fermented rice water, kanji, rice kanji, homemade probiotic 1,704 views

Easy Homemade Probiotic Recipe to Improve Gut Health

In this article, we will share with you a simple and easy probiotic recipe that you can prepare at home. Before we go into the recipe, let us try to understand probiotics and their importance.

We have trillions of microbes in our gut. The number of microbes in our gut is more than the number of human cells we have in our entire body. Having a good balance of these good bacteria in our gut is very important for our immune system to stay strong and function effectively.

Unfortunately, because of our food and lifestyle habits, and the quality of environment that we live in, many of us have microbial imbalance in our bodies, which affects our immune systems as well.

Some of the things that affect the bacteria in our gut are as follows:

  • Antibiotics – through medicines or through food (consuming meat or dairy products from animals injected with antibiotics)
  • Consumption of inorganic or processed foods
  • Poor sleep cycles
  • Stress
  • C-section births
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Use of anti-bacterial products – they kill not only the bad bacteria, but also the good ones essential for our body!

In order to have good gut health, we need both: Prebiotics and Probiotics.

Prebiotics are easily available in all raw foods like fruits, vegetables, juices, salads, etc. Probiotics are present in fermented/live-culture foods, like yogurt, kefir, fermented pickles, sauerkraut, kanji, beet kvass and kombucha.

Today’s probiotic recipe can be made with no extra cost, just with ingredients that are usually thrown away. Plus, this recipe has been a part of our Indian tradition for thousands of years!

Here are the ingredients that you will need:

  • Millet/rice starch water (obtained when we boil millet/rice)
  • Chilli crowns/fenugreek seeds (either of them as a starter)
  • Fresh herbs/vegetables/spices (optional)

To watch a video of this recipe:

Recipe of the Homemade Probiotic:

  • Take some millet/rice of your choice that you would like to have for your next meal. Rinse it thoroughly with water once. Do not over-wash as that may remove some of the nutrients and starch present in the grains.
  • Soak the millet/rice in about 6 to 8 times water for 4-8 hours. (longer duration for cold weather, also depends on the size of the grains)
  • Once soaked, cover the container and boil it along with the water in a pot/vessel (not pressure cooker). DO NOT discard the soaking water. Use this water for boiling. (Alternatively, you can soak 1 cup millet/rice in 2 cups water. Separately boil 4-6 cups water and add to boiling millets. This way, you will cook the millets in less time.)
  • For this process, avoid using aluminium or non-stick cookware. Stainless steel or earthen pots will be a good option.
  • After boiling, separate the rice/millet from the starch water and store them separately and consume them as you like. Let the water cool down.
  • Once the water comes to a lukewarm temperature, move the contents to glass, ceramic, stone or earthenware. Stainless steel is not a good option for the fermentation process as bacteria reacts with metals.
  • Add the starter to this water. For the starter, you can use 5-6 chilli crowns (the head of chilli) or 1/2 tsp methi/fenugreek seeds. Here, you can also choose to add vegetables or spices of your choice to enhance the flavour. You can add green chillis, coriander leaves, jeera powder, etc. However, do not add any salt now, because that will slow down the fermentation process.fermented rice water, kanji, rice kanji, homemade probiotic
  • Keep this mixture covered, in a dark place which is slightly warm. Do not keep it in very hot or very cold conditions. Let the mixture sit for 8-16 hours.
  • Once ready, you will notice few air bubbles, and it will smell and taste a bit sour.fermented rice water, kanji, rice kanji, homemade probiotic
  • Add some salt to it and leave it for an hour.
  • After 1 hour, the drink will be ready to consume!


You can save one spoon of this drink (in the refrigerator) to be used instead of the chilli crowns or methi seeds for the next batch of probiotics. It will act as a starter and the fermentation process will be much faster.

This probiotic drink should ideally be consumed on an empty stomach. You can have it just before a meal. Avoid drinking it after a meal. Include this probiotic drink in your diet every day to maintain good gut health in your body!

Click here for some good brands of millets available in india.

Note: This is Priyanka Jain’s Recipe, Video transcribed by Rohini Ravee Ramanathan.

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Product recommendations by Priyanka in INDIA
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2 Replies

  1. Thank you for this recipe. Can any vegetable be Used to flavor The drink? I’ve been looking for something to help my gut health. I also plan to try your vegan yogurt recipe.

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