muskmelon, kharbooja, cantaloupe

What is kharbooja, Muskmelon? Glossary | Uses, Benefits, Recipes with Muskmelon | Viewed 26054 times

Also known as
Cantaloupe, Rock Melon

Description of Muskmelon, Cantaloupe

Muskmelon is a round melon with firm, orange, moderately-sweet flesh and a thin reticulated light-brown rind. The term ‘reticulatus’ in the biological name of the fruit, Cucumis melo reticulates, refers to its net-like (reticulated) skin covering. It belongs to the same family as the cucumber, squash, pumpkin and gourd, and like many of its relatives, grows on the ground on a trailing vine.

Cantaloupe, as the muskmelon is often known, is believed to have originated in India and Africa. It is also common in the United States and in some parts of Canada. In Australia and New Zealand, it is called rock melon due to the rock-like appearance of the skin.

Cantaloupe is normally eaten as a fresh fruit, as a salad, or as a dessert with ice cream or custard.

Chopped muskmelon
Wash the muskmelon and place it on a chopping board. Cut the muskmelon into half with a sharp chopping knife. Remove the rind from both the halves of the muskmelon and deseed them. Place one half of the muskmelon on a chopping board with the hollow part facing downwards and it looking like a dome. Now cut vertically at approx. 1/4 inch to 1/2 inch intervals to form thin or thick slices. Line all these slices together and cut approx. 1/4 inch to 1/2 inch intervals horizontally to get chopped muskmelon.
Muskmelon balls
Making a perfect melon ball is quite easy. Wash the muskmelon and place it on a chopping board. Cut the muskmelon into small half with a sharp chopping knife. Remove the rind from both the halves of the muskmelon and deseed them. Now, press the melon baller firmly into the meat of the melon. Then lift the baller so that it stands straight inside the melon (as if you were opening a beer bottle with an opener). Then turn the baller clockwise using your wrist and pull out to get a perfect muskmelon ball. These dainty looking pieces of fruit are usually served with cocktails or in salads.
Muskmelon cubes
Wash the muskmelon and place it on a chopping board. Cut the muskmelon into small half with a sharp chopping knife. Remove the rind from both the halves of the muskmelon and deseed them. Place one half of the muskmelon on a chopping board with the hollow part facing downwards and it looking like a dome. Now cut vertically at regular intervals of desired thickness to form slices. Line all these slices together and cut at regular intervals horizontally to form cubes. They are usually cut into 1 inch cubes.
Muskmelon puree
Wash the muskmelon and place it on a chopping board. Cut the muskmelon into small half with a sharp chopping knife. Remove the rind from both the halves of the muskmelon and deseed them. Chop the muskmelon into desired pieces. Combine the chopped muskmelon along with little water in a mixer and blend till smooth. Your muskmelon puree is ready. Use as required.
Muskmelon wedges
Sliced muskmelon
Wash the muskmelon and place it on a chopping board. Cut the muskmelon into small half with a sharp chopping knife. Remove the rind (if desired) from both the halves of the muskmelon and deseed them. Place one half of the muskmelon on a chopping board with the hollow part facing downwards and it looking like a dome. Now cut vertically at regular intervals of desired thickness to form slices.

How to select Muskmelon
• If you tap the melon with the palm of your hand and hear a hollow sound, the melon has passed the first test.
• Choose a melon that seems heavy for its size and one that does not have bruises or overly-soft spots.
• The rind should have turned to yellow or cream colour from the green shades that the unripe fruit has.
• You should be able to smell the fruit's sweetness subtly if it is ripe. However, be careful since a strong odour might indicate an overripe or fermented fruit.

Culinary uses of muskmelon (kharbooja) in Indian cooking

muskmelon used in Indian drinks

1. Muskmelon, Orange and Coconut Drink : The unusual combination of muskmelon, orange and coconut water lends a refreshing flavour to this drink. Tender coconut water adds a tingling sensation to the tangy flavour of orange, while muskmelon gives a soothing texture and pleasant scent to it. 

A touch of black salt perks up the Muskmelon, Orange and Coconut Drink further, but you can also do without it, if you prefer. Sugar can also be avoided or reduced if the fruits are naturally very sweet.

2. Summer is incomplete without mangoes and melons, and delightful treats made with them. Here is a refreshing Muskmelon Drink with Cardamom, which is sure to refresh you on a hot summer’s day. 

