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What is jaggery (Gur) and how is it made?
Jaggery or Gur, as it is called in Hindi, has emerged as an amazing substitute to refined sugar. It is an unrefined non-centrifugal form of sugar that is widely consumed in Asia and certain parts of the Americas.
Aside from its sweetening properties, there are numerous health benefits of jaggery consumption regularly, and this fact has driven hordes of people to opt for jaggery in their diets instead of refined sugar.
It is an excellent substitute for refined sugar and also contains a host of nutrients and minerals. Moreover, the roasted woody aroma of jaggery has made it highly popular for use in many Indian sweets.
Around 70% of the global jaggery production happens in India. Typically, it is produced using the sugarcane juice but jaggery produced using palm juice is also common in a few countries.
If you are wondering how is jaggery made exactly, this post might clear up a few things for you. Moving forward, we will have a look at all the intricacies involved in jaggery production and how can you make jaggery at home. But first, let’s have a look at the nutritional profile of jaggery.
Jaggery Nutritional Profile
When compared to regular refined sugar, jaggery has an impressive nutrient profile. Refined sugar only has empty calories that have almost zero nutritional value, but jaggery is rich in essential nutrients such as Iron, Potassium and Calcium.
This makes jaggery an excellent choice for health-conscious individuals who want a bit of nutritional value from the sweeteners they consume. Below is a comparison chart of the nutrient constituents of jaggery and refined sugar sourced from FatSecret:
|Nutrient||Value Per 100g||Value Per 100g|
|Energy||383 Kcal||387 Kcal|
The table above clearly lays out the nutrient comparison between refined sugar and jaggery. As might be evident, the nutrient composition of jaggery is significantly rich as opposed to refined sugar that makes it fit for everyday consumption as a sweetener. Now, let’s look at how is jaggery made.
How Is Jaggery Made?
Jaggery preparation involves boiling the sugarcane juice, and the process requires primarily 3 steps: extraction, storage, and boiling. Here is a detailed breakdown that explains how is jaggery made.
- The sugarcanes are pressed or crushed in a machine, and all the juice is extracted from them.
- The juice is collected and stored in large containers to be stored for several hours.
- This process helps in separating suspended sediment from the juice and improves the texture of the finally produced jaggery.
- The storage period settles the sediments to the bottom of the container, and the resultant clear juice is poured into a large flat bottomed vessel for boiling.
- The sugarcane juice is stirred constantly, and impurities are sieved away until we get a brown and thick paste at the bottom of the vessel.
- This dough-like substance is then transferred to mould of desired shapes and allowed to cool down.
- Once the paste cools down entirely, it will solidify and become jaggery.
The colour and texture of the jaggery thus produced will highly depend upon the quality of the sugarcane and the quality of the juice that is produced. These steps layout how gur is madein a large scale preparation. If you are wondering how is jaggery made at home, keep on reading!
How Gur Is Made At Home?
These points explain every stage regarding how is jaggery made at home. Let’s begin!
- ¼ cup ladyfinger (Bhindi) water.
- 450ml sugarcane juice.
- Few ladyfingers.
That’s it! These three ingredients are everything that you need to prepare 100% pure and unadulterated jaggery at home. The ladyfinger water helps in separating the greenish waste layer from the sugarcane juice while boiling. Now, let’s look at how is jaggery made at home:
- Cut a few ladyfingers in a bowl and mix ¼ cup of water.
- Mix it well and then strain the water from the mixture.
- Now, pour the sugarcane juice along with the ladyfingers water in a thick bottomed vessel and bring it to boil.
- As the mixture starts to boil, you will notice that a greenish layer starts appearing at the top. Remove this layer using a sieve or a perforated ladle and boil the mixture further.
- Keep boiling until the mixture thickens.
- Now, to check the jaggery formation, take a small amount of the thick paste and put in in a glass of water.
- If the jaggery dissolves, you need to boil the paste more. If it does not dissolve easily, you can take the mixture off the stove and let the mixture cool off.
- Take a pan or mould and grease it’s surface using ghee or vegetable oil.
- Transfer the contents of the bowl to the mould and let it dry for a day or two.
- Once the jaggery is dried, take a pointy object and remove it from the mould.
- Let it dry again for a day or two so that the entire structure becomes hard.
- Your 100% pure homemade jaggery is ready for consumption!
These steps might have made it clear as to how is jaggery made at home. Enjoy the wholesome goodness of this delicious sweetener as a standalone dessert or by mixing it with kheer or a recipe of your choice!
Also, organic jaggery is equally good if not better since it’s free of harmful chemicals. Try 24 Mantra Organics’s Jaggery Powder and taste the goodness of organic food.