It took me a long time to find the balance of flavours in Jal Jeera that suited me. Some attempts, carefully following recipes in some books picked up in India, were undrinkable. Knowing those books better now, they do tend to get ratios in their recipes out of balance. This recipe is a cracker and works well.
You do have to love your Indian spices though. Jal Jeera is a cooling Summery drink full of spices, with cumin and mint featuring. Do try it – it is a unusual drink for Western palates, but worth trying in hot weather if you do love spices.
Other cooling drinks you might enjoy are Iced Tulsi Tea, Watermelon, Lime, Ginger Soda, Kewra Sherbet, Mint and Lemon Verbena Iced Tea, Watermelon Juice with Mint and Ginger, Ginger Cooler, and Jeera Lassi.
mint leaves, cumin powder, garam masala, black salt or sea salt, chilli powder, amchoor powder, jaggery or brown sugar, lemon juice
green chillies, ginger, coriander leaves, curry leaves, watermelon juice
Take 1/2 – 1 bunch of mint leaves and grind them to a paste.
To 4 cups water, add the mint leaf paste, a pinch sea salt, 1 tspn dry-roasted cumin powder, 1 tspn garam masala, pinch black salt, pinch red chilli powder, 1 tspn amchoor powder, 1 tspn or more jaggery or brown sugar, and the juice of 1/2 lemon. Stir well. Add ice cubes and serve cold.
recipe notes and alternatives
Some optional additions to Jal Jeera are green chillies, fresh ginger, coriander leaves (cilantro) added to the mint when making a paste, curry leaves, replace the water with watermelon juice.