Kanji – The Healthy Vegetable Drink
Here is a wonderful drink made from a few select vegetables. It is a great accompaniment for lunch. It shall contribute to good health while adding a sparkle to a meal. In North-Western India it is called Kanji and in West Asia it is known by a different name that I forget now and once when a friend from Poland visited he said that they make it in Eastern Europe too. I have not found it in Western Europe or North America though during my travels and it is time they learned about it because it is very simple to make. It has a pungent acidic taste that is pleasant with a meal once you acquire the taste and that does not take more than a couple of glasses of it. There are several variations of the drink but here is the recipe from my home:
Four liters drinking water
Half kg turnips
Quarter kg Beetroots
Quarter kg Carrots (The darker the better)
A finger of Ginger
A few bay leaves and sticks of cinnamon (optional)
Boil the water in a large pot to sterilize, add enough salt so the water is as salted as a generously salted soup. Let cool. Transfer water to a glass, earthen or china jar.
Wash and peal all the vegetables, slice and add to the water. Let sit for at least five days and your drink is ready. The vegetable juices undergo a reaction with salt to produce a deep red pungent drink in a few days. If you drink it sooner, it may cause some discomfort in stomach but when brewed for four or five days it makes the stomach comfortable and promotes good digestion and health. Just drain off glasses of the drink from top leaving the vegetables behind in the jar. In the end there is nothing much left in the vegetables and I transfer them to a compost heap although some people eat them as a pickle. They have roughage for those who need it. On the other hand if you like fermented vegetables read this note for the recipe and the bebefits:
Some people sprinkle in black pepper and things before drinking but for me it tastes strongly enough without any addition. One might add a sprig of an herb like parsley, celery, cilantro etc, to decorate a glass though. I added one of holy basil from the garden for the picture on the kitchen table. The salt cellars were gifted to me by mother some months before her demise in 1999.
This blog has recipes for a lot many healthy drinks. Check out;