Kaanji

The season is long gone & i’m still dreaming about this amazing Kali Gaajar ki Kaanji.
Some things stay with you forever, no matter where you go, what you become. Some little things keep you grounded, holding you to your roots.
As a kid, I remember sipping on this delicious gut-cleansing drink in winter months. We’d sit in the सर्दी की धूप, with plates full of radish & carrot salad, bowls full of peanuts & a glass of Kaanji. I can never get over it. Never.
For those of you who haven’t tasted this precious manna, Kaanji is a probiotic drink made with black/purple carrots that are available in North India during the winter months. It’s not only nutritious for the gut, but also tangy & pungent. As much as I love it, I’d have to agree that it is an acquired taste…you will either love Kaanji as much as I do or absolutely detest it 🤐 The black/purple carrots are what lend the drink it’s magnificent colour. As the Kaanji ferments in the sun, it gets sour with the help of coarsely ground mustard seeds.
It’s near impossible to find black carrots in the rest of the country so some people use the regular red carrots along with a little beetroot to make the same drink. Of course it’s not the exact same thing but it works 🤷‍♀️ If you have heard about Kaanji, you are almost certainly also aware of Kaanji Vada. It’s not rocket science, just regular urad dal vadas dunked in A bowl of delicious kaanji 🤩 As weird as it might sound, it’s a killer combo & you have to try it to believe it. For now, let’s stick to this simple recipe for kaanji. If you get black carrots this year, make sure you churn out this healthy drink!

Kaanji

Course: DrinksCuisine: IndianDifficulty: Easy
Servings

4

litres
Prep time

20

minutes
Cooking time

10

minutes

A tangy, probiotic drink made with black carrots & basic spices. Winter treat!

Ingredients

  • Black/purple carrots: 1kg

  • Mustard seeds: 4tbsp

  • Red chilli powder: 1tbsp

  • Black salt: 1tbsp

  • Pink salt: 2tbsp

  • Water: 4 litres

Directions

  • Wash, clean & chop the black carrots in batons. Keep aside.
  • Coarsely grind the mustard seeds. We don’t need a fine powder, the coarse texture is essential.
  • Take a large sterilised jar (earthen or glass). Put the carrots, salt, red chilli powder & ground mustard in it. Now pour in the water. Mix well.
  • Keep the jar in sunlight for 5-7 days. The water will change colour to a deep maroon/purple & the kaanji will turn sour.
  • Once you get the pungency you desire, you can transfer the kaanji to smaller jars/bottles & store it in the refrigerator.
  • Serve at room temperature or chilled 😃

Notes

  • Serve kaanji along with meals or as a standalone drink. It’s great for the gut.
  • You can adjust the amount of red chilli powder or salt as per your taste.

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