Jal-Jeera, Indian Fire Water
In Hindi, the word Jal means water and Jeera means cumin. This drink has both, along with many other refreshing ingredients/flavours. In spite of having hot spices in it, it is a cooling drink. Because of its kala-namak content, it can smell quite weird to the UN-initiated, but to us Indians, is is just so tasty!
Though usually served with Gole-Gappa Puffs, it is a popular drink on its own in India during summer months, often served as an appetizer. It can be prepared a few days in advance. Serves 6
Edited April 2016
For Jal-jeera or fire-water (all ingredients are approximate and should be adjusted according to taste:
1/2 cup tamarind puree* or pulp
2 cups water
2 tsp. cumin seeds
2 tsp. dry-roasted cumin seeds**
3-4 green chillies (adjust to taste)
A small bunch of coriander leaves
A bunch of fresh mint leave or 1-2 tbsp. mint sauce
1 tsp. black salt or kala-namak (not rock salt)
Table salt, to adjust salt to taste.
2-3 tsp. brown sugar or jaggery (less or more, according to taste). Some like it very sour, others like it sweet and sour.
Lemon juice to make it more tangy.
Measure all ingredients directly into a liquidizer/blender and blend for a few minutes, until ground fully.
Strain through a wire strainer to remove any rough bits/solids. Discard solids.
Adjust spices and tangy taste of the liquid.
Place in a jug or bottle and chill. I keep it in bottles in the fridge.
Serve it in small glasses, small helpings are the norm, with extra in a jug for people to help themselves.
Also see Chat Selection.
** Dry roast cumin seeds on a griddle or frying pan, stirring all the time, until a nice aroma rises and they turn darker in colour.