The scrumptious kanji wada is a traditional dish made for the auspicious festivities of Holi. According to locals and several food connoisseurs, this spicy dish that is both a drink and a light snack is best enjoyed in Khurja.
This dish is very simple to prepare and has a lightly flavoured kanji and wada made of moong dal. First, about 2 litres of water is boiled and allowed to cool. Turmeric powder, red chilli powder, yellow mustard, salt, black salt, a pinch of hing and a little mustard oil is added to this cooled water. Some vendors also add finely grated or chopped carrot to this water.
The spiced water is poured into a glass jar and closed with a muslin cloth. It is allowed to ferment for three days. However, it is necessary to open the jar every day and stir the water with a wooden spoon. The kanji by the third day will be mildly sour. One can even drink this as it is an excellent digestive and highly recommended by elders after the Holi celebrations.
A small measure of moong dal is soaked for a couple of hours. It is thoroughly cleaned and ground with a little water. The batter is whisked well with a little salt till it becomes airy in texture. Small balls of this batter are deep-fried in a large kadai.
The excess oil is drained out from the hot wadas. They are soaked in lukewarm water for 15 minutes and then, lightly squeezed. Generally, the wadas are soaked in the kanji for a few hours. While serving, 2 to 4 soft wadas are placed in a bowl or glass and a ladle of khatta khatta kanji is poured over them.
The kanji is delightfully refreshing with a hint of tanginess while the wadas are spongy and light.
Written by Lakshmi Subramanian
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