Margarita With A Twist; Add Some Pickled Purple Carrot
Image Credit: Seasonal Purple Carrots

Pickling purple carrots to make kanji, a fermented probiotic, has been a long-standing tradition during Indian winters. Of course, with the expanding diversity in the usage of hyperlocal and seasonal produce, its uses have extended to salad plates, curries and a medley of roasted root vegetables. Kanji has often been referred to India’s answer to Kombucha, a sweetened fermented black tea.

The process of making kanji at home is a rather simple one to prep. Once assembled, the fermentation process takes about 2-5 days to develop flavour. The salty, almost umami-like taste of the antioxidant-rich kanji blends well with the cold, citrus sharpness of the margarita to make a drink that looks like a jewel-toned nightshade. In order to make the margarita, pickling the carrots a few days ahead of time is always helpful. Here’s a recipe on how to go about it:

Also Read: 

Carrot Day: Why You Must Add Carrots To Your Meals; 8 Varieties To Try



For the Carrot Kanji [2 litres]:


  • 1/2 kg purple/black carrots, washed
  • 3 tablespoon yellow mustard seeds
  • 1 beetroot, washed
  • 2 teaspoons red chilli powder
  • 1 teaspoon asafoetida
  • 1 tablespoon rock salt
  • 2 litres water


  • Peel the carrots and beetroot after washing them well and cut both the root vegetables into batons of one inch thickness. In a large pot, bring the water to a boil.
  • Crush the mustard seeds coarsely and set aside. Add the carrot and beetroot batons to the boiling water and take off the heat. Allow it to cool completely and add the spices and ground mustard seeds and mix well.
  • Pour the mixture into a sterilized glass jar or bottle and keep it in the sun for at least 2-5 days. If the winter is too cold where you live, set the jar in a warm place for a week. Once fermented, stash it away at room temperature for a week or in the refrigerator for three to four months.

For the Pickled Carrot Margarita [1 serving]:


  • Lemon slices
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 10 ml triple sec
  • 50 ml tequila
  • 40 ml carrot kanji
  • Ice to serve
  • Salt


Use a slice of lime to dab in salt and rim the edge of a glass with salt. In a separate shaker, add ice, a teaspoon of lemon juice, triple sec and tequila and mix well. Pour into a glass and top up with the pickled carrot kanji. Serve garnished with a slice of lemon or a mint leaf.