Keli Kheli Melon
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Keli Kheli melons are a medium sized, oblong shaped, Indian variety melon. Its exterior skin is goldenrod in color with orange-yellow, speckled stripes that run the length of the fruit. It has a thin rind that can be peeled away, revealing a white creamy flesh. At its center is a seed cavity similar to other melon varieties. The Keli Kheli melon can be consumed at various stages. When young the fruit is slightly tart. As it matures it will then become slightly sweet with low acid. Overripe melons are less desirable as they will become mealy and its seeds will need to be removed before consuming.
Keli Kheli melons are available in the summer and fall months.
Keli Kheli melons are botanically known as Cucumis melo. These melons are a member of the Cucurbitaceae family, along with cucumbers and squashes. They are a variety of melon used for pickling and are often called cucumbers or melons interchangeably in India. Keli Kheli melons are also known as Indian melon or Indian Salad melon.
Keli Kheli melons are a good source of dietary fiber, vitamin A and vitamin C.
Keli Kheli melons are best used in fresh applications. When young, their slightly sour flavor makes them perfect for pickling. Keli Kheli can be used in salads. Puree or cut Keli Kheli melons into chunks for use in juices and beverages. Keli Kheli melons pairs well with coconut milk, rice, lime, black pepper, cardamom, cinnamon, banana, and mango.
In India, Keli Kheli melons are often eaten fresh in salads. A favorite during the summer months for its cooling effects the Keli Kheli melon, along with other melon varieties are often sprinkled with salt and pepper and eaten as a snack. In other parts of the world they are most often grown as an ornamental for their bright color and aroma as its flavor has yet to become popular for culinary purposes.
Melons are believed to have originated in Africa and southwest Asia and have gradually spread across the globe as its cultivation became increasingly popular. Keli Kheli melons and other common melon varieties are seen most often in home gardens and do not have the same commercial value as sweeter melons such as the cantaloupe or honeydew. In India, Keli Kheli melons are often sold in the open street markets by local vendors. Keli Kheli melons are an annual vine that can be easily grown in warm, sunny climates.