Fermented Beets – Kanji

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


BeetKanji-5786This 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

  • Servings: many
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

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.




12 Comments Add yours

    1. It’s waiting for you 🙂


  1. Lina says:

    Sounds interesting!


    1. Thanks Lina. It is delicious and so good for you 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I love that this was passed on by your Grandfather to you and then to us. I always admired the Indian way of eating because food is so integral to health and this is a perfect example.



    1. Mollie – thanks for the sweet comment. It’s funny how memories tied to food are alway so warm and vivid and keep finding their way into the present 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Indu says:

    Its funny this is the 2nd post I saw for this beet kanji in the last 2 weeks and before that I was totally unfamiliar with this probiotic drink! Thanks for your recipe. I will be trying this soon! 🙂


    1. Indu, it’s definitely a sign that you should make it soon 😉 You’ll love it! Thanks for stopping by.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Indu says:

        yes! thank you for reminding me about this recipe again 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Yes! This looks amazing! Thanks for demystifying fermented food for us….

    Liked by 1 person

    1. thanks christina…do try it. have a great warm weekend, it’s overdue in virginia 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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