JHALJEERA (Indian spice-flavoured lemonade)

Translated literally 'Jhal" means water and 'jeera" is cumin.  However, this drink is not just water and cumin. 

It has a fresh spicy flavour, slightly sweet, salty and tangy all at once.  This favourite summer drink is stored in large earthenware pots covered with a damp cloth and sold off handcarts on bustling roadsides in North India.  

It is revered for its many health benefits:  it aids digestion, keeps your body cool, and prevents nausea caused by the hot weather.

RECIPE (serves 4)

  1. Grind together in a blender with 1 cup of water:
  • 125 gm tamarind pulp
  • 1/4 cup mint leaves
  • 1/4 cup coriander leaves
  • 1/4 tsp asafoetida
  • 1 tablespoon, roasted, cumin
  • 50g grated palm sugar
  • 4 tsp black salt
  • 1 tbsp chopped ginger
  • 4 tbsp lemon juice

Strain, then add 4 cups water and 1 cup crushed ice.  Store in the fridge or serve immediately.