One of my most favourite winter traditions used to be going to my maternal grandmother’s house for the winter break with my siblings. We would all sit on the rooftop to soak in the sun, and she would treat us to a glass of kanji. Having that chilled glass of tangy beverage under the warm sun used to be a perfect combination! Most of us, having moved to cities and not having access to rooftops or backyards have stopped making this drink. But if you still want to prepare it, here’s an easy way to make kanji at home!
Kanji is a probiotic drink, made from carrots or dal vada, which is widely popular in northern parts of India. Though the traditional kanji is made with black carrots and has a deep purple colour, it can be easily made with red carrots and beetroot. It is zingy and delicious. The flavour is a result of natural bacteria and yeast that ferment the drink and give this tangy flavour. It is perfect for the winter season and apart from being absolutely delicious, Kanji has many health benefits to offer too!
Since kanji is a fermented probiotic drink, it helps in digestion and is extremely healthy for your gut. This is a must to improve your gut health and boost your immunity. It is high in fibre too and helps in providing relief from constipation. Being a rich source of vitamin C it boosts our immunity and protects us from the onslaught of flu causing viruses in the winter. Rich in antioxidants it is also great for the heart and in promoting good skin health.
Neha Deepak Shah, who is a chef and a former Masterchef India contestant, shared the recipe of kanji through her Instagram handle. Let’s take a look at it!
* 2 sliced carrots (preferably black carrots)
* 1 small beetroot sliced into sticks
* 6 cups filtered water
* 1 tbsp black or yellow mustard seeds
* 1 tbsp Salt
1. Combine the cut carrots and beets, mustard seeds, salt and water in a big glass or ceramic pot or jar. Take something transparent so that the sunlight can reach inside properly.
2. Clean the jar with warm water and dry it before mixing everything in it.
3. Check it each day, if it has a white layer on top means that there is some contamination. It doesn’t mean that the kanji is ruined but be careful next time.
4. Let the jar sit in a sunny spot for 5 to 6 days and each day stir it with a clean wooden spoon.
5. After 5 to 6 days, it will turn sour and tangy indicating that the kanji is ready.
6. You can refrigerate this and serve it chilled or instantly with some ice cubes or you can have it at room temperature also.
7. Strain the carrots and beetroots to serve as pickles or leave them in the drink and eat them while having the kanji.
8. You can also serve kanji with a slice of lime and mint leaves.
So, try this recipe of kanji and have a glass or two while basking in the warm winter sun!