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Nosh on Kanji, the ‘queen of fermented drinks’, this winter

This winter, sip on the superdrink Kanji, a homemade probiotic drink, which is enriched with the goodness of carrots, sunlight and spices.
Check out this easy homemade probiotic brew for the winter season. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
Yashwani Arora Published: 19 Nov 2021, 17:11 pm IST
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Remember when our grandmas would keep earthen pots full of pickles or drinks on the terrace during winter season for adequate sun? Sheer nostalgia, isn’t it? Kanji, made of black carrots and a melange of spices, would be one of the season’s favorites. And no it wasn’t just because of its taste, but also since this drink is packed with health benefits.

Kanji – which many may relate to as an Indian Kombucha – is typically made in North Indian homes especially in the winter season due to its main ingredient, which is black carrots. It has a sweet and sour flavor.

It’s time to drink to good health. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Nutritionist Aakriti Arora calls Kanji a “magic tonic” which helps in curing or relieving multiple ailments – from bloating, cough and weakness in joints to fever and constipation.

Kanji is filled with an abundance of nutrients and immunity boosting components. Arora states, “It is made with all the goodness that the winter season has to offer. From fresh black carrots to the therapeutic winter sun, Kanji is a powerhouse of probiotics as it is the queen of fermented drinks.” 

Kanji is easy to make and has a good shelf life with many benefits. According to Ayurveda, you should avoid fermented food and drinks during summer season and consume them during winter and autumn, as the digestive fire is at its lowest.

Now you must be curious to know all the major health benefits of kanji, aren’t you? But wait, first let us tell you how to make Kanji at home. Try it out ladies!

How to make Kanji:

Nutrition expert Aakriti Arora has shared this easy recipe to make Kanji at home:

  • 1/2 kg Black Carrots
  • 2.5 tbsp black salt, or to taste
  • 3 tbsp red mustard Seeds
  • 1 tbsp roasted and ground cumin powder
  • 2 litres water
Being a probiotic drink it is extremely good for the gut and improves digestion
Include red food, like some fresh carrots in your diet! Image courtesy: Shutterstock
  1. Wash the carrots and drain the water.
  2. Wear gloves (optional) and peel the skin of carrots.
  3. Cut them into slices.
  4. In a large container add water and add coarsely ground rai or red mustard.
  5. Also, add the sliced pieces of black carrot and see the water change its colour.
  6. Add black salt, cumin powder and red chilli powder. Stir with a ladle and cover with a lid.
  7. Let it sit for roughly 120 hours for 4-5 days in the winter sun for the drink to ferment and develop its taste. Don’t forget to stir at least once a day.
  8. When the taste has developed it will become a little pungent and the colour will become like wine. You can sieve the drink through a colander and discard the carrots after another 2 days.
  9. Transfer the drink to a glass jar with a lid and store it at room temperature. Serve at room temperature.
Health benefits of kanji:

As we mentioned, Kanji brims with benefits. In an Instagram post, nutritionist Rujuta Diwekar had pointed out that this miracle drink can alleviate problems like bloating, cough, and weakness in joints.

Also, read: Crazy about kombucha: Here’s why this fermented tea is every health freak’s darling

It can also ease constipation and cramps in your calf, apart from helping you shoo away cold and flu from your kid’s life.

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According to Arora, here are more benefits of Kanji:
1. Promotes gut health

Kanji is rich in probiotics as it is brewed from fermentation. It makes a miracle elixir and promotes gut health. Further, black carrots are high in dietary fibre which improves overall digestive system

2. Boosts immunity

Being rich in Vitamin C, a glass of kanji enhances our immunity , and prevents us from getting the flu. It also stimulates white blood cells, thereby protecting our body from various pathogens and viruses.

A glass of kanji is the secret of your good health. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
3. Heart-healthy and diabetic friendly

Kanji lowers cholesterol and keeps blood sugar in check! As it is loaded with antioxidants and has the presence of various vitamins and minerals like vitamin K,C, potassium and manganese, it offers protection against a variety of chronic lifestyle diseases like fatty liver, diabetes, and even cancer.

Also, read: Looking for drinks that either help you sleep, or stay awake? You’re at the right spot

4. Anti-aging properties

Arora says that vitamin C is considered to be the miracle vitamin to prevent the signs of ageing. Kanji offers a large amount of anthocyanin, the antioxidant that is responsible for glowing skin. This maroon hued drink also enhances collagen production due to its vitamin C content and keeps the skin elastic and hydrated all winter long!

What are you waiting for ladies? Go, grab a glass of this nourishing probiotic, and easy-to-make drink!

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About the Author

Yashwani is best described as a voracious reader and ardent writer. She is a techie who enjoys both writing and coding. When she is not engrossed in either of these two, she enjoys exploring new places and trying new foods. ...Read More

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