Jaljeera - A Refreshing Summer Drink

Summer is almost here and its time to up our water intake. So, I thought I would share with you folks the recipe for Jaljeera, a refreshing Indian drink that is very popular during summers.

Jaljeera A Refreshing Summer Drink

Jaljeera - the name is derived from two Indian words - 'Jal' which means water and 'Jeera' which is Cumin. The drink is essentially a lemonade, flavoured with Cumin and some other spices. While it is most popular in hot summers because of its cooling properties, in some parts of India the drink is also served before a meal as an appetiser. There are slight variations to the recipe in different parts of India but the main base remains the same. Listed below are the ingredients and the simple instructions for preparing Jaljeera at home.

Ingredients for Jaljeera (Serves 3-4)

- 1/2 cup Mint leaves
- 1/2 cup Coriander leaves
- 1 tsp. Fennel seeds
- 2 tsp. Roasted Cumin Seed powder
- 1 tsp. Dry Mango powder
- Juice of 2 large lemons
- 2 tsp. sugar
- Rock salt to taste

Preparing the Jaljeera

Wash mint and coriander leaves. Blend together. Add all the other ingredients, half a cup of water and blend again till smooth. Strain through a strainer and add 3-4 cups of chilled water to the strained mixture. Add ice cubes and garnish with lemon wedges before serving.

Jaljeera A Refreshing Summer Drink
Jaljeera A Refreshing Summer Drink

Jaljeera A Refreshing Summer Drink

 To add more visual appeal to the Jaljeera, I used ice cubes with mint leaves inside them. I took a few mint leaves and slightly bruised them with a spoon (This results in the essential oils from the leaf being released). I then filled up the ice cube tray with filtered water and let it freeze. Not only do these mint infused ice cubes look good but they also subtly release minty flavour as they dissolve! And the best part, all the ice cubes(technically these are not cubes because they are semi-circular) were the same size :) Normally I end up spilling some water from the ice tray while I try to position it in the freezer. But with Snips Mr.Penguin ice mould it was very easy as the ice mould comes with a lid. The lid not only maintains hygiene but also allows stacking, so the freezer space is better utilised. The winning point is however the penguin design :) Every time I open the freezer, the penguin ice tray reminds me of 'Private' (the youngest penguin from 'The Penguins of Madagascar') and leaves me with a smile on my face.

Jaljeera A Refreshing Summer Drink

Because Jaljeera is served chilled, it is best to use double walled glasses to prevent messy condensation. The ones pictured in this post are from Judge Cookware. They are made from scratch resistant borosilicate glass and are hand crafted. Even with chilled drink and loads of ice cubes in it, the glass stays free from condensation. The glasses are lightweight yet strong and the inner curved design adds a touch of understated elegance. Perfect for serving Jaljeera!

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