We all would have consumed Gur (jaggery) in one form or the other, either just like that or in some sort of sweet.
Gur is an unrefined natural product of sugarcane. It is a brown raw mass of sucrose and gets its colour, brown due to the presence of other elements than sucrose, namely wood ash and bagasse. The later is used in preparation of paper. Gur is a more healthier option than sugar, which is a refined form of sucrose.
It is mostly for human consumption, apart from making alcoholic drinks and Ayruveda medicines. It is quite popular in South East Asia, Latin America, North Africa ad Caribben Islands. India accounts for more than 60% of world’s jaggery production but Brazil is the major exporter. Apart from India, it is produced in Brazil, Thailand, Australia, Germany and Mexico.
Khusinagar in Uttar Pradesh has the largest number of Gur making units and in most places in India it is still made in the traditional way.
I wonder how many of us know how it is made from the Sugarcane juice. In the attached video (shot on Jhajjar Rohtak highway) you can see that first sugarcane juice is extracted which flows in a series of pits. It is here that all impurities are removed by mixing chemicals and boiling it.
Once it is thickened it is then left to set. Once done small lumps are removed, dried and stored.
The quality of the Gur is judged by its colour, brown means higher in impurities and golden means cleaner and better quality.