Perfect sunny day for having A Perfect tangy drink : Kanji
A black Carrot drink, you read it write. It's fermented, made at home....so I call it desi wine. In northern parts of India, during the months of basant(spring) that's march, a seasonal carrot which is dark purple almost similar to beet and is called Kali gajar (Black carrot) comes in to the market, is used to make this drink called Kanji. Perfect for the season when weather is turning warm, as this drink is meant to be consumed during the warm weather, it's good for digestion also. Here in USA, I don't think I'll ever find those carrots. So, many years back when my MIL was here during the march-April months she suggested to use beets along with regular carrots to make Kanji. Color of the food does make a lot of difference, so using a bit of beet solved the color problem.
This year in north east we had very mild winter, so with weather permitting I already made this in the beg. of march and it was perfect as it was Holi also at that time. In North India Kanji is kind of a traditional drink around Holi(a festival of colors)........now a days is also a good time.
Few things to remember :
It take 4-5 sunny days to ferment this drink. Once ready it can be kept in the fridge for 2-3 weeks. This drink is good for digestion but is cold in nature, so given it's nature it should be consumed during the warm hours in the day.....means best time is afternoon while enjoying the sun shine. We don't drink it if it's a rainy day specially here in north east, during spring rain makes the temperature fall. It's a fermented drink so don't forget to use glass jar & steel spoons only.
Spices for the drink
What I used :
- 2 large carrots
- 1 medium size beet
- 1 litre water
- 2 tablespoon of mustard seeds/rai
- 1 tsp. regular salt
- 1 & 1/2 tsp. black salt(kala namak-but actually is little pink in color & little sour in taste)
- 1/2 tsp. red chili powder(lal mirchi powder)--- Optional
- Large glass jar with lid OR earthern ware pot if available
What I did :
Before & After Picture....it did not evaporated but I took the picture after having couple of glasses :)
- Grind the mustard seeds using coffee/spice grinder into little coarse powder(stop when it's few grinds away from being very fine powder).
- Wash & clean carrots & beet. Cut them into around 2 inch long batons.
- Put everything in the glass jar & stir it with stainless steel spoon. Close the lid & let it rest on a sunny space for 4-5 days.
- When it's ready, serve it with carrot & beets from it on the side.
- If want to store it for longer, strain the drink into another glass jar & refrigerate it. Left over pickled carrots/beets can be either served with Kanji or eaten as salad/side with lunch/dinner.
Beets do give you nice color but if U wanna see how pretty the black carrot Kanji is then click here and check Anita's version. And in fact if U google for Kanji, couple of results show U very beautiful picture of Kanji and if you pay even a little attention you will realize that those pictures are same & they are copied from Anita's blog. It's sad that we can't do much about it but at least we can bring these kind of acts in every one's notice, so just doing my part.