Kanji is a traditional Indian fermented drink that is enjoyed during winters till Holi. It’s delicious and healthy, with probiotic properties it is excellent for gut health. Also known as Gajar ki Kanji. Here’s how you make Kanji easily at home. I am sharing my grandma's recipe which my mom makes and Now I am carrying on with the tradition.
Homemade North Indian beetroot and carrot kanji is slightly similar to beetroot kavas. Carrots, water, and spices are fermented to make this traditional north Indian probiotic drink.
Kanji is rich in antioxidants and has good bacteria to make a healthy gut. It is also a good source of vitamin K, vitamin C, potassium, and manganese.
What is kanji?
Kanji is a fermented drink. It is like a probiotic drink is a beverage popular in Northern India. Although it might be compared to Kombucha, the technique of making kanji is somewhat different.
It is particularly healthy for the gut and promotes digestion. Kanji is traditionally prepared using black carrots, and the drink is dark purple in hue. I can't get black carrots, so I use red carrots to prepare this nutritious drink.
What is the process to ferment Kanji?
A glass or ceramic jar is used to hold the complete drink and its contents. The drink is left to ferment for 2 to 3 to 4 days in these jars, which are kept in the sunshine.
It all depends on how the sun is acting in your area. If there isn't enough sunshine, the drink can be maintained for 4 to 5 days. If the weather is hot or very hot, the drink will spontaneously ferment in 1 to 2 to 3 days.
Now you'll wonder how it becomes probiotic, the answer is the fermenting process. The fermenting process alters the drink's taste and adds probiotics.
The flavour is somewhat sweet and sour, with the distinctive fragrance of a fermented beverage. During the fermenting process, the carrots and beets get pickled.
They have a delicious fermented, pickled flavour. So it may be used as a side dish with any Indian main meal or in salads, wraps, and burgers.
Why do we love this recipe?
- Good for your gut and overall digestive health.
- Easy appetisers drink for festivals like holi
- Tastes delicious!
How does fermentation affect our gut health?
The majority of fermented foods include microorganisms that may have a probiotic benefit. This implies that these bacteria may aid in restoring the balance of bacteria in your stomach, as well as supporting digestive health and alleviating any digestive problems.
Ingredients For Kanji
For preparing carrots beetroot kanji, we don't need a ton of ingredients but make sure you do have carrots and beetroot since that's the staple ingredient.
- Purple carrots/Black carrots: Choose medium sized carrots.
- Beetroots: I have used two beetroots for this recipe and they are small-sized depending on the size and the kind of flavours you prefer. You can increase or decrease the amount of beetroot in your kanji.
- Water: 8 cups preferably boiled and cooled.
- Red chilli powder: or cayenne pepper add as needed.
- Black peppercorns
- Yellow mustard seeds: I used yellow mustard, which is a milder mustard.
- Black salt or regular salt or pink salt, add as needed.
See the recipe card for quantities.
- Rinse peel and cut the purple carrots and beets into batons or sticks that are 1.5 to 2 inches long.
- Add the carrots, beets, ground yellow mustard powder, black salt or ordinary salt, and red chilli powder to a clean and dry ceramic or glass container with a wide opening.
- Fill the jars with this boiled and cooled water.
- Secure and knot a muslin/cheese cloth on the mouth of the jars or bottles with a loose lid.
- Keep the jars or bottles out of the sun.
- Allow the kanji to ferment for 2 to 3 days for the drink to ferment and become sour. Make sure the drink doesn't get too fermented.
- The carrot kanji is ready when the liquid begins to taste sour. Refrigerate the kanji beverage or serve it right away.
- I strongly advise boiling water and allowing it to cool to room temperature. This eliminates the possibility of your kanji becoming contaminated.
- The drink can be spoiled by tap water.
- Carrots: Use medium-sized, tender carrots. If black/puprple carrots are not available use red or orange carrots to make kanji. The colour will be slightly different but red carrots bring the same nutrients and flavours.
- Beets: If you don't like beets, replace them with 1 additional medium-sized carrot.
- Yellow Mustard: You can use black mustard seeds. But keep in mind, though, that black mustard has a stronger flavour, so use less of it.
- Turnips and peeled watermelon rinds can be added to the drink along with carrots and beets.
- The natural sugar and carbohydrates in the carrots and beets help the friendly bacteria feed on and ferment the drink organically, so you don't need to add any sugar or sweetener.
When You put kanji out in the sun during the day bring it indoors during the night. And, Before putting it in the sun the next day, stir the mixture with a clean wooden spoon for better fermentation.
Kanji is best enjoyed at room temperature. But sometimes You can add a few ice cubes and enjoy it as a chilled drink. The best time to drink kanji is before meals for probiotic action. But you can also drink kanji or at any time during the day.
What to do with Carrots in Kanji
Fermented carrots and beet sticks can be served with any Indian main meal.
Carrots and beets with a sour-tangy flavour can be used in salads or as toppings for wraps, burgers, and sandwiches.
You can keep kanji for 7-10 days after it is fermented. I usually take out 2 glasses each day and replace them with a glass of water. And next day it is ready again all you need is to adjust the salt during the process.
More Such Recipes
- Apple Iced Tea
- Lemon Iced Tea
- Strawberry Lemonade
- Mango Lassi
- Basil Seeds Lemondae
- Rose Sherbat
- Paan Lassi
- 1 Glass Jar
- 1 Wooden Ladle
- 4 carrots medium-sized
- 2 beetroots small-sized
- 8 cups water
- 2 teaspoons red chilli powder cayenne pepper
- 3 tablespoons yellow mustard seeds
- 1 teaspoon black salt
- 1 teaspoon pink salt
- 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
- Wash and rinse carrots and and peel them. Cut into batons or sticks that are 1.5 to 2 inches long.
- Crush the mustard seedsusing a grinder or mortar and pestles.
- In a big jar or bottle add carrots, beets, ground yellow mustard powder, black salt, red chilli powder and whole peppercorns.
- Fill the jars with normal temperature water.
- Cover with the lid loosly or muslin/cheese cloth on the mouth of the jars.
- Keep the jars or bottles out of the sun. Allow 2 to 3 days for the drink to ferment and become sour.
- Make sure the drink doesn't get too fermented.
- Before putting it in the sun the next day, stir the mixture with a clean wooden spoon.
- Alternatively, instead of mixing with a spoon, shake the jar.
- The carrot kanji is ready when the liquid begins to taste sour.
- Refrigerate the kanji beverage or serve it right away.