Jaggery or Gur is the perfect winter ingredient that enhances the flavour and texture of any dish. Chefs love it for its versatility and use it in preparing a wide range of sauces, glazes, jams, cakes, muffins and kheer. In fact, the traditional dishes of almost all the regions — from the mountain food of the North to Maharashtra, Gujarat and South India, use jaggery as a quintessential ingredient which renders a flavour so distinct that makes it irreplaceable in recipes.
Lately, the same humble Gur has also been enjoying quite a significant status in modern desserts as chefs are using it in their innovative creations.
A healthy alternative to white sugar, jaggery is known for its remarkable health benefits. It is not only rich in iron but also helps in the cleansing of your complete system, boosts digestion, aids in combating allergies as well as the woes of increased pollution.
A few recipies.
Palm Jaggery Whole Wheat Cake
Palm jaggery: 200 gms
Water: ½ cup (120 ml)
Wheat flour: 1 cup (120 gms)
Baking powder: 1 tsp
Baking soda/Cooking soda: ¼ tsp
A pinch of salt
Cinnamon powder: 1 tsp
Nutmeg powder: a pinch
Oil or Melted butter: ¼ cup
Preheat oven to 180 degree C. Line a baking pan with parchment paper, grease with oil and set aside.
Take palm jaggery in a sauce pan, add in water and heat till jaggery melts. Set aside to cool down.
Take wheat flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg in a bowl and whisk well.
Take eggs, oil, melted palm jaggery and mix well.
Add this to the wet ingredients and mix well.
Spoon this into the pan and bake for 30 minutes.
Remove it and cool down for 10 minutes.
Slice and serve.
By chef Mohammed Anas Qureshi
A melt-in-the-mouth, gelatinous sweet made with reduced palm sugar syrup, cooked with a mixture of rice flour, clarified butter and fried cashewnuts.
Palm jaggery: 500 gms
Rice flour: 100 gms
Corn flour: 50 gms
Ghee: 300 ml
Sliced almonds: 50 gms
Sliced pistachios: 50 gms
Soak the jaggery in a litre of water and make a syrup by boiling the water and then straining it.
Mix the corn flour and rice flour in 300 ml of water and strain it.
In a thick pan or a vessel, heat the jaggery syrup and allow it to reach the boiling point.
Add the rice flour and corn flour mixture to the boiling syrup and stir constantly till the mixture gets thickened.
Add ghee in regular intervals and stir it constantly till the mixture does not stick to the pan.
Grease the tray or bowl with ghee and transfer the cooked mixture into another utensil.
Top it up with sliced almonds and pistachios and allow it to set.
Cut into desired shapes and dive into this delicious winter dessert!
By chef Sheik Mohideen
Pale Ale and Jaggery Pannacotta
A sinful indulgence for the winter months made with jaggery and seasoned with grilled seasonal fresh fruits. Jaggery, the star of the dish, not only balances the ale with its earthiness and sweetness but also provides a hint of caramel colour and an aroma that elevates the dish.
Fresh double cream 750 gms
Jaggery 200 gms
Gelatin Leaves 2
Ale or any other Beer 200 ml
Any seasonal fruit of your choice
Cooking time: 10 minutes
Plus 4 hours setting time
Cook the beer and reduce it to half.
Add cream and jaggery together in a pan and cook over medium heat, making sure it does not boil.
Meanwhile, soak the gelatin in cold water.
When the cream mixture is hot and the sugar has dissolved, whisk in the gelatin. When combined, pour into 10 individual moulds or ramekins and refrigerate for about 4 hours until set.
Serve garnished with grilled seasonal fruit of your choice.
By chef Tarun Sibal
Gud ki Kheer
Raw Basmati rice: ½ cup
Powdered jaggery: ¾ cup
Milk 4 cups
Green cardamom powder: ½ tsp
Roasted cashewnuts: 12 pcs
Raisins: 2 tbsp
Heat milk in a non-stick pan, add rice, mix well and cook, stirring continuously till the rice is cooked. Add cardamom powder and mix well.
Heat ghee in another non-stick pan, add cashewnuts and raisins and sauté.
Transfer into a bowl.
Place the 2nd pan back on heat, add powdered jaggery and 1 cup water and stir continuously till the jaggery dissolves.
Switch off the heat and cool down to room temperature.
Add the sautéed nuts (reserving some for garnishing) to the 1st pan and mix well.
Add jaggery mixture and mix well. Garnish with nuts.
Serve piping hot on a winter evening or chilled at lunch as per choice.
By chef Rajat Chandana...