Do you remember the song from dil hai ki manta nahi where Pooja Bhatt, in her beautiful off shoulder silk dress and Aamir Khan in his captain cap were romancing in a barn with a watermelon slice? As Pooja Bhatt picks the watermelon seed off Aamir’s cheek and they start having the water melon together, I never though a fruit like Watermelon could look so enticing
I grew up in a fruit eating household and post marriage, I have been in a fruit absent household. Now It is on me to ensure that my children get into the habit of eating fruits. Till such time Tugga did not have his own opinion, I could manage to get him to eat at least a fruit a day. That was till he was 4 years. Brishti is another thing altogether. That girl has too much character. She is just a year and half and she knows what she want to eat. My children are non fussy eaters (except fruits), so yes, it came as a surprise to me when Brishti started refusing her daily fruit quota a couple of months back. She loved bananas and ate them every day since the time she was 7 months but now she will not even bite into the fruit. Same with grapes or mangoes.
I miss eating fruits and honestly, it is diificult to buy fruits and eat all by yourself. So I am always looking out for ways to incorporate fruits into our daily meals. Due to our work, Anindya and I have to eat out a lot. To counter the ill effects of eating out, lately, we are trying to eat a lot of salads and grilled proteins, especially for dinner. In one of these pursuits for a healthy eating habit, I started making watermelon salad, which is pretty much standard watermelon salad with onions and feta cheese.
Using Bandel cheese in a melon ball salad
During one of these days, we had bought some bandel cheese for a photoshoot. Bandel cheese is extremely salty and now I know that by soaking it overnight in water, the salt level can be considerably reduced. I had 8 discs each of smoked and regular bandel cheese. Once the photoshoot was done, I needed ways to use them up. I thought why not use bandel cheese instead of feta in the salad. It has a similar crumbly texture and would balance well with sweet melons.
How to make a this salad?
To make the frozen melon ball salad more interesting, I also added some muskmelon to it. I don’t know how many of you like muskmelon. I personally don’t love it but I have this trick which makes the muskmelon taste good. My father had taught me to eat a muskmelon by sprinkling milk powder over it. Of course for a salad, I couldn’t use milk powder. So I froze the the melons to firm them up and frozen fruits taste delicious, particularly melons and peaches. All you have to do is use a melon baller to cut out watermelon and muskmelon balls. Ensure that there aren’t any seeds in the watermelon. Then simply freeze them for half hour to an hour.
What is your favourite salad dressing?
There can be many salad dressings but my favourite has always been lemon and honey. Usually if it is a watermelon salad, I use a balsamic vinegar dressing. For this frozen melon ball salad, I wanted a very fresh and zesty flavour profile. So I used some truffle honey from Boscovivo , which Silvia was kind enough to send for me and mixed it with lemon juice, lemon zest, chopped mint leaves and chopped green chilies. You can use any regular honey too. Crumble one cube of bandel cheese over it. The Bandel cheese should have been soaked in water overnight. You don’t need extra salt for this salad. Bandel cheese is enough to provide that. Alternately, you can use feta cheese too. The ultimate result is a beautiful combination of sweet, salty, zesty and spicy together. The subtle aroma from the truffle honey was lush and it elevated the frozen melon salad to another level altogether.
Are you looking for more salad recipes? You can try the cold crab salad in cucumber boats. It is a crab lover’s delight. You can also try this mango chicken salad with a zesty coriander chili dressing. It is a brilliant summer salad.
For a very Bengali honmestyle salad, go for Chingri Makha. It’s light and the mustard oil in this salad is the hero of the dish.
There are two chicken salads, out of which the Nepali chicken sadeko is my favourite go to salad whenever I have guests. And if you have some leftover chicken kebabs or any leftover fried chicken, make a leftover chicken kebab salad for the next day lunch.
In case you try this recipe of frozen melon ball salad, we would love to have your feedback. You can reach out to us at our social media handles:Instagram, Facebook or any of our personal Facebook ( Madhushree and Anindya )and twitter profiles. Post a picture and tag us.
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Frozen melon ball salad with Bandel Cheese
- 1 no watermelon
- 1 no muskmelon
- 1 tsp truffle honey you can use regular honey
- 1 no small lemon
- 2 nos bandel cheese
- 6 nos mint leaves
- 1 no chopped green chilli
- Cut the watermelon in half anf scoop out round shapes using a melon baller. Discard the seeds and place the melon balls in a covered container inside the freezer. You will need about a cup of watermelon balls. Keep the rest of the watermelon for something else.
- Cut open a muskmelon into half and discard the mushy seeds from the centre. Then using a melon baller, cut out round shapes. Since a muskmelon is of smaller size, you will probably need one whole muskmelon for a cup of melon balls. Store a cup of muskmelon balls in a covered container in the freezer.
- Scoop out the balance of the muskmelon leaving a cm thick of muskmelon inside. Keep the balance flesh in the refrigerator for later use. We will use the muskmelon skins to serve the salad.
- You need to keep the salad in the freezer for half hour and in the meanwhile prep your dressing.
- For the dressing, first take the zest of the lemon in hand. Then the juice of the whole lemon. Add the honey, chopped green chilli and chopped mint leaves. Muddle it lightly to get the flavour of the mint leaves (not too much or else it will become bitter).
- After 30 minutes of freezing time, take the melon balls out of the freezer and mix them together. Add the dressing and lightly toss.
- Finally crumble one and half bandel cheese on the salad and give it a light mix.
- Bandel cheese should be soaked in water overnight and the water discarded before use.
- Serve the salad inside the melon skin and top with some more bandel cheese.
- Use can use any combination of melons for this salad.
- The melon are super sweet and still honey is required because there is a lot of saltiness from the cheese,
- You can use any honey you like but the truffle honey is uumph.
- Instead of mint leaves, you can also use coriander leaves.