RECIPE: Sanaa's Watermelon Salad

Sanaa’s Watermelon Salad Recipe

For Pickled Fennel
1/2 pound of fresh fennel bulb, sliced thin (no tops or stalks)
9 ounces rice wine vinegar
7 ounces granulated white sugar
2 ounces water
2 tablespoons turmeric
For Fennel Masala (spice blend)
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
For Salad
1.5 pounds watermelon, large diced with no seeds
1/2 pound cucumber, halved and cut into slices
1/4 pound pickled fennel
3-5 mint leaves, minced
1 lime, fresh squeezed
Pinch of salt and pepper


  1. For Pickled Fennel: Remove stems and cut the bulb against the grain as thin as possible with a sharp knife. Place slices in bowl and set aside. Bring water, vinegar, sugar and turmeric to a boil then remove from heat. Line a strainer with a coffee filter or cheese cloth and pour water mixture through strainer into bowl with fennel. Allow to stand for one hour then refrigerate. After chilled, drain and rinse the pickled fennel.
  2. For Fennel Masala : Place seeds in a warm skillet on medium heat. Constantly move seeds in the pan until toasted (the spices will become fragrant), approximately 3-4 minutes. Remove seeds and let cool off. When cooled, grind seeds together using Mortar and Pestle or spice grinder.
  3. For salad: Mix watermelon, cucumber, pickled fennel, minced mint leaves and lime juice. Add a pinch of the Masala mixture and a pinch of salt and pepper. Chill and serve.

Courtesy of Sanaa Chefs

“Inspired by the commercial recipe used at Kidani Village at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge.”


Wow! Did they send it to you? I remember a post about this and I looked and looked and could not find it!

I would use a mandolin rather than attempting to cut fennel as thin as possible with a knife