Watermelon (Qare/Xabxab) Juice

Lori Writer / Heavy Table
Lori Writer / Heavy Table

Barlin Ali, who grew up in Southern Somalia and now resides in Centreville, Virginia, writes in her cookbook Somali Cuisine: “This is my favorite juice in the whole world. I hope you enjoy it and get hooked; it is really to die for.”

With a recommendation like that, and plump, juicy watermelons (in Somali, depending on the region of Somalia, “Qare,” pronounced kah-RAY or “Xabxab,” pronounced hob-hob) reaching maturity in gardens all over Minnesota, how can you resist?

Yield: 1 -2 servings, depending on the size of your watermelon

½ watermelon (seedless, ideally)
Lemon juice, to taste
Sugar, to taste (optional)


  1. Slice the watermelon in half.
  2. Scoop or cut out small pieces of watermelon and place them in a blender. Blend at a low speed, then gradually increase to the highest speed.
  3. Pass juice through a strainer to remove all seeds and lumps.
  4. Add lemon juice and ice.
  5. Add sugar to taste.
  6. Serve.

Adapted from Somali Cuisine by Barlin Ali.


  1. Tom

    I discovered watermelon juice in Egypt, where there are a lot of fruit juices everywhere but I always wanted ‘asir batikh. Thanks for the recipe (especially with watermelons in the Farmers’ Markets); are there any restaurants in the Twin Cities serving watermelon juice?

  2. artsy

    thanks for this. Actually with a good sweet watermelon, I have found all I have to do is blend the flesh in a blender, very easy and quick, and drink! No need for lemon or sugar.

  3. Lori Writer

    Tom, Qoraxlow on Lake Street in Minneapolis serves it. They make it themselves.

    artsy, Ms. Ali mentions in her recipe that if the watermelon is sufficiently sweet, you can omit the sugar.

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