Kanji is a very popular a traditional probiotic North Indian drink typically prepared during Fall when red carrots are in season. This fermented Indian probiotic drink needs just 5 ingredients and it takes about 3 to 4 days to get ready. You can call it Indian Kombucha!
I can’t find red carrots here, so I went with the regular orange carrot with a mix of beetroot which gave this beautiful pink shade.
I had Kanji for the first time only few years back, when we visited India during winter. My Mother-in-law had three jars in the balcony soaking up the winter sun. Two of that were pickle and one really big jar had this purple drink – Kanji!
At first, I was unsure, didn’t exactly liked the smell upon sniffing. But then as I strained and took a sip, it felt so refreshing with just the right amount of sour taste.
Kanji’s health Benefits:
- Rich in antioxidants
- Rich in dietary fiber, vitamin K, vitamin C, potassium, and manganese
- Known to boost your digestion during the winter season
Kanji needs just 5 ingredients:
- Mustard seeds (I used yellow, but you can use black too or a mix of both)
- Black Pepper
How to prepare Kanji
- Coarsely crush the mustard seeds along with black pepper and add it to a big glass pitcher.
- To the same pitcher drop the sliced carrots and sliced beet roots.
- Add water, salt and cover the jar with a muslin cloth.
- Keep it in a sunny spot and let it ferment for 5 to 6 days. Stir once every day.
- Strain and enjoy it with some fresh mint and ice cubes if you like.
I use a glass pitcher to ferment Kanji and then use another glass jar to store it in the refrigerator. Once it’s fermented, strain and store in the refrigerator before you start pouring yourself a glass.
It tastes best cold!
Adding variations to Kanji
You can add other dried spices, eg: bay leaf, cardamoms, clove.
Try different vagetables, eg: add celery sticks, watermenlon rind or turnip.
Keep in mind that fermented drinks always needs some sort of sugar for the fermentation to happen. So if you choose to use vegetables that doesn’t contains much sugar, then add some honey or few raisins.
The combination of beetroot and carrots work best as you get the natural sweetness along with the gorgeous vibrant color.
Don’t discard the veggie strips. You can use it in salad or make pickle with it.
- 4 carrots
- 2 beetroots
- 1 tablepsoon mustard seeds
- 7 cups of water
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 tablepsoon freshly cracked black pepper
- Slice the beetroot and carrots into thin strips, something like fries.
- Coursely grind the mustard seeds and black pepper.
- Add it to a pitcher along with the salt and water.
- Give it a stir and cover it with a muslin cloth or a plate. Do not put a tight lid on it.
- Leave it in a sunny spot to ferment for 4 to 5 days.
- Make sure you stir it once every day.
- Afer 5 days, strain the fermented juice to a seperate glass container.
- Place it in the refrigeartor for couple hours, before pouring yourself a glass.
Please keep in mind to use a clean container to prepare Kanji and use a clean cloth to cover it.
If youa re using a spoon to stir, make sure the spoon is clean and dry.
If any point you see some kind of fugnus formation on top, discard it.
Making Kanji is easy but like any other fermented food and drinks, you have to be careful of the containers you are using and the surrounding where it is kept to be fermented. You definitely want to avoid it from any kind of dust and so make sure you cover it with a muslin cloth.