I have loved this fermented natural probiotic drink for years. It’s five ingredients, sugar-free, super yummy, and really quick to make a lot of. Kombucha who?
Kanji is a traditional Indian drink packed with flavour and natural probiotics made with fermenting really dark-coloured black carrots. Since these are not that easy to find you can make it with regular carrots and beetroot. The beetroot is actually only there for the wine-red colour, so you don’t want to add too much of it. You should only add one medium beetroot for (at least!) every 4 medium carrots.
Fermented drinks are great for your gut microbiome. This drink will not only keep you cool and hydrated in the hot weather, it will also keep your gut bacteria very happy. A healthy gut microbiome is essential for a healthy mind and body. Unlike Kombucha, this isn’t made with lots of tea and sugar. This is a caffeine-free and sugar-free drink that everyone can enjoy.
The primary flavour and the fermentation actually comes from mustard seeds. You could either roughly grind up some mustard seeds or just use store bought mustard powder like I did here because I’m lazy. You could also add some black salt aka kala namak to this if you’d like to.
It’s not at all important to measure out the water precisely, but it’s actually very important to keep the glass container in direct sunlight. It takes three days for this drink to ferment nicely in direct sunlight. If that’s not possible, then just keep it in a warm spot for about a week. You should check on it every day and taste test it. You’ll know when it’s ready because it will taste pungent – but in a really good way.
I hope you’ll love this delicious fermented probiotic carrot drink as much as I do.
KanjiCourse: DrinksCuisine: IndianDifficulty: 1
1 Carrot, medium
¼ Beetroot, medium
2 Litres water
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Chilli powder
2 tsp Mustard powder
- Chop the carrot and beetroot into sticks.
- Add all the ingredients in a clean glass container and mix well.
- Taste for salt and adjust the seasoning.
- Store the container in direct sunlight for three days and then transfer the drink to the fridge. Serve cold.
- This recipe can be scaled up or down as needed. The important thing is that the ratio of carrot to beetroot is at least 4 to 1. If you’re unsure about how much beetroot to add, just add slightly less than what you were going to.
- Don’t add too much beetroot or the drink will taste bitter. The beetroot is mostly there for the colour. You can see in the recipe photo that the pot on the left which has been fermenting for 1 day is a lot darker in colour than the jar on the right which was just assembled.
- If you’re not a fan of chilli, you could always go for a milder chilli powder or reduce the quantity until you’re happy with it. This only makes 2L at a time, but you could scale it down and make 1L at a time and adjust the seasoning until you find something that works for you.
- I would recommend not peeling your carrots and beetroot since that’s where a lot of the nutrients are. It also gives the drink a sweeter flavour.
- Don’t throw away the carrots and beetroots afterwards! They go great in sandwiches and salads.
Header photo by Rodrigo dos Reis on Unsplash