Jeera Rice is the rice that is most commonly available in Indian restaurants of a certain standard in Australia. Buttery and tasting of cumin, it really is a delight. It is easy to make – this version anyway – and is a perfect accompaniment to any Indian meal. There are versions with onions, and a lot more spices, but this one is a great partner with any other dish. When you over-complicate rice, it restricts the dishes it can pair with.
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.
A delightful salad with an Indian flavour profile
I have been loving raw beetroot salad recently. Take a young beetroot and a carrot. Grate both. Drizzle with olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. You can add some ginger if you want. It is wonderful, healthy and very “eliminating” too, if you know what I mean.
And then I came across an Indian version of this salad. Mustard seed, curry leaf, urad dal, cumin seed.