Okay, so taking a big break from all my sweet recipes that I have been indulging in winters. And with what a recipe, boy, one of the tastiest, healthiest, and fuss-free recipes. You just need to cut some vegetables, put some spices and place the jars in glass/porcelain jars for few days in the sun. And ta-da, this wonderful Kanji drink is ready.
Kanji is an Indian fermented pro-biotic drink. It is full of healthy bacteria which are wonderful for your gut and aid in keeping your heart healthy. They improve our immune system and help in reducing belly fat and weight.
Everyone has fond memories of drinking Kanji sitting in the winter sun. So many of my friends have shared their mothers and grandmothers making this for them. The best time to make Kanji is around February and March when you can still find good carrots and the sun is bright enough to ferment the drink. I was introduced to this drink by a few friends and I have been hooked ever since. I make this every year now and started a batch a little early this year. Was just too excited to see some good black carrots, you know!
Traditionally Kanji is made with black carrots which gives it a deep maroon/purple hue. But you can totally make them with red carrots since black carrots are not so easy to find. To achieve the same dark color, you can add a few beet slices which are healthy and add a nice earthiness to the drink.
Additionally, you can also add Radish/Mooli, Radish pods/Mungre, Turnips/Shalgam too. Some people also like to ferment root vegetables like potatoes, sweet potatoes, or yam with it.
I like to keep the Kanji really simple and add only mustard seeds and cumin seeds. However, you can add red chili powder, green chilies, Heeng/Asafetida, and others to it.
PREPARATION TIME: 10 minutes
SERVINGS: 4 glasses
DIFFICULTY SCALE: Low
- Black Carrots – 3
- Beetroot – ½
- Mustard Seeds – 1 tablespoon
- Cumin Seeds – ½ teaspoon
- Hot water – 2 litres
- Black Salt – 1 tablespoon (to taste)
- Peel and dice carrots and beets into thin and small slices.
- Wash them thoroughly and strain them.
3. Dry roast mustard and cumin seeds and in a flat pan on low heat. Turn off the heat once they turn aromatic. Keep flipping so that they don’t burn.
4. Grind the roasted spices coarsely in a mortar and pestle.
5. Heat about 2 Litre of water and bring them to a boil. This will help accelerate the process.
6. Take big Porcelain or Glass Jars and add the crushed mustard and cumin seeds powder to it. Add black salt to taste. I added about 1 tablespoon per Litre.
7. Add the diced vegetable slices and hot water to the jars. Give everything a nice mix.
8. Place this in a warm spot in your kitchen and then place it in the direct winter sunlight. Give the mixture a nice stir daily. Do this for a few days until the drink turns tangy due to the fermented flavor from mustard seeds.
Since I placed this jar in January when it was pretty cold, it took about 7-8 days to get the perfect tangy flavor. However, it takes only 3-4 days towards the end of February and in March.
Enjoy sipping on Kanji while basking in the glory of the winter sun! This is our very own Pro-biotic drink.