Jal Jeera is a cooling summer drink from North India and usually a must in any decent Indian restaurant menu. Cumin is the star spice owing it the name Jal Jeera, “Cumin water”.
By Radhika Penagonda
- 3 blood oranges
- 2 sweet navel oranges
- 5 clementines
- 1 lime or lemon
- 1 tbsp cumin for dry roasting
- 1 tsp black pepper, freshly ground
- ½ tsp black salt
- ¼ tsp sea salt
- ¼ tsp dried mint powder
- 1 tsp crushed jaggery /brown sugar
- 1½ cups cool water or room temperature
- fresh mint for garnish
- Extract juice from all the citrus fruits including the blood oranges in a citrus juicer or squeeze by hand. Makes about 1-1/2 cups juice. For the Jal jeera, I have used 1-1/2 cups water for every ½ cup juice.
- Roast the cumin seeds in a skillet until fragrant and crackling without burning. Grind to a powder in a mortar and pestle and keep aside.
- Mix 1-1/2 cups cold water to ½ cup juice. Sprinkle roasted and freshly ground cumin, freshly ground black pepper, sea salt, black salt, jaggery and dried mint crushed between your fingers and thumb.
- Taste and adjust spices, salt and jaggery as needed or add more juice or water to suit your taste. Jaggery neutralizes salty, sour and hot tastes, so adjust accordingly.
- Serve cold garnished with a sprig of fresh mint
Radhika Penagonda is a vegetarian food blogger, ardent photographer and enthusiastic cook who loves to explore new ingredients and believes strongly in eating with our eyes first. Passionate about home-made food prepared from natural ingredients, minimally processed and close to nature, she shares through her blog how home style or not 100% vegetarian food can be lip smacking tasty and simply delicious.