Sunday, April 14, 2013

Kaanji- Guest Post by Shikha Bajaj

So, I have yet another guest post by my gracious SIL who has managed to document a recipe very close to my heart. Traditionally, most Indian people know of kanji as a winter drink. The very mention of the word conjures fond memories of my maternal grandmother, who was the only person I ever knew who would make yummy kanji. Winter vacations, were always associated with yummy gaajar achaar and kanji. She passed away a long time back, the tradition moved on to my mother and when I got married, I found kanji again being made, every winter by my mother-in-law. For the sake of posterity and to honour and continue the tradition, I’m glad that my SIl decide to document this one and that we will have the benefit to carry this custom forward. The best part is: the recipe was tested far away in the US, and the photographs were taken here; a complete cooperative effort.

Kanji is truly a family recipe. One of my earliest and fondest childhood memories is that of my great grandmother and her huge ceramic martabaans (jugs) of kanji.
In the winter afternoons, we would all settle down on the verandah of the ancestral home in Amritsar looking forward to an afternoon of the winter sun. These lazy afternoons were always accompanied by cool glasses of this mildly sour beverage, a bit of gossip and a lot of fun.

2 litres water
1/2 kg black carrots
1 tablespoon salt
2  1/2 tablespoons ground rai

Mix all the ingredients in a big jug, which can shut tight. Put in the sun for 4 - 5 days. Be sure to stir the contents periodically. Once it gets the nice red wine, kinda color, refrigerate and enjoy.

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