Indian Beet Probiotic Drink – Kanji

Indian Beet Probiotic Drink – Kanji

This Indian beet probiotic drink is naturally fermented to get a unique sour flavour that is actually healthy for the gut. It’s a traditional north Indian drink made with beets and purple carrots.

This beet probiotic drink (called Kanji in Hindi) always reminds me of my visits to India as a child. My aunt would make this in a clay pot and I could not get enough of it. Whenever we were going to visit, she would make it ahead of time so when I arrived, I would have some ready to enjoy. It was one of the highlights of my visits to her place. I have recreated that recipe here today.

The ingredients

6 simple ingredients that make an amazing beet probiotic drink.

Ingredients for beet probiotic drink
Ingredients for beet probiotic drink

What you will need to make this amazing probiotic drink:
– 2 large beets
– 1 purple carrot
– 2 tablespoons yellow mustard
– 1 tablespoon whole cumin seeds
– 1 tablespoon black salt (or Himalayan pink salt)
– 1 teaspoon red chili powder (or to taste)
– 6 cups of lukewarm water.

Let’s start off by peeling and chopping the beets and carrots into 4 inch batons.

Chopped beets and carrot
Chopped beets and carrot

Heat a small pan so it’s hot. Add the cumin seeds to it and let them roast for about a min – stir constantly, so they roast evenly. You will be able to smell the fragrant smell once they are done roasting. Let them cool down before you use them. I tend to roast a bunch and keep them in a jar for use in various recipes.

We now want to grind the yellow mustard and cumin seeds into a powder. Using a mortar and pestle, grind them so they are not too finely ground. If you don’t have one you can always pop the seeds into a zip lock bag and use a rolling pin to grind them.

Spices in mortar and pestel
Spices in mortar and pestel
Getting the beet probiotic drink ready

We are now ready to put the beet drink together. Heat your water, so it’s lukewarm. Place all your chopped beets and carrots into a mason jar that’s large enough to fit 10 glasses of water. Add the ground spices, salt, and chili powder to the jar. Add the lukewarm water to the jar – leaving about 1 inch of space on the top of the jar empty.

Beet probiotic drink in jar
Beet probiotic drink in jar

Using a wooden spoon or any other large spoon, stir the contents of the jar so that everything is mixed together properly. You will see the colour of the water change immediately. It will take on a dark pink hue from the beets. Cover the top of the jar with a cheesecloth and wrap an elastic band around the cheesecloth. Do not cover with the lid. This is to allow the beet probiotic drink to breathe and ferment. If you cover it with the mason jar cover, it will go bad.

Cheese cloth on jar
Cheese cloth on jar

Place the jar in a dark warm corner of the house. Once a day, check on it and stir the jar’s contents with a wooden spoon or another large spoon. After about 3 days, taste the beet probiotic drink. It should have started to sour by now. If you see a few bubbles at the top of the jar, do not be alarmed. That’s expected to happen as the drink ferments. Adjust the salt if needed and let it continue to ferment for another day. If the corner where you have placed this drink is not very warm, let it sit for a further day to ensure proper fermentation.

Beet probiotic drink
Beet probiotic drink

Once it’s ready, place the jar in the fridge and enjoy it cold. It tastes best when it’s cooled down. Have about 1/2 a cup or so daily and do not discard the beets and carrots. They will be pickled and delicious. They will not be soft like the pickled beets one buys from the store, but instead, they will be crunchy and delicious.

Indian Beet Probiotic Drink – Kanji

Course: SidesCuisine: IndianDifficulty: Easy
Servings

12

servings
Prep time

10

minutes
Calories

30

kcal
Fermenting time

4

days

This Indian beet probiotic drink is naturally fermented to get a unique sour flavor that is actually healthy for the gut. It’s a traditional north Indian drink made with beets and purple carrots.

Ingredients

  • 2 beets

  • 1 large purple carrot

  • 2 tablespoons ground yellow mustard seeds

  • 1 tablespoon roasted cumin seeds

  • 1 tablespoon black salt (or Himalayan pink salt) – adjust to taste

  • 1 teaspoon red chili powder (or to taste)

  • 6 cups of luke-warm water

Directions

  • Wash and peel the beets. Chop into 1 cm slices (lengthwise).
  • Wash and chop the carrots to a similar size.
  • Roast the cumin seeds in a dry pan over medium heat for about 2 minutes – or till they become fragrant.
  • Using a mortar and pestle grind the mustard seeds and the cumin seeds to a powder – not too fine.
  • Add all the ingredients into a glass mason jar large enough to hold everything. Mix well to combine. The color of the water will start to change and take on a pinkish hue right away.
  • Cover the jar with a cheese cloth and place an elastic band around the lip of the jar. Do not place the cover on the jar. The fermentation process needs the top to be open.
  • Allow the jar to sit in a dark place for about 4-5 days. Stir the contents every day – once a day only.
  • After day 3, taste the kanji and adjust the salinity and chili content as needed.
  • Once the drink is fermented and sour, store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
  • Do not discard the carrots and beets. They can be enjoyed as well, since they are now pickled.

– Check out other side recipes here.

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