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Jaggery info Tips and Information

Jaggery info and tips will help you in your cooking and food preparation.These are very useful and quite interesting information that you learn once and then apply at any time you need it.


jaggery info

Sugar cane grows in abundance in the tropical heat of central India. The deliciousness of sugar cane juice has caused many ras ki dukan or juice shops to open purely for the sale of this drink. But sugar cane also provides another substance which is very important jaggery. During the manufacture of sugar from sugar cane as the cane turns to crystal several by products are formed: molasses alcohol and jaggery. Jaggery is dehydrated sugar cane juice and is mostly produced by small cultivators in huge rural crushers run by bullocks. The jaggery is not purlfied and therefore has all the quality of the juice itself. Jaggery is as important as sugar in
indian cookery. It has a special flavour that cannot really be substituted for by sugar although brown or demerara sugar is the closest equivalent.

appearance and taste
Jaggery rangfes from mustard yellow to deep amber in colour depending on the quality of the sugar cane juice. It is sticky but an be crumbled easily. It is made up of big lumps which melt to form a thick gooey paste. Jaggery has a heavy caramel like aroma which is slightly alcoholic like sweet sherry or port. The taste is very sweet and musky.

buying and storing
Different varieties of jaggery are available some stickier than others but they are mostly interchangeable. Buy a small amount to try first and look for reputable brands like Kolhapur jaggery. (Kolhapur is a town in Maharashtra where quality jaggery is produced). You will find that the jaggery is moulded in various sizes and wrapped in plastic or in jute cloth. To store make sure that the container is dry or the jaggery will go mouldy. Use within 6 months.

other uses
Jaggery is used for making liquor in the villages of India. It is also distilled into ethanol used in environment friendly petrol.

culinary uses
You only need small amounts of jaggery for most dishes. It goes well with lentils and tamarind. Jaggery is melted over heat and blended with other ingredients. For sweets like the south indian payasam jaggery is simmered with cooked rice and a variety of spices and nuts. Brittle is made by adding nuts to melted jaggery and then cooling the mixture in thin slabs Sesame laddoos or puffed rice balls covered in jaggery are eaten enthusiastically. In rural India tea is sweetened with jaggery instead of sugar. The resulting beverage is thick and sweet and gives an instant boost of energy to farmers and workmen. Many drinks are sweetened with jaggery which makes the consistency and taste rather syrupy.

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