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?