Jaljeera

This is a perfect summer cooler. Jal Jeera, or jaljira, is an Indian beverage. In Hindi, "Jal" means water and "Jeera" means cumin. Jaljira powder generally consists of cumin, ginger, black pepper, mint, black salt, some fruit powder (usually either mango, or some kind of citrus zest), and chili or hot pepper powder.

Jaljeera has a very long history, originating on the banks of the Ganges river At one time, the powder was ground on stone slabs, and stored in clay pots. It is still a common drink at Indian cultural events. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jal-jeera

The cumin is a medicinal ingredient which aids digestion. The mint has a cooling effect. Black salt or rock salt acts as a digestive. It is sometimes served as an appetizer, as it is intended to “startle” the taste buds
Jaljeera is popular in northern India because it is thought to have cooling properties, against the temperature of the region. It is generally served with appetizers before a meal, but is also drunk between meals. Some versions do not involve any added sugar.

Health Benefits:
 The ingredients in jal jeera are very health  beneficial. Let me list a few
Rock salt: helps in cooling the body, a good digestive and anti-acidic.
Cumin: Also known as jeera helps in digestion, good for respiratory disorders and anemia.
Lemon: Packed with vitamin C, boosts immunity. Helps give you a clear complexion and an excellent appetizer. It is a very commonly used ingredient in detox juices.
Ginger: It has soothing properties which keeps your body warm when you have a temperature. It relieves colds and body aches.
Coriander and Mint: Boost immunity and is a rich source of fiber.

Most of the people use readymade store bought Jaljeera powder. I was not keen on the idea. Basically, I think it’s very uneconomical to buy readymade masalas as they all taste the same and by the time you use up the entire packet, the masala has already lost its flavor and aroma. So I prefer making them in small batches at home, whenever possible.
My version of making Jaljeera differs a bit, but no major changes.
Ingredients:
 Chopped Mint leaves                          – 3 tsp.
Chopped coriander leaves                    – 3 tsp.
Dry roasted cumin powder                    – 1 tbsp.
1” piece ginger                                – crushed roughly
Amchur powder (mango powder)         1 tbsp.
Red chili powder                              – ½ tsp
Black Salt                                       1/2 tsp.
Lemon Juice                                   2 tbsps.
Ice cubes
Water                                            3 glass
For Garnish
Chopped coriander                   – ½ tsp.
Chopped mint                          – ½ tsp.
Boondi                                      – ½ tsp. (optional)

Method:
  • In a mixer, make a paste from Cumin, Mint leaves, ginger, cilantro, black salt and Amchur powder.
  • Mix in all the other ingredients (except Boondi) & keep the jal jeera in the fridge to chill.
  •  At serving time, strain the jal jeera & serve in small juice glasses.
  •  Finally, sprinkle with some Boondi, coriander and mint leaves and cool off with this great summer drink.