Jal-jeera, an Indian beverage similar to lemonade, is a popular summer drink. It is generally served as an appetizer as it is intended to tickle the taste buds. In Hindi, “Jal” means water and “Jeera” is cumin. Cumin is a medicinal ingredient which aids digestion. Mint, another ingredient used in this concoction, has a cooling effect on the body. Another main ingredient, black salt (rock salt) acts as a digestive. Jal Jeera is popular in Northern parts of India because of its cooling properties against the temperature of the region. It is generally served with appetizers before a meal, but is also had between meals (by people like me!). It contains no sugar, which makes it healthy too! One of my most favourite beverages, I first had this when I was in high school, when Amma made some at home. And later, when we went on a trip to Delhi and few other places up North, we used to down atleast 5-6 glasses of Jal-jeera everyday! Trust me, you cannot not love this refreshing tangy juice and then roll your eyes and go “Ummmmmmm….”!!
- Jeera/Cumin seeds – 2 tbsps (dry-roasted and ground to a fine powder)
- Mint/Pudina leaves – from 2-3 sprigs (plus some more to garnish)
- Coriander/Cilantro – 2-3 sprigs
- Amchur (dry mango) powder – 1 tbsp
- Kala Namak (rock salt) – 1 tbsp
- Lime juice – from 1 lime
- Sugar – a pinch
- Cold Water – 5 cups
- Boondi (optional) – a few, to garnish (I didn’t use any)
- Make a fine paste of the mint leaves and coriander, in the mixer.
- In a deep vessel, mix together everything except the water and boondi (if using). Stir well.
- Add the cold water and stir again.
- Pour into tall glasses/goblets, garnish with mint leaves and/or boondi and serve chilled.
Tip: If you sun-dried mint leaves and coriander, you could make a dry powder mix, store it for use all year long, and put this refreshing drink together whenever you feel like it.
Needless to say, this is going to my very own event ‘Serve me Some – Juices, Shakes, Smoothies‘ which is going on all this month. I’ve received some wonderful entries so far. Go on and rush in yours if you haven’t already…just 3 more days to go!