While the peak summer season leads currently in India, with temperatures often soaring above 40 degrees Celsius, the commonplace maladies of fluctuations in body temperature and fatigue inevitably follow. Added to this is the widespread occurrence of incessant sweating and dehydration, all of which leave the body feeling weak and sick. Not to mention the raging second wave of COVID-19 affecting lakhs of individuals daily and sparing no one, young or old. Of course, drinking ample amounts of water – truly the elixir of life, along with taking adequate rest and appropriate medicines as advised by the doctor are all vital to combat illness, bolster resistance and recover fully. But a very simple, slight tweak to the daily diet with the incorporation of kanji will certainly help rejuvenate the fragile body, refresh the stressed mind, effectively alleviating fever and dehydration.
What Is Kanji?
Kanji is basically a fermented drink that first originated in India in ancient times, being extensively consumed as a healthy breakfast predominantly by farmers who had to toil in the fields all day long amidst the scorching heat and humidity. The western equivalents of kanji are nothing but gruel and porridge. While kanji is a common term used across the Indian subcontinent, it is also called Pakhala in Oriya, Daliya in Hindi, Koozh in Tamil. This mushy porridge is traditionally made with cereal crops such as rice – particularly leftover rice, wheat, besides vegetables like carrots, beetroots and millets including ragi, bajra. Apart from being an excellent source of probiotics due to fermentation and thereby enhancing digestion, kanji is also rich in fibers, proteins, vitamins, minerals that promote energy metabolism and boost immunity.
Wholesome Kanji Recipes To Combat Disease And Get Well Soon:
And in case you have come down with a bout of fever this summer and are feeling rather dehydrated, fret not. We bring you just what you need – two salubrious recipes of Kali Gajar Ki Kanji made with black carrots and Kambu Koozh prepared using pearl millet and buttermilk. Guaranteed, these wholesome gooey broths will help you recuperate completely, energize and hydrate your system, as well as uplift overall health.
Kali Gajar Ki Kanji
3 large black carrots i.e. kali gajar, peeled and chopped
2 tbsp ghee
1 tbsp mustard powder
1 tsp red chilli powder
1 tsp asafoetida or hing
Salt, as per taste
Pepper, as required
4 cups water
A few pudina/mint leaves
Boil water in a vessel on medium flame and put in the chopped black carrots.
Now add the mustard powder, red chilli powder, salt, pepper and cook for 5 minutes on low flame.
In a pan, heat the ghee, transfer the asafoetida, sauté for 2 – 3 minutes on low flame, closing it on top with a lid and stirring occasionally.
Pour the mixture of boiled black carrots with spices into the pan so that the flavours are absorbed and let it cool down.
Store the cooked blend in a container with a lid overnight, making sure to keep it in a warm place.
Pour this nutritious sour Kali Gajar Ki Kanji into glasses the next day, top it off with pudina/mint leaves and have it with breakfast or lunch.
Black carrots or kali gajar are a widely available variety of the more common orange carrots, which abound in beta carotene antioxidants for enhanced eyesight, as well as improved immunity to fight disease. They also supply profuse quantities of vitamin K, for optimal blood clotting processes in tissue injury and dietary fibers, to regulate appetite and facilitate smooth digestion. Ghee is laden with calories for elevating energy levels and overcoming fatigue, in addition to healthy unsaturated fats that improve cardiac functions and uplift heart wellness.
½ cup pearl millet i.e. kambu/bajra
½ cup buttermilk/chaas/mor
1 green chilli
1 red chilli
1 tsp cumin seeds
2 small pieces of ginger, minced
Salt, as needed
5 cups water
A bunch of coriander and curry leaves
Grind the dry pearl millet into a fine powder in a mixer.
Heat water in a vessel on medium flame, add the pearl millet flour and stir continuously to avoid sticking to the bottom surface until a thick consistency is obtained.
Turn off the stovetop, allow the mixture to cool down completely and become denser.
Dilute this kanji or koozh with some cold water and store it in a closed container overnight in a warm area to let it ferment.
The next morning, once the thoroughly fermented koozh is formed, add the required amount of salt to it.
Now, blend the buttermilk along with green chilli, red chilli, cumin seeds and ginger in a mixer to obtain a homogenous paste.
Combine the buttermilk paste with the salted fermented pearl millet porridge.
Garnish with coriander and curry leaves, pour it into cups, mugs or small earthen pots and sip on this invigorating kambu koozh in the morning or noon.
Pearl millet is a storehouse of proteins, for strong muscles and optimal growth, development of tissues, organs, aside from starch, antioxidants for elevated energy levels, defence mechanism. It also comprises vast reserves of calcium, magnesium, phosphorous for fortified bones, joints and iron, for normal red blood cell synthesis and resolving anaemia, body weakness. Buttermilk remarkably quenches thirst and treats dehydration by balancing electrolyte levels, thanks to the treasure trove of fluids and minerals present in it.