Jaggery is a "natural" sweetener made by the concentration of sugarcane juice
so is sugar but sugar is refined before thickening the juice. So, the main
difference between jaggery and sugarcane is that jaggery has molasses (vitamins, minerals
and iron) and sugar does not. Jaggery has a distinctive taste and can have a consistency
as soft as honey-butter or as solid as fudge and sugar is cystal. The color of
jaggery can vary from golden brown to dark brown. While sugar is made only of sucrose,
jaggery is made up of predominantly sucrose, mineral salts, iron and has fiber.
It is popular form of using sugar in Asia, Africa, Latin American and the Caribbean
where sugar is grown. It is a dark, coarse, unrefined sugar. Jaggery, which accounts for
50 percent of the sugar eaten in India, is made from sugar cane and is processed by a
method not unlike that used to make maple syrup here in Minneapolis. The sweet sap from
the sugarcane is boiled down while several people help stir the steadily thickening syrup.
The finished product.
How to use jaggery?
- In cooking jaggery can sweeten both sweet and savory dishes.
- Jaggery is used to flavor vegetables simmered in ghee seared spices.
- Jaggery is also added to lentil soups (dal) to add sweetness to balance the spicy,
salty and sour components.
- Jaggery is indespensible to make sweet, sour chutneys. These chutneys are then
used to add flavor to meals.
- Pumpkin and squash are sweetened with jaggery.
- Jaggery pairs well with coconut, peanuts and panch phoran spice blend and
- Gur is added to rich, brown puddings in South India called payasums - made
from jaggery and rice, wheat or dal. These delicious desserts are enriched with spices
like cardamom and dried fruits, sesame seeds, shredded coconut, peanuts, coconut milk and
- In Bengali cuisine it is very common in making sweet dishes. Special sweet dishes
are made by mixing jaggery with milk and coconut. Popular sweet dishes like Naru or
Patisapta Pitha are made by mixing jaggery with fresh coconut shreds.
- Jaggery is also molded into novelty shapes as a type of candy.
- Sweets like jaggery brittles combined with sesame seeds, cashew nuts, pea nuts and
jaggery cake made with pumpkin preserve, and spices. Gazak Rolls prepared in
pure ghee with Jaggary (Gur).
Ayurveda info on jaggery?
Jaggery is recommended in case of iron deficiency anemia. Since jaggery is
made up in iron vessels, it is also rich source of iron.
Jaggery is made up of longer chains of sucrose, is digested slowly and slowly releases
energy and may be consumed by diabetics in small quantities as it predominantly is made up
Jaggery benefits as a cleansing agent and cleans the lungs, stomach, intestines, esophagus
and respiratory tracts.
What is jaggery in:
India: gur, jaggery
Sri Lanka: hakuru, jaggery
Thailand: nam taan oi