Holi Special Recipe : Kaanji
I have grown up drinking Kanji in winters leading up to Holi, every Holi there will be a last batch of Kanji which will be made to mark the end of winter season. For those who don't know Kanji is essentially a fermented drink made with black carrots and beets. Traditionally the black carrots that are locally available in the north are used to make the kanji recipe, that gives it a distinct flavor and color. These carrots are available for a short duration through winter and are really rich in taste. The addition of ground mustard which is added during the process of fermentation, brings the sharp flavors. This time when I went to Delhi, I got myself some black carrots and turned them into Kaanji.
- To make Kanji Recipe, wash and peel the carrots and beetroot. Cut them into thick and long strips.
- Place the carrots and beets into a large mixing bowl; add the salt, chilli powder and mustard powder and stir well to combine. Add the 10-12 cups of water to it (depending on how sharp) you want the Kanji and store the Kanji for fermentation in a jars of glass or ceramic.
- Cover the jar with a muslin cloth and tie it tightly around the rim with a thread, so the opening of the jar is completely sealed.
- Place the Kanji filled Jars in the sun for about 3 to 4 days, so it can get fermented. Bring it back inside for the night and before you put it back in the sun, open the muslin cloth, stir the Kanji well. Cover it back again tightly and allow it to ferment in the sun the next day.
- You will know that the Kanji is fermented when it turns slighly sour. Once its fermented, strain the liquid and the Kanji is ready to be served. The pieces of carrots and beets, that remain after straining the Kanji can be used as pickles by spicing them up or eaten just as it along with drinking Kaanji.
Cross posted at Archana's Kitchen where I would be writing now on a regular basis.