Watermelon and cashew salad with chilli caramel

Crunchy and crispy with hits of sweet, sour and heat in each mouthful, this is incredible!

By Nici Wickes
  • 25 mins preparation
  • 5 mins cooking
  • Serves 6
  • Print


Watermelon and cashew salad with chilli caramel
  • 3 shallots, sliced
  • 2 tablespoon cooking oil
  • 4 red chillies, de-seeded
  • 1/2 red onion, chopped fine
  • 1 small handful coriander, leaves and root, chopped
  • 2 clove garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 3 tablespoon oil
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon tamarind purée (or 1 tbsp lemon juice)
  • 1 teaspoon fish sauce (or ½ tsp salt)
  • 4 cup watermelon, cubed
  • 1/2 telegraph cucumber, peeled and cored, sliced
  • 1 cup cashews, toasted
  • 2 kaffir lime leaves, stem removed and finely shredded


Watermelon and cashew salad with chilli caramel
  • 1
    Make the shallots crispy by frying in the cooking oil until dark and crispy. Drain on paper towels.
  • 2
    For the chilli caramel, make a paste with the chillies, onion, coriander, garlic and 1 tbsp oil. Fry this in the remaining oil for 4-5 minutes.
  • 3
    Add the sugar and cook until it begins to thicken. Add the tamarind and fish sauce, then set aside to cool. This will keep in the fridge for 3-4 weeks too.
  • 4
    In a large bowl, mix together the watermelon, cucumber, cashews and kaffir lime leaves. Five minutes before serving, pour over half the chilli caramel, toss well, taste and add more caramel if needed. Serve chilled.


Core the cucumber by halving lengthwise and running the tip of a spoon down the length to remove the seeds and pulp.

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