This jaljeera drink recipe is our Western version take on this Indian beverage classic.
It is a traditional summertime drink served in India and filled with cooling and invigorating herbs and spices like cumin, mint and cilantro (or coriander leaves).
It is often described as a type of Indian flavored lemonade but it is often made with other fruits like mango.
Served over ice, it provides a nice thirst-quenching way to cool down in the hot summer months. It is also consumed as a beverage appetizer before meals for its stimulating influence on digestion. Likewise, it's also known to help with constipation and is believed to balance over acidic conditions.
Traditionally, the main herbal ingredients used to make jaljeera are blended into a paste and strained.
Although you can strain it through a nut milk bag to reduce thickness, we don't usually follow this method. In our variation, we first combine all the dry herbs and spices and then proceed to blend them together with the remaining ingredients.
This produces a thick concentrated mixture that can be diluted with ice and water when you’re ready to serve it.
This recipe will make approximately one quart or 32 ounces of jaljeera concentrate.
In a 16-ounce glass add ice cubes fill the glass 1/3 full with water. Pour cooled jaljeera mixture into the glass and stir. Garnish with lemon zest, mint leaves, mango and/or black pepper.
It seems very common to find pre-made jaljeera drink mix available by many Indian brands.
Because there are many dried spices involved, it is slightly more convenient to have on hand if you make a jaljeera drink recipe on a regular basis.
If you used a high-speed blender to make your jaljeera drink recipe, you also might want to consider using straight seeds as opposed to powders. This will give a fresh more robust flavor profile.
Because fresh ingredients have more water content compared to concentrated dried spices, generally you will need to double the amount.