kanji recipe | black carrot kanji drink

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Kanji recipe With step by step photos – gajar ki kanji or black carrot kanji is a traditional Punjabi fermented drink that is made in the winters. Black carrots appear in the winters in north India and these give the kanji its characteristic purple color.

carrot kanji, gajar kanji

If you don’t have black carrots, then adding beetroot gives this rich dark purple color. That’s what I did. I had made this when the winters were still there and just after a few weeks after making the kanji, the winters have gone completely 🙁

The kanji is made with simple ingredients – carrots, mustard powder, red chilli powder and black salt along with water. the mustard added to the kanji helps in keeping the body warm in the chilly winters of the north. You can also add some turnips to the kanji if you prefer.

The whole drink is kept in the sun & allowed to ferment in glass jars or ceramic jars for 3-4 days. It depends on how the sun is behaving in your region. It can be even kept for 4-5 days if the sunlight is not very strong. If it is very hot, then 2 -3 days are also enough.

The kanji drink Is had as an appetizer. It has a sour, spicy & pungent taste. Also it is an acquired taste…. Either you will love the kanji or hate it.

carrot kanji recipe, gajar kanji recipe

The carrots and beetroot get pickled in the process of fermentation and can be served as side pickle with the simple dal-rice or Indian main course. They have a lovely fermented flavor and taste.

We also make urad dal vadas (black gram fritters) and soak in the kanji. This dish is called as Kanji vada and is also popular. If you like dahi vada, then you will like kanji vada too.

The process of making the vada for Dahi vada is the same as that for Kanji vada. I have mentioned in the notes section below in case you want to make Vadas for the kanji.

carrot kanji recipe, gajar kanji recipe

First we had the carrot kanji plain. Then I made some Urad dal vadas to go with the kanji… They were so good. You have to eat them to know the taste of the vadas soaked in this sour & pungent drink.

Kanji is also a probiotic drink and extremely good for the Gut. recently, I had read a well-written post on the benefits of fermented food & kanji on sangeeta’s blog Here. fermented foods like idli, Dosa, pickles, yogurt, khimchi are good for the body. Read more about fermented foods nutrition benefits Here.

How to make kanji recipe

1: wash, peel and chop the carrot/gajar into long pieces as shown in pics.

carrot for carrot kanji recipe

2: in a dry grinder, grind the mustard to a fine powder.

gajar for carrot kanji recipe

3: add the carrots, beets, ground mustard powder, black salt, red chili powder and pour water.

carrot for carrot kanji recipe

4: stir this mixture well.

making carrot kanji recipe

5: cover with a lid or cover with muslin and keep the jars in the sun. Allow to ferment for 2-3 days till the drink becomes sour. Stir the mixture every next day with a clean wooden spoon before placing in the sun.

making carrot kanji recipe

6: When the drink starts tasting sour, it means the gajar ki kanji is ready. keep Carrot kanji in the fridge or serve straightway. It can be served as side pickle with the simple dal-rice or Indian main course.

carrot kanji recipe, gajar kanji recipe

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carrot kanji recipe, gajar kanji recipe

Kanji Recipe

4.84 from 12 votes
Carrot kanji is a fermented North Indian probiotic drink made from carrots, beetroot and ground mustard and water
Prep Time 15 mins
Total Time 15 mins

Cuisine North Indian
Course: Beverages

Servings 2 litres of kanji drink


  • 5-6 medium sized carrots
  • 2 small beetroots
  • 8 cups water, approx 2 litres of water - boiled and filtered or purified
  • 1 or 1.5 teaspoon red chili powder
  • 3 tablespoon mustard powder (dry grind 2 or 2.5 tablespoon mustard seeds)
  • black salt as required


  • Rinse and then peel the carrots and beetroots.
  • Chop into long pieces.
  • Mix all the ingredients in a glass or ceramic jars.
  • Cover with a lid or muslin cloth and keep the jars in the sun for 3-4 days.
  • Stir with a wooden spoon everyday before keeping the jars back in the sun.
  • When the kanji tastes sour, it means the drink is fermented.
  • Serve carrot kanji straightway or refrigerate.


To make the vadas, follow the recipe below.
1. Soak 1/2 cup urad dal/black gram in water overnight.
2. Drain and grind the urad dal with 1 green chili, 1/2 tsp cumin, a pinch of asafoetida, 1/2 inch ginger and salt with very less water to a thick batter.
3. Heat oil for deep or shallow frying. Spoon the batter into the hot oil.
4. Fry the vadas till they are golden brown.
5. Drain on kitchen tissues.
6. Soak the vadas in water for 20-25 mins.
7. Press the vadas between the palms of your hands to squeeze out the water.
8. Soak these vadas in the kanji overnight in the refrigerator.
9. Serve the next day.

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Dassana Amit

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Welcome to Dassana's Veg Recipes. I share vegetarian recipes from India & around the World. Having been cooking for decades and with a professional background in cooking & baking, I help you to make your cooking journey easier with my tried and tested recipes showcased with step by step photos & plenty of tips & suggestions.

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Comments are closed.


  1. I made this the way you stated but with black carrots. But unfortunately on opening the jar there was a whole lot of fungus on top.

    What can I do to avoid the fungus happening?

    1. a good sunlight won’t allow the fungus to appear. in which type of jar you kept like glass or ceramic. the heat from the sides of the jar is transferred to the contents inside. the top lid also as to get heated so that the heat is transferred in the jar. microorganisms like fungus cannot grow if heat is there. it is best to use ceramic jars. if using glass jars then the top can be covered with a muslin or cotton cloth. hope this helps.

      1. Thanks for replying – I kept it in a glass jar with tissue paper on it.- there isn’t much sun here right now with winter still here – I will try keeping it covered with a muslin cloth. I think I made a mistake by not stirring it also like you said.

        1. welcome karishma and thanks for letting me know. yes it is better to stir or shake the jar gently. a good sunlight is a must so as not to let any mould grow. but yes you can next time place a muslin cloth.

  2. you can direct use black Carrot instead of red carrot & beetroot. i love it4 stars

  3. I made it yesterday and stored in a glass container. Sun has been quite strong here since yesterday. When stirring today evening, I found green algae kind of stuff on top. Is that normal for Kanji? Is that how it ferments? I am not sure if it’s gone off or still ok? Could anyone please advise? Thanks

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