Sunday, August 3, 2014

Cantaloupe Curry Recipe, Made With Cooked Unripe Cantaloupe

 photo IMG_1003Medium_zps5d2ad89d.jpgI buy most of my produce from the "Grade B" stand at the local farmer's market since it is much cheaper than what I can find at the grocery store. Often the produce I get there is overripe and needs to be used immediately, but sometimes, like this past shopping trip, the produce is unripe.
With most unripe produce. you can stick it in a bag (ideally with an apple or a banana) and it will ripen on its own, but cantaloupe is special in that it does not ripen once picked. Unfortunately, the entire bag of cantaloupe that I bought was all small and mostly unripe, and not so pleasant to eat as is. It just wasn't sweet- just a tad sweet and that's all.

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I was trying to figure out what to do with all that melon, since it would be a shame to waste it... but trusty Google wasn't being too helpful. Most of the suggestions that Google came up with were to blend it up with something and mask it with other, stronger flavors. But I wanted to do something with that melon, somehow, being the main part of the dish.

And then it hit me.
Why not cook it?
From experience and my research, I've learned that melon is related to pumpkins, and that cooked watermelon rind tastes similarly to pumpkin. I thought that maybe unripe cantaloupe, cooked, would taste similarly to pumpkin as well.
I experimented by steaming a few small pieces, and I liked the results. Their texture is a little softer than steamed pumpkin, and their taste, while not exactly pumpkin, is still similar enough to be able to be used in pumpkin recipes.
I thought to try making the cantaloupe into a curry, and it came out great. The perfect way to use my unripe cantaloupes.
So next time Mr. Google tells you to just toss your unripe cantaloupe, ignore him and make cantaloupe curry instead.

As a bonus- this recipe is vegan, gluten free, sugar free, GAPS/Paleo/Primal/grain free... 

Cantaloupe Curry Recipe, Made With Cooked Unripe Cantaloupe

2 tablespoons oil
1 onion
2 cloves garlic
5 cardamom pods
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon dried ginger
1-1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3 cups steamed unripe cantaloupe

1. First peel and cube your cantaloupe, then steam them. You want 3 cups of steamed cantaloupe, so you want to start out with at least 4, maybe 5 cups of unripe cubed cantaloupe.

2. Dice your onion and mince your garlic. Saute them in oil until starting to brown lightly.

3. Add your spices and saute for a good few minutes more, or until starting to get aromatic.

4. Mix in your cooked cantaloupe. Put on a low heat, cover, and cook for 10 more minutes for the cantaloupe to fully absorb the flavors.


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I served my cantaloupe curry with Indian lemon rice, and pan fried sole covered in sweet and sour zucchini curry.

P.S. If you don't have cantaloupe to use for this recipe, I am absolutely sure this would work as well with steamed pumpkin instead.

Have you ever bought unripe cantaloupe in the past? What did you do with your cantaloupe to make it tasty? Have you ever heard of cooking cantaloupe before? Does this look like a recipe you'd try?


  1. Love it! Cooking with cantaloupe -- almost nothing out there about that, although I do like using cantaloupe in cooked dishes. I haven't tried it unripe, though. As soon as I saw your recipe, it reminded me of green papaya dishes I used to eat in Hawaii! Bravo! (Brava?) Thanks, Penny!

  2. I just made this for a potluck and everyone RAVED about it!! They couldn’t believe it was cantaloupe! I hate wasting food...... this is a Delicious solution! Thanks for a great recipe!!

  3. This is delicious. I cheated and used curry paste and added a teaspoon apricot jam. Easiest curry I've ever made. Will be looking for unripe melons in future. Thanks for recipe

  4. Thank you! Downy mildew killed my cantaloupe vine before the melon was ripe - this is the perfect recipe to make use of it.


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