Jaggery is a healthy byproduct of cane sugar. It is made with concentrated cane juice without the separation of the molasses or the crystals. It is also called non-centrifugal sugar. Jaggery undergoes a 3-step process that involves extraction of the cane juice or sap, clarification of the juice in large containers to strain the produce into a clear liquid and finally the concentration of the liquid which is boiled in a large container while skimming off the top and only yellow dough-like substance remains. It is produced in large quantities, predominantly in parts of Africa & Asia and is very similar to the Latin American Panela. Jaggery is usually golden brown and can range up to dark brown hues depending on the process it undergoes.
Jaggery is great for the liver as it helps with its detoxification and further, also improves your immunity along with improving anaemia. It is a great substitute for sugar as it contains lesser calories than sugar and also healthier in terms of sucrose content. Jaggery is used extensively in making sweets in many parts of India due to its unique taste and stringy quality. It beautifully combines with coconut, peanut, milk and is used to make traditional sweets & candies. Jaggery is called Gur in Hindi, Vellam in Tamil, Tapa dulce in Costa Rica, Gula Melaka in Malaysia. Some sweets that are made using Jaggery are Adhirasam, Kozhakkattai, VerkadalaiUrundai, Gur Papdi, Wheat Laddoo, and in the western world as a substitute for sugar in baking.
Jaggery is a great food for women on their periods as it soothes the stomach and helps with their menstrual health.
Jaggery is a wonderful option for those who have a sweet tooth and are conscious about their intake and thus serves as the perfect snacking option especially after food as it aids in digestion.