A look around your neighbourhood would tell you just how swiftly we have left behind the gloomy winter blues, and are all braced up for the lovely spring that awaits. Holi is one of the oldest spring festivals known to mankind. This year Holi falls on 18th March 2022. It is celebrated in various ways in many different regions of the country. From the lath maar Holi of Brij, Uttar Pradesh to the swing festival of Bengal (dol), Holi and its local variations deserve a chronicle of its own.
Besides the pop of colours and endless singing and dancing, Holi is also associated with sumptuous food. Greasy gujiyas, crispy malpuas, toothsome jalebis, succulent dahi bhallas and thandai are some of the few dishes that come to our mind the moment we think about Holi. But among all these wholesome dishes there is one soothing drink/dish that may not top your indulgent Holi bucket list, but holds a special place in every Holi lover's heart. We are talking about the delectable kanji vada.
Now for all of those confusing it with zingy and pungent gajar ki kanji must note that this drink is slightly different. Kali gajar ki kanji is a north Indian treat prepared exclusively in winter months to ward off the winter blues. Kanji vada is a unique treat that combines tangy mustard water with urad dal/ moong dal vadas.
Without the vadas too, kanji is enjoyed as a delectable beverage that can help soothe tummy and facilitate digestion. The popular beverage/snack is prepared lavishly in Rajasthani and Gujarati households. Kanji vada is also a common street food item. But for a lot of us, it is that 'special Holi treat', which holds its own importance among all its greasy peers in a traditional Holi spread. Traditionally, it is meant to help you digest the decadent Holi dishes better.
(Also Read: 11 Best Holi Recipes | Easy Holi Recipes)
Kanji is a fermented drink. It is the fermentation that helps kanji obtains its distinct tang. Made with mustard seeds, hing, red chillies and turmeric, kanji is a hearty melange of healing herbs and spices that are known to boost the digestive system. Kanji is also referred to as 'rai ka paani', which is allowed to ferment for over a day. The crispy vadas are added to the kanji on the following day or just before serving.
Recipes for kanji differ from household to household. Here is a delicious recipe of kanji vada you can try this Holi.
Happy Holi 2022!
About Sushmita SenguptaSharing a strong penchant for food, Sushmita loves all things good, cheesy and greasy. Her other favourite pastime activities other than discussing food includes, reading, watching movies and binge-watching TV shows.