Are you looking for a tasty probiotic drink that helps with your digestion? If so, an Indian probiotic drink called kanji may be right for you.
Kanji is a probiotic drink that originates from India. It is often served during Holi, a famous ancient Hindu festival that celebrities the god Radha Krishna.
What is kanji, and how do you make it? Read this recipe guide to find out!
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What is Kanji?
As mentioned, kanji is an Indian probiotic drink. It’s often made from water, beetroot, carrots, and mustard seeds. The traditional recipe also sprinkles Boondi on top, which is a fried chickpea snack popular in India.
Many people say that kanji is similar to kombucha, as it’s also a probiotic drink. However, kanji and kombucha have quite different tastes.
In addition to the above ingredients, it’s also often made with salt, pepper, red chili pepper flakes, and other seasonings and spices for added flavor and health benefits.
Typically, the drink’s ingredients are placed in a glass or ceramic jar, which is kept in the sunlight for 2 to 4 days to allow it to ferment.
How long you leave the drink in the sun will depend on the conditions in your region. If you’re living in a cloudy area, you may need to leave the drink out for a little longer. During the fermentation process, the color and consistency of the drink change, and the drink transformers into a probiotic.
Typically, kanji is served as an appetizer, but it can be drunk at any time of the day.
How to Make Kanji Indian Probiotic Drink
Now that you understand the benefits of kanji and what it is, let’s talk about how to make this tasty drink!
Here are the ingredients you’ll need:
- 5 to 6 medium-sized carrots (most recipes call for black carrots, but you can use any carrot variety)
- Two small beetroots
- 8 cups of water
- Two teaspoons of red chili powder or cayenne pepper
- One tablespoon of black salt
- Two tablespoons of black or yellow mustard seed
To make the drink, follow these steps:
- Rinse and peel the beetroots and carrots. (If you’re not a fan of beetroot, you can substitute it with one extra carrot.)
- Chop the vegetables into 2-inch long sticks.
- Boil the water and allow it to cool to room temperature. Cover the pot once the water cools.
- In clean glass or ceramic jars, add all of the ingredients and mix thoroughly with a clean spoon.
- Cover the jars loosely with lids or secure them with cheesecloths and some rubber bands.
- Set the jars in the sun for 2 to 4 days.
- Shake the jar or stir with a spoon every day.
Once the drink tastes sour, it’s ready to drink. You can drink the kanji straightaway or refrigerate it for up to 4 to 5 days. You may strain the vegetables before serving or leave them in there. Many people like to remove the carrots and beetroots and enjoy them as a pickled snack.
What are Probiotics?
Like kombucha, kanji is considered a probiotic beverage. Probiotics are composed of live yeasts and bacteria that occur naturally in your body.
They're considered good bacteria that help keep your body healthy. Good bacteria and bad bacteria are constantly moving through our bodies. When you get sick, your body has more bad bacteria, which can knock your system out of balance.
Adding probiotics and other good bacteria to your body can help eliminate bad bacteria, restoring the balance in your body.
Probiotics are also a part of your gut microbiome, a diverse community of microbes. Your body has trillions of microbes, which are made of bacteria, fungi, protozoa, and viruses. Everyone has a unique microbiome, and keeping your microbiome healthy and balanced is essential for your overall health.
What probiotics should you take after antibiotics? Click here to find out!
Potential Benefits of Kanji and Other Probiotic Drinks
Kanji has a unique flavor profile that can take some getting used to. However, if you enjoy drinking kombucha, you’ll likely enjoy the taste of kanji. More importantly, though, people drink kanji because of its purported health benefits.
Here are some of the top health benefits of drinking kanji:
1. Promote Immunity
One of the biggest benefits kanji offers is immune system support. Kanji supports your immune system by inhibiting the growth of harmful bacteria in your gut.
The probiotics in kanji may also promote the production of natural antibodies and boost immune cells.
2. Lose or Maintain Weight
Kanji may also help you lose or maintain your weight, as it’s a low-calorie beverage that fills you up. It may even help prevent your intestine from absorbing dietary fat. Instead of absorbing the fat, your body secretes it as waste.
3. Improve Digestion
If you struggle with digestion, kanji may be able to help. More specifically, the probiotics in kanji can help those suffering from diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome, or Crohn’s.
However, more research is needed to determine the strains of probiotics that are best for digestion.
4. Improve Skin and Allergies
Kanji contains plenty of antioxidants that can help improve your skin. More specifically, the beta carotene in carrots may help hydrate your skin during the winter months and give it a healthy glow. For this reason, many people drink kanji during the wintertime.
Those who suffer from allergies may also notice that kanji helps reduce their allergic reactions.
5. Improve Your Heart Health
Drinking kanji may also help improve your heart health, as the probiotics in the beverage may reduce the levels of LDL cholesterol in your body.
The probiotics in kanji may also help break down bile in the gut. Bile is a naturally occurring fluid that mainly helps with digestion. By breaking down bile, the probiotics can prevent your gut from reabsorbing it, where it can re-enter the blood as cholesterol.
Kanji Final Thoughts
Kanji is a tasty Indian beverage that’s easy to make and good for your health. However, if you’re looking for a healthy beverage that doesn’t take days to make, we have you covered.
Check out Sunny Culture’s probiotic shots!