Popular jaggery based desserts from around the country
Dishes from around the country that include jaggery
Jaggery is a concentrated product of cane juice without the separation of molasses and crystals and can vary from golden brown to dark brown in colour. It is a traditional non-centrifugal cane sugar mainly consumed in the Indosphere.
This sweet ingredient has been used in Indian dishes since the seventeenth century and is now an inherent part of Indian cuisine. Although it’s mainly used in dessert dishes, jaggery is also used to balance out the spicy, sour and tangy tastes of various dishes.
Here’s looking at various sweet jaggery-based dishes in India:
Unni appam of Kerala
Unni appam is a spongy snack made from rice, jaggery, banana, cardamom, roasted coconuts, sesame seeds and coconut oil. Rice is soaked overnight and ground to a paste with ripe bananas, powdered jaggery and cardamom pods. Add roasted coconuts and sesame seeds and fry the batter in ‘appam’ mould until each unni appam becomes crisp and golden from all sides.
This vegan and spongy fried snack is very popular in Kerala and is also offered as a ‘prasad’ in many temples. In Malayalam, ‘unni’ means small and ‘appam’ means rice cake.
Nolen gurer payesh from Bengal
Nolen gurer payesh is a delicious rice pudding made with basmati rice, whole milk, chopped date palm jaggery, cardamom powder, chopped cashews and almonds. This dish has traditionally been a winter delicacy as fresh date palm jaggery arrives in markets of West Bengal during the winters. The jaggery gives the dish an earthy flavour.
The preparation of this dish requires few ingredients but involves lot of attention and time. The basmati rice is soaked for at least 20 minutes and the milk is heated in a heavy bottomed pan until it reduces to the desired consistency. The soaked rice is added to the milk and the mixture is cooked well. Once done, turn off the gas and add the jaggery to this mixture until it fully dissolves.
Nolen gurer payesh is usually served warm and seasoned with chopped nuts.
Pansache Dhonas of Goa
Ripe Jackfruit Cake, also known as pansache dhonas, is a traditional dish that is unique to Goa. In Konkani, jackfruit is called ‘panas’ while, ‘dhonas’ is a baked preparation made from jackfruit, semolina, grated coconut and jaggery. Normally, the juicy variety of jackfruit is preferred as it gives more sweetness and flavour to the dish.
The semolina is roasted and blended with deseeded jackfruit pulp, jaggery and other ingredients until it forms a smooth cake batter. The batter is poured into a cake pan and then steamed or baked. In Goa, the cake is usually cooked in an earthen pot directly over the wood fire. The heat is generated on top by the slow-burning coconut husks placed on the lid.
Once the cake has cooled, it is pan-fried in ghee and cooked till it becomes slightly crisp. The ripe jackfruit cake is then served for the dessert course.
Gur paare from Punjab
The gur paare is a traditional Punjabi sweet dish that is made during weddings and similar social occasions. This dish requires very few ingredients, such as all-purpose flour, jaggery, ghee, fennel seeds and some oil for frying.
The flour and ghee are kneaded into a dough with some water. It is then rolled out, cut into strips and fried. The fried strips are dipped in the jaggery syrup to coat them evenly. Once cooled, the strips of gur paare are ready for savouring.
Patholi from Maharashtra
Patholi are steamed rice rolls which are stuffed with fresh coconut and jaggery mixture. The special thing about the patholi is the steaming technique. These rolls are steamed in fresh and tender turmeric leaves that impart a unique flavour and aroma to the dish.
A thick batter of fine rice flour is spread on clean turmeric leaves after flattening out the middle vein of the leaf. The filling of jaggery and grated coconut is added on the layer. The turmeric leaf is then folded and steamed. The turmeric leaves are removed and the rolls are served warm with some milk or ghee.
Patholi is vegan, gluten-free and includes the goodness of turmeric leaves.\
Do you know of any other jaggery-based dishes? Share with your comments below