Fermented foods are just beautiful not only for the taste buds but also for your gut. Ancients culture have propagated fermented foods for preservation and taste through the centuries. The souring action if microbes that produced fermentation have been critical in our diets throughout the globe. Similar foods can be found in every culture, just called something different.
Indian “Achar” or “Kanji” are great examples and so is the fabulous “Kimchi” from Korea.
My personal story takes me back to the late 1970’s where as a young child spending lazy winters vacation in Lucknow, India I would watch my grandfather ferment and pickle various vegetables in earthenware and produce the probiotic liquid called “Kanji” in India. It was delicious, tart and healthy and the joy of helping my grandfather while he worked on these beautiful foods is a memory that is permanent ink in my soul.
True to foods that nourish your soul and help you remember your history, in this series I am sharing different fermented food s I am experimenting with.
Click here for a previous recipe of Kashmiri Achar
Click here for a previous recipe of Red Cabbage Pickle
In this edition: Fermented Beet tonic – Kanji
This fermented beet pickle and tonic fascinates and mesmerizes with its deep violet color and tangy taste. There many health benefits of both the beets and these are just amplified through fermenting.
“Kanji” is usually a pungent combination of water, mustard seeds, beetroot and carrots and is full of digestion-boosting friendly bacteria and enzymes. I have only used beets here so the color is quite intense. Beets are high is sugar but the fermentation breaks the sugars down and makes this drink a healthy tonic. Very similar to Kvass which is an eastern European fermented beverage commonly made with rye bread.
Fermented Beets - Kanji
a zesty beet fermented drink and pickle
- 3 – 4 large organic beets
- 3 tbsp mustard seeds
- 3 whole red chilies ( Serrano)
- 2 tsp pink Himalayan salt
- 6–7 cups filtered water
- Wash and Slice and dice the beets in bite size pieces. I like to leave to skin on for organic beets.
- Crush mustard seeds with mortar and pestle just to a coarse grind
- Place the diced beets and carrots into a half-gallon glass jar.
- Add the Serrano pepper, mustard seeds and salt.
- Add the water, leaving one-inch of air space between the top of the water and the top of the jar. Tightly cover the jar.
- Ferment the kanji for 2-3 days at room temperature.
- Stir with a clean wooden spoon and taste. If it’s tangy – it’s fermented and ready
- You can transfer the jar to the fridge and store for a few weeks.
Enjoy a cup or bowl of this delicious liquid and eat the pickles beet and add them to your salad.