While at the store a couple of days ago, I noticed that a variety of Melons were displayed. Of course I picked one or two from each variety that looked good and smelled them. One in particular smelled sweet and ready to be taken home and enjoyed! Then I moved on to the next set of displayed fruit and knocked on a whole bunch of watermelons until I found the one that was ready to eat based on the echo from the knocking. I love summer fruit and I love the fact that watermelons are abundant right now. Inevitably, I go right back to my childhood in Iran where watermelons were incredibly sweet and juicy.
Another memory from my childhood in Iran is the fact that we did not have seedless watermelons. With every bite into the watermelon we had to politely spit out the pesky little black seeds. Sometimes my grandmother and I collected the pesky little black seeds and made homemade Tokhmeh-ye Hendevaneh, watermelon seeds. We thoroughly washed the seeds, dehydrated them in the oven with some salt until they became nice and crunchy.
I have talked about Ajil before and how much we Iranians love our dried fruits and nuts combination. But I have never really talked about how much we love snacking on seeds as well. In Iran we have a variety of choices such as watermelon, sunflower, and a various types of melon seeds. The best thing about having these seeds to snack on is the fact that they are equally good all four seasons. It’s not unheard of for people to snack on seeds while watching TV or listening to the radio. It’s also a favorite snack when girls or women are sitting around gossiping! Tokhmeh is also a fabulous study companion! Most Iranians will agree that snacking on seeds is helpful during times of boredom or stress!
I often find myself with stacks of essays to grade; the good news is that I do have a companion in a bowl of seeds as I correct papers. I joke with my students that some essays’ lack of organization and proper grammar make me want to have a beer or two. I warn them that by the time I read the last paper, I could be more or less lenient based on how many brews I have had by then. The truth is though, that the only drink that I consume during paper grading is tea…but I do have plenty of tokhmeh!
I love all kinds of tokhmeh, especially when they are nice and salty! I have to say though that seeds roasted with Angelica Powder have a very special place in my heart! How about you? What’s your favorite Tokhmeh?