Thickened watermelon juice (Nardek)

A thickened watermelon juice (nardek) is a purified and highly concentrated juice obtained from a ripe watermelon pulp. It has a honey consistency, brown color and sweet taste and contains not less than 60% of sugar. A thickened watermelon juice has an eastern origin, but it has long been known in Russian cuisine, in the regions around the Volga River, as well as in the cuisine of Don Cossacks. Nardek is used instead of jam, honey and sugar. A thickened watermelon juice is also used to make pastry; for example, the Germans who have been living in the town of Sarepta (now a suburb of Volgograd / Stalingrad) since the 18th century, used it to make Sareptian gingerbread. Almost 16-17 kg of sweet watermelons is needed to obtain 1 kg of nardek.


  • Watermelons - 3 (big)

Preparation method (receipt)

Wash the watermelons thoroughly under running water and put on a towel to remove the remaining water. Cut the watermelons into 4 pieces and place in a saucepan, allowing the juice to flow freely into it. Remove the pulp from the rind with a wooden spoon and pass it through a sieve, chopping and removing the seeds. Strain the resulting mass through a gauze folded several times, pouring the resulting juice into a pan for cooking. Bring the juice to the boil, stirring continuously with a spoon, and remove from fire. To keep the thickened watermelon juice transparent, constantly skim off the foam with a slotted spoon. Strain the juice through the gauze. Start heating again and simmer until done.