Jaggery or ‘ Gur’ is a traditional unrefined whole cane sugar consumed in Asia. It is a concentrated product of cane juice/date juice without separation of the molasses and crystals, and can vary from golden brown to dark brown in color.It contains up to 50% sucrose it is used in place of refined sugar as a more accessible, cheaper and healthier sweetener. When mixed with other ingredients, such as peanuts, condensed milk, coconut, or white sugar, it produces a good number of locally marketed and consumed delicacies.
Jaggary– Names in different Indian Languages.
Hindi– Gur , Bengal – Gur, Gujrati – Gur , Punjabi – Gud,Urdu – Gur
Jaggery is a good source of Sucrose and Iron.
Jaggery is used as an ingredient in both sweet and savory dishes across India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. For example, a pinch of it is sometimes added to sambar, rasam, and other staples in India. Jaggery is also added to lentil soups (dāl) to add sweetness to balance the spicy, salty and sour components, particularly in Bengali cuisine, North Karnataka cuisine and Gujarati cuisine.
The Indian state of Maharashtra is the largest producer and consumer of In Maharashtra, most vegetables curries and dals contain it. This is specially used during MakarSankranti for making a dessert called tilgul. In Gujarat, known as Gol during Makara Sankranti, a similar preparation called Tal na Ladu or Tal Sankli is made.
Kakvi, a byproduct of the production of jaggery, is also used in rural Maharashtra and Karnataka as a sweetener. It contains many minerals not found in ordinary sugar and is considered beneficial to health by the traditional Ayurvedic medical system. It is an ingredient of many sweet delicacies such as gur ka chawal ("jaggery rice"), a traditional Rajasthani dish.
In Gujarat, laddus are made from wheat flour and jaggery. A well-known Maharashtrian recipe, Puran poli, also uses it as a sweetener apart from sugar. Jaggery is considered an easily available sweet which is shared on any good occasion. In Tamil Nadu, it is used in a dish called chakkarai Pongal (thi pongal). It is prepared during the festival of Pongal, which is held when the harvesting season begins.
In Oriya cuisine, cakes or piṭhas contain jiggery
In Bengali Hindu cuisine, it is commonly used in making sweet dishes, some of which mix jaggery with milk and coconut. Popular sweet dishes like laḍḍu / laṛu or paṭishapta piṭha mix it with coconut shreds. Jaggery is also molded into novel shapes as a type of candy. The same preparation of sweets have been made in its neighboring state of Assam. Some of the popular sweet dishes of Assam such as Til-pitha (made of rice powder, sesame and jaggery), other rice based pitha and payas are made of jaggery. In some villages of Assam people still drink salty reed tea with a cube of gurd (jaggery) which is popularly called cheleka- chah (licking tea).
Jaggery should be kept in airtight containers away from moisture and heat.
It is required to note the manufacturing date as the old jaggery taste different from the new one.