Jaggery or गुड़ as we know it in Hindi is often eaten as it is as a sweet; at least that's what I do :) And then there are millions of ways in which it can be used - to make sweets, as a sweetener for tea, as a building material, toothpaste, cattle feed, as a bait for hunting animals and fishing, and for many religious purposes. It is known to have many health benefits. It cleanses your body, acts as a digestive agent, sweetens your food in a healthy manner, and provides good amounts of minerals.
Many parts of Uttar Pradesh in India are famous for their produce of Sugarcane and for making jaggery. Recently, I was passing through one of these regions when jaggery production was going on in full swing. Here is the process that goes in to transform the juicy sugarcanes to this amazing sweet.
|Sugarcane is brought directly from the fields to these manufacturing units. Here, it is crushed at the entrance of these mini units. The sugar cane juice flows down to big boiling pots.|
|There are three of more boiling pots that are used to boil the incoming sugarcane juice.|
|The pots are kept hot by firing them up using the left-over sugarcane waste.|
|A person continuously shifts the concentrated sugarcane juices from the pot on the right to the left.|
|The jaggery gets collected at the bottom of the concentrated liquid on the right most pot. It is scraped from the bottom and put on a big plate for cooling down.|
|While cooling the jaggery is continuously rolled so that it remains soft and a texture is maintained.|
|After the jaggery cools down, it is rolled into smaller balls and kept for further cooling and hardening up.|