Mom’s Special Watermelon Rind Fries | Indian Tarbooz Bhajiya

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My mom’s special watermelon rind fries are easy to make, delicious, and gluten-free! Serve these homemade tarbooz bhajiyas with green chutney or tomato sauce!


We were making mom’s watermelon rind sabzi a couple of weeks ago, and I asked mom about making something different this time. With the weather all nice and rainy and cool, the first thing we Indians think of is warm bhajis and pakoras with chai.

And we’ve heard of the watermelon pakoras that North Indians make. But how to make them better. So we threw a few ideas around and thought why not make watermelon rind fries? And that’s what we did!

Why waste when you can make full use of the entire watermelon, skin and all! We took mom’s batter for making potato bhajiyas and onion bhajis, changed it up a bit to make it gluten-free and viola, watermelon rind fries! Who knew they would taste so good!

So next time you’re munching on that juicy watermelon, save the skin to make yummy watermelon rind fries!

What Ingredients do you need to make Watermelon Rind Fries?

All you need is watermelon rind, rice flour, besan (chickpea flour), ginger garlic paste (or ginger paste and garlic paste), chili powder, salt, sugar, and hing aka asafoetida. Oil for cooking the fries.

How do you make Gluten Free Watermelon Rind Fries?

Start by cutting the watermelons. Store or eat the fruit. We love eating it with pepper and salt. Do not discard the rind! That’s what we need to make these fries. Cut them into thin long slices and remove the skin. This time we discard the skin. But if you want a recipe that uses the skin too, try my mom’s watermelon rind sabzi!

Cut pieces of watermelon rind and skin on an orange cutting board.
Remove skin and slice the watermelon rind

In a vessel, mix the ingredients and spices together – sugar, salt, red chili powder, garlic ginger paste, and hing. This paste will be your marinade for the watermelon rind. Mix the watermelon rind in the marinade and allow it to marinate for an hour or two. If you want it in a hurry, just do a short 15-minute marination, but usually the longer the better.

Sugar, ginger garlic paste, salt, red chili powder and hing in a vessel.
Spices for the watermelon marinade
A thick red paste in a vessel.
Mix the ingredients and form a paste
Watermelon rind pieces mixed with marinade in a vessel.
Add watermelon to the marinade

After marination, you will notice that the watermelon has released juices. Drain out the juices to another bowl. You can use this instead of water to add flavor your batter.

A red liquid in a yellow bowl.
Juices leftover after marinating

Just add some rice flour and besan flour (chickpea flour) to the juices and mix well. Add the watermelon rind pieces to the bowl and mix well.

Flour mixed in leftover marinade in a yellow bowl.
Add flour to the leftover marinade
Batter in a yellow bowl.
The batter is ready
Marinated watermelon pieces added to a bowl with batter.
Add the watermelon pieces to the batter
Watermelon pieces in the batter.
Mix watermelon pieces in the batter

In another deep-bottom vessel, heat oil for frying the fries. We prefer to use filtered oil.

When the oil is hot enough, add the watermelon rind pieces to it and deep fry them for a few minutes. Stir with a sieve to turn the pieces over and cook on all sides. Drain the oil with a sieve when removing the watermelon fries and place them in a thali with paper towels to drain the excess oil.

You can use the leftover oil to make some other dish or for frying other bhajiyas the next time, don’t discard it. It can be re-used a few times before you throw it out.

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Batter covered watermelon pieces frying in hot oil.
Drop the watermelon pieces into hot oil
Watermelon fries in a sieve over hot oil.
Drain the oil from the cooked fries

Serve these warm watermelon rind bhajiyas with green chutney or tomato sauce. They taste great on their own too!

Watermelon fries on a black plate with white bowls of sauce and green chutney.
Delicious Watermelon Rind Fries
Top view of Watermelon rind fries on a black plate with bowls of sauce and chuteny.
Serve the Watermelon Rind Fries with sauce and chutney

Cooking Tips & Tricks

  • Whenever you eat watermelon, you can just cut the rind and store it in the fridge to make fries. It last for a few weeks before making the fries.
  • After cooking the fries, eat them within a week. Reheat before serving.
  • Instead of water, use the juices from the marinade to make the batter for the fries.
  • Using rice flour and chickpea aka besan flour makes it gluten-free.
  • The filtered oil that is used for frying can be kept to be used a couple more times, dont discard it. If you’re using processed oil, don’t reuse it.

FAQs about Watermelon Rind Fries

What Part Is The Watermelon Rind?

The rind is the green and white part of the watermelon fruit below the skin that is left after you remove the pink fleshy part that’s commonly eaten.

Is watermelon rind healthy?

Just like the seeds of a watermelon, the rind has a number of health benefits. Containing more fiber, vitamins, and minerals, the skin is actually healthier than the fruit.

How Long Can You Store Watermelon Rind Fries?

Watermelon rind fries can be stored for about a week in the refrigerator. Reheat in the frying pan before serving.

What else can you make with Watermelon Rind?

You can use watermelon rind to make pakoras or my mom’s watermelon rind veggie pickle.

Other Indian recipes you may like

You can print off the list of ingredients and instructions to follow for making this recipe via the recipe card below (for home use only).

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Top view of Watermelon rind fries on a black plate with bowls of sauce and chuteny.

My Mom’s Watermelon Rind Fries | Tarbooz Bhajiya

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My mom's special watermelon rind fries are easy to make, gluten free, and delicious too!
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Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Marinating Time 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 25 mins
Course Side Dish, Snacks, Starters or Appetizer
Cuisine Fusion, Indian
Diet Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Servings 4 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 300 grams Watermelon Rind
  • 5 Tablespoons Rice Flour
  • 5 Tablespoons Besan Flour Chickpea Flour
  • 2 Tablespoons Ginger Garlic Paste
  • 1 Tablespoons Red Chili Powder
  • .75 Tablespoons Salt
  • 1 Tablespoons Sugar
  • .25 Tablespoons Asafoetida (Hing) Asafoetida

Instructions
 

  • Cut the watermelon rind into thin long slices and remove the skin.
  • In a pot, mix sugar, salt, red chili powder, garlic ginger paste, and hing and make a paste.
  • Add the watermelon rind pieces to the paste and marinate for an hour in the refrigerator.
  • Drain the juices from the watermelon pieces into another pot.
  • Add rice flour and besan (chickpea) flour to these juices and mix well to form a batter.
  • Add the watermelon pieces back to this pot and coat well.
  • Heat oil in a kadai, wok or deep pot and when hot add the watermelon pieces and fry.
  • Stir using a sieve while turning them over on all sides. Remove them after a few minutes of frying.
  • Place the fries on a paper towel to drain the excess oil.
  • Serve with green chutney or tomato sauce!

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Notes

  • Use the juices from the marinade to make the batter for the fries.
  • Using rice flour and chickpea / besan flour makes it gluten-free.
  • The oil that is used for frying can be kept to be used 1 or 2 more times, don’t discard it.
Pinterest image of watermelon rind fries with sauce and chutney.
Pinterest image of indian watermelon rind fries.
Pinterest image of Watermelon rind

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