Gajar Beet Kanji/ Carrot Beet Probiotic Beverage
A couple of months ago, I was consulting a client from Delhi and we were discussing probiotics and fermented foods. During our conversation Rahul mentioned about this drink called Beet ki Kanji that his mother makes. I experimented making at home and it was an instant hit with my family and friends. This is the very same reason that I am sharing this recipe with you. May you enjoy the kanji and the health benefits of the good bugs, and the power of phytonutrients from beets, carrots, mustard seeds and green chili.
In North India deep purple colored carrot is fermented along with crushed mustard seed, hot chili powder and salt for a few days to get a popular drink called Kanji, which is considered to have high nutritional value and cooling and soothing properties. According to the Indian Journal of Microbiology, lactic acid bacteria (LAB) aka probiotics play an important role in the fermentation of vegetables to improve nutritive value, palatability, acceptability, microbial quality and its shelf life.
What got me interested in this drink is the probiotics ( 18 different strains of lactic acid bacteria were isolated in the study mentioned earlier) and their immune enhancing value that it brings to our tables. One other reason is that I love beets…they are YUMMM!
There are various studies that discuss the role of how probiotics may:
• Enhance your immune system (70 percent of your immune system is located in your digestive system, which means that if your gut is overrun with bad bacteria, there’s a good chance your immune system will not be functioning at its best)
• Prevent infections after surgery
• Treat acute and chronic diarrhea
• Relieve inflammatory bowel disease
• Treat irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
• Protect against cancer development and progression
• Prevent eczema in children
• Prevent and treat vaginal yeast infections and urinary tract infections
• Help reduce systemic allergic responses. For more information on probiotics and health, check this blog
To make your own Carrot Beet Probiotic Beverage, here is the recipe:
Water – 8 cups
Carrots (orange or purple) – 2 medium, peeled and julienned
Beetroot – 1, peeled and julienned
Green Chilies – to taste, slit.( I added 1 small)
Powdered Mustard Seeds – 1 1/2Tbsp
Salt – 11/2 Tsp or to taste
Red Chili Powder (optional)– 1 Tsp
1. In a clean pitcher or bottle with a lid, preferably glass or ceramic, add all of the ingredients and mix well. Do not use plastic bottles or pitchers.
2. Cover and keep the pitcher in the sun for 3-4 days, stirring at least once daily with a clean spoon.
3. Once fermented, taste the kanji. When it’s ready it gives a tangy and fermented taste. I taste it daily just to understand the change in flavor, its food chemistry in action! Store the kanji in the refrigerator.
4. Serve chilled. Mix before serving. Carrots, Beets and Green Chilies can be eaten.