The much-loved Indian summer drink, Jal Jeera, literally translates to 'water' (Jal) and 'cumin' (jeera) in Hindi. However, the concoction is much more than a combination of cumin and water. Cumin may be one of the essential ingredients of this spiced beverage but you should not confuse it with plain cumin water. The beverage is essentially a form of a lemonade, spiced with a combination of roasted cumin powder, ginger powder, herbs like coriander and mint, garam masala, chili powder, pepper and black salt. To give the beverage a slightly sour flavour some people even use a bit of tamarind or dry mango powder.
The drink is especially popular in the northern part of the country because of its cooling effect on the body. It is believed that the drink was created by a group of people living on the banks of river Ganga where it was prepared by grinding all the ingredients on "silla-batti" (stone slabs). The powder was then mixed with water and preserved in clay pots to keep it cool.
Jal Jeera is traditionally served as a welcome drink in summers. It is also helpful to consume it before a meal as it can build your appetite and activate your taste buds and digestive juices. Here are some more health benefits of drinking Jal Jeera regularly, especially during this hot weather.
4 Benefits of Jal Jeera Water
1. Aids digestion The black salt or rock salt added in the drink acts as good digestive. Cumin also boosts the digestive processes. It helps relieves intestinal gas, acidity and heart burns.
2.Keeps you hydrated and keeps your body coolThis thirst quencher is great to keep you hydrated on a hot day. The fresh mint and coriander leaves added to the drink regulate your body temperature and keep it cool.
3.Healthy alternative to high-calorie aerated beverageDitch the high calorie, carbonated beverages, for this natural low calorie drink too keep your energy levels up through the day.
4.Soothes your tummyThe ginger, or ginger powder used in the drink is a great remedy for nausea that you may experience due to the heat. It also helps in treating abdominal cramps due to indigestion.
According to Bangalore based nutritionist Dr. Anju Sood, "Jaljeera works wonders for regulating your digestion. As you sip the beverage and take in all the spices, it is easily absorbed into your system through osmosis, and kills all the microbes. But it is high on salt. So, people with high blood pressure should consume in moderation."(Also Read:3 Simple Yoga Poses After Dinner That Can Boost Digestion)
Here's how you can make yourself a glass of Jal jeeraat home.Recipe of Iced Jal Jeera By Roopa GulatiPrep Time: 10 Minutes
Cook Time: 15 Minutes + Time to chill
Serves: 4Ingredients-125 gm tamarind pulp
-3 Tbsp mint leaves
-1/2 tsp ground cumin
-3/4 tsp roasted ground cumin
-50 gm grated jaggery
-4 tsp black salt
-1 Tbsp grated ginger salt(gourmet flavoured salt) to taste
-3-4 Tbsp lemon juice
-A pinch of chilli powder (kashmiri mirch)
-1/2 tsp garam masala
-1.5 liter waterMethod1.For the Jal jeera, add all the ingredients in a food processor and blend it together.
2.Chill overnight. Then strain and freeze it.
3.Garnish the drink with some boondis and serve.
About Sushmita SenguptaSharing a strong penchant for food, Sushmita loves all things good, cheesy and greasy. Her other favourite pastime activities other than discussing food includes, reading, watching movies and binge-watching TV shows.