Kaanji is essentially a fermented drink made with black carrots and beets and is drunk in the winter months leading up to Holi!
I have grown up drinking Kaanji in winters leading up to Holi, every Holi there would be a last batch of Kaanji which was made to mark the end of winter season.
Traditionally the black carrots that are locally available in the north are used to make the kaanji 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.
Kaanji has very strong probiotic properties and is extremely good for health. To be honest, drinking it is an acquired taste, mainly because it is fermented for a few days and has strong flavors. Some people may find it difficult to drink it initially, but the taste does grow on you. So personally, I would recommend you give it a couple of trys before giving up on it, because this is one drink which is extremely healthy. It helps in digestion and is very good for the skin. There is little I can talk about the goodness of carrots and beetroots, eh? Super antioxidants, great in increasing the hemoglobin levels of the body, fantastic for the skin and amazing immune boosting properties. With so much goodness and flavors packed in one drink, it is definitely worth a shot, isn’t it?
The key to good Kaanji is to place it in the sunlight for some days, so that the fermentation process takes places adequately. Also, remember to get it back indoors in the night, and then place it outside in the sun again the next day morning 🙂
Did you check out my other Holi special recipes?
Holi Special Recipe : Kaanji
- 2 Carrots large black
- 1 beetroot large
- 2 tablespoons mustard coarsely ground powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons chilli powder
- 10 12 cups water of
- to taste salt
- To make Kaanji 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 Kaanji and store the Kaanji 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 Kaanji 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 Kaanji is fermented when it turns slighly sour. Once its fermented, strain the liquid and the Kaanji 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.