Kanji Vada

Kanji Vada
Photo Credits: Ravi Talwar

Spicy and tangy drink made of mustard seeds, salt and red chili powder mixed in water, Kanji is a drink frequently consumed in chilled form to beat the heat. Fried lentil balls called Vadas are often put in it before serving and the drink is then called Kanji Vada. This is a very popular traditional drink of Rajasthan-India that’s also sold by road side vendors in U.P. and other North Indian states.


  • Water                                                                    1 litre
  • Moong dhuli dal (Husked split green lentils)            2 tablespoons

  (Soaked for 3-4 hours)

  • Lal mirch (Red chili powder)                                   1/4 teaspoon
  • Haldi (Turmeric powder)                                        1/2 teaspoon
  • Mustard seeds                                                       1 teaspoon
  • Salt                                                                       1 teaspoon
  • Hing (Asafoetida)                                                  Pinch
  • Mustard oil                                                            1 tablespoon
  • Cooking Oil                                                            For frying Vada


Note: Making good kanji takes 3 – 4 days as the mixture needs to ferment.

To be done in advance

  1. Grind mustard seeds coarsely in a food processor.
  2. Take water in a glass bowl and add salt, red chili powder, hing, mustard seeds, turmeric powder and mustard oil in it. Just stir to mix all and keep aside covered for 3 – 4 days.
  3. After 3 – 4 days, refrigerate it to chill until serving.

When ready to serve

  1. Drain and grind the lentils coarsely in a food processor or blender jar. Transfer the mixture in a shallow bowl and beat well for 5 minutes till it becomes light and fluffy.

Tip: Beat the batter nicely as the softness of the vadas depends on how well you beat the mixture.

You can keep dry vada for some days in refrigerator and soak in warm water to soften when required.

  1. Heat oil in a frying pan. Fry small portions of the mixture in hot oil and until golden brown.

Tip: You can use a spoon to drop small mixture balls in the oil or use wet fingers.

  1. When done, transfer fried lentil balls to a plate lined with paper towels.
  2. Soak vadas in hot water for 10 minutes before serving.
  3. Pour chilled kanji in glasses and put 3 or 4 drained and squeezed vadas in each glass. Serve!

Preparation Time: 30 minutes

Serves: 2

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