Monday, March 17, 2014

Holi again,….Vade-ki Kanji?

Last year, on Holi, I rambled on to you about Thandai and my quick fix of my mom's version….

Today, I want to air my rant about a snow day….

Whoever wakes up on Holi to be greeted by a good sprinkling of powdery white instead of the vibrant reds and yellows of Spring? We did, today. Officially, Holi in Philadelphia was a snow day. We even had a two-hour delay at school….Guess Holi lost it's battle to St. Patrick's Day here!!

On the bright side, we had our share of fun over the weekend. Good friends, family, food and color. It was pretty good.  While I don't have any good pictures of us colored to share on a public platform, food; I definitely shall. I managed to make a small batch of gujhiya (watch this space for more on this traditional delicacy…) while my MIL whipped up a good-sized batch of besan-ki-barfi (just a teaser herevisit me again soon…. :-)) and Vade- ki -Kanji . Now I've talked to you about the Kanji that I grew up with….made with black/purple carrots... that was a Holi ritual at my parents. I loved it. The one that my MIL made, I don't recall seeing my mom make it. Don't know if the reason is personal preference, or a regional diversification…..

For the recipe, refer to the original post here

Just substitute the beets and carrots with vada- made for dahi vada…recipe here

A couple of reminders here-

  • the magic ingredient is Raai / brown mustard seeds. That is what gives the fermented flavor. Remember to adjust to taste. 
  • And "curing" in the sun is a must…wait 5-7 days at least before tasting, serve chilled, enjoy! 
  • Oh; and don't forget to shake up the jar a couple of times a day!
My two cents: It was my first time experiencing Vade- ki -Kanji. The Kanji or the water tastes pretty similar to Gajar-ki-Kanji- minus the pretty "spring..y"color :-) In all honesty, I wasn't a huge fan of the soggy vada. But then, I don't like the soggy carrots either- so that's just me….The fermented, spicy, tangy flavor is another acquired taste as well. I grew up with it; to some of you it may not quite be what you expected. To me, it's a burst of freshness playing salsa in my mouth…an American friend has described it as an explosion of spiciness that kills the taste buds….!!

But over all, I believe Vade- ki -Kanji is pretty traditional in some parts of India, especially Uttar Pradesh. My understanding is that these kinds of fermented drinks are supposed to have a cooling effect on digestion. After the heavy, warm foods that we gorge up on all winter, this now, is the "spring"ing board to detox for summer. From now on, hot weather dictates an overabundance of food meant to be light on body…and lots of fluids. This then, is the Indian version of "flavored water" :-)

Share your stories of Holi; gear up for Spring; and don't forget to go green for St. Paddy's day!

Linked to :
WTML event at Gayathri's cook spot