Because water kefir has such a delicate and refined taste, the classic Middle Eastern flavours of rosewater and saffron really shine through in this digestive elixir. Serve the water kefir topped with Persian fairy floss.
The beautiful colour of the saffron creates a golden glow in this exotic drink.
- 3 saffron threads
- 3 tbsp rosewater
Basic water kefit
- 3 tbsp raw sugar
- 3 tbsp hot water
- 1 litre (35 fl oz / 4 cups) filtered water or springwater
- Pinch of sea salt
- 1 dried fig
- 1 dried date
- 10 sultanas (golden raisins)
- ¼ tsp molasses
- 3 tbsp water kefir grains
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Allow 1.5 - 5 days fermentation time.
Put the sugar in a 1.5 litre (52 fl oz/6 cup) wide-mouth glass jar. Add the hot water and stir to dissolve the sugar. Add the filtered water, sea salt, dried fruit and molasses and stir well to combine.
Add the water kefir grains to the jar. Cover the jar with a piece of muslin (cheesecloth) and secure with an elastic band.
Pace the jar out of direct sunlight at room tempreature and leave the liquid to ferment for 1—3 days, depending on the tempreature.
Scoop out and discard the dried fruit from the liquid.
Put a funnel in the opening of a 1 litre (35 fl oz/4 cup) glass bottle with a tight-fitting lid and put a strainer on top of the funnel. Pour the water kefir liquid into the bottle through the strainer. Set aside the water kefir grains in the strainer to re-use or rest.
Add the saffron threads and rosewater to the bottle.
Tightly seal the bottle lid and leave the bottle in a warm place to build carbonation. This could take anywhere from 12–72 hours, depending on the temperature. ‘Burp’ the water kefir daily to release some pressure by opening the lid slightly and then tightening it again.
When the water kefir is as fizzy as you like (this could range from a small spritz to a ferocious fizz), store it in the fridge to slow the fermentation process, and enjoy cold.
Recipe from Probiotic Drinks at Home by Felicity Evans (Murdoch Books, sb, $27.99) Photography by Rob Palmer.