3. MuskMelon Black Grape Drink : Here's a happy cleansing drink that will protect your skin from the harmful toxins and make it glow! Melons have high content of water and thus act as diuretic hydrating our body and eliminating toxins from our body. 

Healthy Muskmelon Indian drinks 

1. Muskmelon and Orange Juice is an ultimate healing juice, ideal as an immune booster due to its high vitamin A levels. Vitamin A (Beta-carotene) is a potent antioxidant that delays ageing, fights cancers, promotes greater concentration and aids in mental alertness.



Besides melon's diuretic and cleansing power, its seeds are just as good. Rich in potassium, which helps to lower high blood pressure, they are also valued for their zinc and vitamin E content. So do not forget to add a few. 


A dash of lemon juice perks up the mild flavour of muskmelon, transforming the drink into a tongue-tickling one, which is sure to appeal to everybody.


Salads using Muskmelon

1. The combination of fruits being so interesting, the Muskmelon Grapefruit and Prune Salad does not even require a dressing.  A brilliant combination of ingredients with complementary flavours and textures makes this a strikingly tasty salad! 

A sprinkling of sunflower seeds for crunch, and a dash of salt and pepper is all that the salad needs for a flavour boost. 



• The orange, sugary and fragrant flesh makes this fruit popular both as a snack and as a dessert.
• While you can enjoy it plain, you may also top the melon slices with yogurt and chopped mint.
• Enjoy the cubes in a fruit salad, with fresh cream or as a topping on ice-cream.

How to store Muskmelon
• It keeps well when stored in a cool, dry place and ripens after several days in a warm room.
• Be sure to refrigerate the muskmelon immediately after cutting.

7 Health Benefits of Muskmelon
1.Rejuvenates and Hydrates Skin: Muskmelon abounds in a key nutrient vitamin C, which strengthens our immune system by building our immune cells – white blood cells (WBC). These help to fight against the bacteria which usually grow within a clogged pore and shows up as acne. Vitamin C also helps in collagen synthesis – a protein which lends skin its elasticity. Moreover, being loaded with a good amount of fiber (1.2 g /cup), it helps to maintain digestive health and thus improve skin health.

For a glowing skin, try a healthy concoction like Muskmelon and Mint Juice. While juicing, remember to avoid the addition of sugar as that weakens your immune system and you already are aware that sugar is empty calories. They don’t do any good to your body.

2.Nutri-dense Addition to an Obesity Diet: Those who are a weight loss diet are always in search of flavourful ingredients which do not tempt them to reach out for unhealthy junk fare. If you too are looking, reach out for muskmelon. Its sweet taste is the best to turn your head to satisfy your sweet tooth.

With just 26 calories, negligible amounts of fat and 1.2 g of fiber, muskmelon is unarguably a valuable fruit. Further, it also provides you a host of other key nutrients. So don’t wait! Go ahead and include it in the form of Muskmelon Pear and Apple Salad – a complete health package which is sure to satiate you too. Want to try something different? Try making muskmelon dressing and pairing it with other weight loss fruits. We have a tested recipe for this – Green Salad with Muskmelon Dressing.

Click here to know more about the 7 Health Benefits of Muskmelon.

Nutritive Information for Muskmelon :
1 cup of chopped muskmelon is about 150 grams
RDA stands for Recommended Daily Allowance.

Energy – 26 calories
Protein – 0.5 g
Carbohydrate – 5.3 g
Fat – 0.3 g
Fiber – 1.2 g

Vitamins:
253.5 mcg of Vitamin A = 5.3% of RDA (about 4800 mcg)
39 mg of Vitamin C = 97.5% of RDA (about 40 mg)
28.5 mcg of Folate (vitamin B9) = 14.3% of RDA (about 200 mcg)

Minerals:
48 mg of Calcium = 8% of RDA (about 600 mg)
2.1 mg of Iron = 10% of RDA (about 21 mg)
46.5 mg of Magnesium = 13.7% of RDA (about 340 mg)
21 mg of Phosphorus = 6.2% of RDA (about 600 mg)
511.5 mg of Potassium = 10.9% of RDA (about 4700 g)

Glycemic Index of Muskmelon
Muskmelon has a Glycemic Index of 64 which is medium. Glycemic Index are for foods you eat, ranks carbohydrate-containing foods by how quickly they digest and raise your blood sugar or glucose levels. Foods rank from 0 to 50 are low GI, 51 to 69 are medium and 70 to 100 are high. Foods that are high in GI are not suitable for weight loss and diabetics.