Monday, February 28, 2011
Spring Time Drink
Once we get past the piping hot teas and hot chocolates of January and before the cool summer drinks kick in, my mother makes kanji. Spring is the time when purple carrots, the color of beets, come into season. Between February and March, a clay pot (called a ghada back home) is filled with kanji, the drink constantly replenished with a fresh batch as the previous one runs out. We drink it whenever we pass through the kitchen, even though the tangy kanji gives us a sore throat. It's that delicious!
I'm going to give you my mother's recipe, but please tweak it if it doesn't work for you. Mom never measures anything and these are simply best estimates.
First, find yourself a clay or ceramic pot with at least a 3 liter capacity. A glass jar will do in a pinch. Peel half a kilo of purple carrots and cut them into one inch long batons. Drop these into your jar with 2 liter water. Coarsely grind 2 tbsp of brown mustard seeds and add them to the mix alongwith 2 tbsp salt and 1/2 tsp red chilli powder. Mix well, then set it aside for 3-4 days, stirring up the mixture once a day. By the end of the 4 day resting period, the water will take the color from the carrots and the tang from the mustard. And the carrots are delicious enough to eat too.