jal jeera or jaljira and jaljeera powder recipe – refreshing ayurvedic energy drink, summer drinks of india.
jal jeera, ayurvedic energy drink
On a hot summer day, all you need is a tall glass of chilled jal jeera. Jal jeera or jaljira is a refreshing, traditional Indian summer drink with health benefits. Jaljira not only quenches your thirst but also increases your appetite and aids in digestion. Jal jeera literally translates to ‘cumin water’ but there is more to this drink than just roasted cumin seeds. According to Ayurveda, ingredients like cumin and tamarind aid in digestion and cumin seeds are known to balance all the three doshas: vata, pita, kapha. This refreshing ayurvedic energy drink has herbs and spices that go into its making that have a cooling effect on the body and revive one’s appetite.
This spiced minty summer cooler is served as an appetizer drink as part of a North Indian style thali (lunch). During the summer months, its a common sight to find street vendors selling jaljeera in earthen pots (matka) which help to keep it cool. The unique flavor of this summer drink is the jaljeera powder where spices like roasted cumin, black peppercorns, cloves, black cardamom and black salt are ground to a fine powder and added to a paste of fresh mint and coriander leaves. Fresh mint and coriander leaves impart a refreshing fragrance and flavor. Traditionally, tamarind is used to make jaljira but one can use lemon juice too. Unsweetened boondi (made with chickpea flour) makes for a beautiful and tasty garnish.
Fresh mint leaves - 1/3 cup, washed and chopped roughly
Fresh coriander leaves - 1/2 cup, washed and chopped roughly
Ginger - 1 tsp, grated
Tamarind - medium sized lemon ball, soak in warm water for 10 mts, remove extract
Lemon juice - 1 tbsp (optional)
Sugar - 2-3 tbsps, dissolve in 1/4 cup water
Water - 1 cup
Cold water - 1 lt (4 cups)
Boondi for garnish
For jaljeera powder:
Cumin seeds - 3/4 tbsp
Black pepper corns - 1/2 tsp
Fennel seeds - 1/4 tsp (optional)
Cloves - 2
Black cardamom - 1
Black salt - 1 tsp
Rock salt - 1/2 tsp
Asafoetida - 1/4 tsp
Dry mango powder - 1/2 tsp
Method for making Jal jeera
1: Dry roast cumin seeds on low to medium flame for 5-6 mts. Remove from pan and set aside. Next dry roast fennel seeds for 3 mts, set aside. Next dry roast cloves, black cardamom and black pepper corns for 2 mts and set aside. Once the spices cool, grind them to a fine powder along with black salt, rock salt, dry mango powder and asafoetida.
2: Grind the coriander leaves, mint leaves and ginger along with a cup of water to a fine paste. Pour the ground paste into a strainer and set aside the strained juice.
3: Add a litre of cold water to the strained juice and mix well. Add the tamarind extract, sugar water and lemon juice and stir well.
4: Add 2 tbsps of the ground jaljeera powder to the liquid and mix well. If the jal jeera is too tangy, add more water. If it needs more tang, add some lemon juice. Adjust according to taste and refrigerate until serving time.
5: At the time of serving, pour into tall glasses. Add ice cubes and garnish with boondi.
For more tang, increase tamarind or dry mango powder.
Jaljeera can be refrigerated for a couple of days.
Store the ground jaljeera powder in an airtight container. It can be stored upto 4-5 months.
During the summer months, make a large batch of mint-coriander paste and freeze in small ziplock bags. Whenever you want to make jaljeera, thaw a packet of mint coriander paste and add to sweetened tamarind water. Add jaljeera powder, a couple of ice cubes and you are good to go.
For more spice, add a slit green chilli in the jaljeera and allow to sit for a few minutes before serving.
Sugar is optional. You can use honey or jaggery syrup.
By Sailu Published:
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