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Kanji Vada Recipe

This is summer time in India; it is one type of summer recipe or chat. You can make it as festival recipe during Holi. Kanji is a liquid extract of a food – usually rice, black carrots or mustard. This is a Marwari delicacy of moong dal vadas, soaked in mustard flavored kanji. The kanji has to be made at least a day in advance so that all the flavors are released into the water. Tangy kanji vada comes to the rescue when you have eaten too many sweets on festivals and don’t feel like eating anything else. The vada can made with split yellow gram, or black lentils.

Ingredients For vadas:

Split green gram skinless, soaked 1 1/4 cup

Black peppercorns, crushed 10

Coriander seeds, coarsely powdered 1 teaspoon

Coarsely powdered Fennel seeds 1/2 teaspoon

Green chili paste1/2 teaspoon

Fresh coriander leaves, chopped 3 tablespoons

Baking powder a pinch

Salt as taste

Oil for deep fry

For Kanji:

Mustard seeds, coarsely ground 2 3/4 tablespoons

Sugar 1 teaspoon

Red chili powder 1 teaspoon

Dry ginger powder 1 teaspoon

Chat mashala 1 teaspoon

Salt to taste

Dry bundi 1 cup for garnishing


To make the kanji, combine the coarsely ground mustard seeds, chili powder, dry ginger powder and salt in a deep bowl. Add one litre (five cups) of water.  Mix well and set aside for about two days to ferment. Add sugar and chat mashala. Taste to see if it has turned sour. Once the water turns sour keep it in the refrigerator.

Soak the Split green gram overnight and grind it to a smooth paste. Add salt, asafetida, coarsely powdered coriander and fennel seeds, chili paste, fresh coriander, baking powder, salt and crushed peppercorns and mix well.  Whisk the batter with a spoon until smooth and fluffy.

Heat sufficient oil in a kadai and drop the batter in tablespoonfuls into the hot oil. Deep fry vadas on medium heat till golden brown. Drain and place on absorbent paper till cool. Soak the fried vadas in plain water for five minutes. Squeeze gently and dip them in the kanji water. Cover and keep for at least two hours in the refrigerator. Serve chilled sprinkled bundis on top.

Serve plenty of kanji with the vada so that one can enjoy a large sip of the kanji once the vada is polished off.

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