’s own or with rice or as a side dish for fish or chicken.
- 800g watermelon
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 tsp fennel seeds
- 1 tsp coriander seeds
- ¼ tsp turmeric
- ½ tsp mustard seeds
- Bunch or fresh coriander, finely chopped
- 150g paneer cheese
- 1 tbsp cornflour
- Olive Oil
- 1 tsp sugar
- Slice the paneer cheese into small blocks and dust with cornflour.
- Put a few tablespoons of olive oil into a frying pan on a medium heat and once hot put the cheese blocks in to fry. Fry till golden on both sides, about 1 minute each side.
- Once golden remove from the pan onto kitchen towel to soak up the oil, then put aside.
- Remove the skin from the water melon and chop into 1 inch cubes.
- Grind the coriander seeds with a mortar & pestle then add the garlic and turmeric and grind to a paste.
- Add approx 200g of water melon to the paste and grind to a pulp.
- In a large frying pan add the 2 tablespoons of oil, fennel seeds, mustard seeds and cumin seeds and fry them on a low heat for 1 minute.
- Add the watermelon pulp and teaspoon of sugar to the frying pan and cook over a low heat for 5-8 minutes.
- Turn the heat off and add the rest of the melon cubes, paneer and coriander to the pan and toss them through the sauce.
- Serve immediately