Peanut and Watermelon Chaat

Every chaat has a little bit of sweetness, a little bit of tartness, a little heat, and a little crunch. That's what makes them so fun to eat. This chaat marries the fleeting succulent sweetness of watermelon with the hearty crunch and saltiness of peanuts. "It's a very Southern combination that I thought should work," Bhatt says. "And it did." Eating watermelon with a sprinkle of salt and a dash of hot sauce is popular in chef Bhatt's hometown of Oxford, Mississippi. This sweet-savory chaat recipe marries that inspiration with a sprinkle of chaat masala, a tangy spice blend often used as a seasoning for fruit in India.

Peanut-Watermelon Chaat
Photo: Cedric Angeles
Total Time:
10 mins
2 to 4 servings


  • 2 teaspoons canola oil

  • 1 cup lightly salted roasted peanuts

  • 1 (4-inch) curry sprig

  • 2 teaspoons chaat masala, divided

  • 1 cup chopped seedless watermelon (about 5 1/2 ounces)

  • ½ cup thinly sliced cucumber (from 1 small cucumber)

  • ¼ cup finely chopped red onion (from 1 small onion)

  • ¼ cup thinly sliced radishes (from 3 medium radishes)

  • 1 medium-size serrano chile, seeded and finely chopped (about 1 1/2 tablespoons)

  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt

  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice (from 1 medium lime)

  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint

  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

  • 2 tablespoons cane syrup or sorghum


  1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high until shimmering. Add peanuts, curry sprig, and 1 teaspoon chaat masala. Cook, tossing constantly, until well coated and fragrant, about 30 seconds. Set aside to let cool until ready to use.

  2. Combine watermelon, cucumber, onion, radishes, serrano, salt, and cayenne in a large bowl, and toss well. Add peanut mixture, lime juice, mint, basil, cilantro, cane syrup, and remaining 1 teaspoon chaat masala. Remove and discard curry sprig. Toss gently and serve.


Chaat masala is available online at

Related Articles