With the cold temperatures affecting everyone in the country, we need to turn to healthy foods and ingredients that will warm us up from the inside. Once such invaluable ingredient is a sweet derivative of sugarcane known as jaggery or gur. All the shops and vendors have lined up hordes of products claiming them to be organic jaggery. As a customer, most of them may look genuine to you, but are they really the purest form of organic jaggery? We’re sure that you’d want to buy only pure jaggery, which is why this blog will help you identify the signs of pure jaggery.
What is jaggery?
Jaggery or gur is a sweetener and healthier alternative to white sugar. Conventionally it is made using sugarcane; however, there also exists organic jaggery produced using Palmyra, toddy, date palm, and coconuts.
Jaggery is a part of every Indian household and has several health benefits such as being a potent digestive. Being a rich source of vitamin C and iron, it is highly recommended for anemic people and menstruating women. Jaggery is used by many to improve blood circulation; this also helps to boost immunity and stay warm from within.
What makes organic jaggery better than regular jaggery?
Organic jaggery does not consist of additives such as artificial sweetening agents (saccharine). There is also no adulteration of color and materials like chalk to alter its texture and quality. Only ethically farmed and sourced sugarcane is used to make organic jaggery. Since sugarcane juice is slow boiled and then filtered to preserve all the nutrients and remove all impurities from the organic jaggery.
How to buy pure and organic jaggery?
Organic and top-quality jaggery has a distinct flavor profile, sweetness, texture, and color. It is not too sweet and hard enough to be clumped together but can soften easily in warmer temperatures. If you want to purchase organic gur to beat the winter chill and make absolutely decadent desserts, here are a few tips to find the genuine type:
Test the taste: The best way to know the authenticity of organic jaggery is to taste a piece of it from the vendor or package. High-quality organic gur tastes sweet, dense, and rich. Good quality organic jaggery does not taste salty. The salty taste comes from the presence or formation of mineral salts. Alternatively, older jaggery also tastes salty, so it is safe to skip the lot. If you find a bitterness to the sampled jaggery, the liquid may have over caramelised.
Impurities and crystals: While checking out the packages of jaggery, look out for any crystal formation. This can be an indicator of the jaggery being put through additional sweetening processes. Genuine organic jaggery will look lumpy but won’t have any crystals on it.
Colouring: Ideally, you’ll immediately be able to tell the purity of jaggery by looking at the color. Organic jaggery can range from a deep yellow ochre to brown. If you find that the jaggery at a vendors is very yellow, there may have been some color added to give gur that shade.
Buy solidified jaggery: Skip out the powdered jaggery from marketplaces as this gives more room for adulteration. Instead, buy solid jaggery since all the impurities get filtered in the boiling phase of organic gur.
How to check the purity of the jaggery you’ve purchased?
If you’re buying organic jaggery from the marketplace, you may come across vendors that add chalk powder in the jaggery to increase the quantity. Such jaggery is loosely sold, costs less, and also looks pale or brittle. However, if you’ve already bought some jaggery and want to check for its purity, use a transparent bowl to dissolve a chunk of jaggery in warm water. If there is any trace of chalk powder in the mix, you will find it settled at the bottom of the bowl.
Jaggery can be used to make delicious sweet dishes like kheer, payasam, laddoos, and more. Additionally, they can also be used in kadha and herbal medication to cure a cold. Now that you know what to look for, we hope you’ll be able to easily spot pure organic jaggery in the market next time you are jaggery shopping!