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Sweetness in Jaggery | Organic Jaggery In Daily Cooking…

By – Dr. Kaviraj Khialani (Celebrity Master Chef)

Introduction to Organic Food

Organic food refers to food products that are produced using organic farming methods. Organic farming is a system of agriculture that relies on ecological processes, biodiversity, and natural inputs to produce crops and livestock. Organic farming typically avoids the use of synthetic pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers, and genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

Origin of Organic Food

The organic food movement began in the early 20th century in response to concerns about industrial agriculture. It gained momentum in the 1960s and 1970s, leading to the development of organic farming standards and certification programs. Today, organic food is popular due to its focus on sustainability and health.

Health benefits of Organic Jaggery

Organic jaggery, a natural sweetener made from concentrated sugarcane juice, offers several health benefits compared to refined sugar :

  1. Rich in Nutrients: Jaggery contains iron, magnesium, potassium, and other minerals, unlike refined sugar, which is stripped of nutrients during processing.
  2. Source of Energy: It provides energy over an extended period, making it a good source of sustainable energy.
  3. Digestive Health: Jaggery can aid digestion, acting as a digestive agent and helping in the treatment of constipation.
  4. Blood Purification: It is believed to help in purifying the blood, thereby improving overall health.
  5. Respiratory Health: Jaggery mixed with warm water or ginger is used in traditional medicine to treat respiratory issues like coughs and colds.
  6. Rich in Antioxidants: It contains antioxidants that help in boosting immunity and fighting infections.
  7. Regulates Blood Pressure: The potassium content in jaggery helps maintain the electrolyte balance in the body, thus regulating blood pressure.
  8. Aids in Weight Loss: Jaggery is considered a better alternative to sugar for those looking to manage their weight as it helps control hunger pangs.
  9. Boosts Immunity: The antioxidants and minerals present in jaggery can help strengthen the immune system.
  10. Better Alternative to Refined Sugar: Organic jaggery is a more natural and healthier alternative to refined sugar, which is heavily processed and lacks nutrients.

Uses of Organic Jaggery in kitchen

Organic jaggery can be used in various ways in the kitchen to add sweetness and flavor to dishes. Here are some common uses:

  1. Sweetener: Use it as a natural sweetener in beverages like tea, coffee, and smoothies.
  2. Desserts: Use jaggery to sweeten desserts like cakes, cookies, puddings, and Indian sweets like laddoos and payasam.
  3. Curries and Sauces: Add jaggery to curries, sauces, and gravies to balance flavors and add sweetness.
  4. Marinades and Glazes: Use jaggery in marinades and glazes for meats, tofu, and vegetables to add sweetness and depth of flavor.
  5. Baking: Substitute refined sugar with jaggery in baking recipes for a healthier alternative. It works well in bread, muffins, and cookies.
  6. Chutneys and Pickles: Jaggery is commonly used in Indian chutneys and pickles to balance the flavors and add sweetness.
  7. Drinks: Use jaggery to sweeten homemade beverages like lemonade, fruit punches, and herbal teas.
  8. Snacks: Use jaggery to make snacks like chikki (a type of brittle made with nuts and jaggery) or mix it with popped rice for a sweet and crunchy treat.
  9. Flavoring: Use jaggery to add flavor to dishes like porridge, rice pudding, and custards.
  10. Fermentation: Jaggery can be used in fermentation processes, such as making traditional fermented drinks like palm wine or kombucha.

Always remember to adjust the quantity of jaggery based on your taste preferences, as it can vary in sweetness.

Recipes using Organic Jaggery

1. Jaggery Glazed Carrots

Ingredients:

  • 500 grams of carrots, peeled and sliced into rounds
  • 2 tablespoons of organic jaggery
  • 1 tablespoon of ghee (clarified butter)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cumin seeds
  • Salt to taste
  • Fresh cilantro leaves for garnish

Method:

  1. Heat ghee in a pan and add cumin seeds.
  2. Add the sliced carrots and sauté for a few minutes.
  3. Sprinkle jaggery over the carrots and mix well.
  4. Cover and cook on low heat until the carrots are tender.
  5. Garnish with fresh cilantro leaves before serving.

2. Jaggery Tamarind Dal

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of tuvar dal (pigeon peas), washed and drained
  • 1 tablespoon of tamarind paste
  • 2 tablespoons of organic jaggery
  • 1 teaspoon of mustard seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric powder
  • Salt to taste
  • Fresh coriander leaves for garnish

Method:

  1. Pressure cook the dal with turmeric powder and salt until soft.
  2. Heat a little oil in a pan and add mustard seeds.
  3. Add the cooked dal, tamarind paste, and jaggery to the pan.
  4. Simmer for a few minutes until the flavors combine.
  5. Garnish with fresh coriander leaves before serving.

3. Jaggery Coconut Rice

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of basmati rice, washed and drained
  • 1/2 cup of grated coconut
  • 2 tablespoons of organic jaggery
  • 1 teaspoon of mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon of urad dal (black gram lentils)
  • 2-3 dried red chilies
  • A few curry leaves
  • Salt to taste

Method:

  1. Cook the rice with a little salt and keep aside.
  2. Heat oil in a pan and add mustard seeds, urad dal, dried red chilies, and curry leaves.
  3. Add grated coconut and sauté for a few minutes.
  4. Add jaggery and mix well.
  5. Add the cooked rice and mix until well combined.

4. Jaggery Sweetened Roti

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup of grated jaggery
  • Water for kneading
  • Ghee for cooking

Method:

  1. Mix the whole wheat flour and grated jaggery in a bowl.
  2. Gradually add water and knead into a soft dough.
  3. Divide the dough into small balls and roll out into rotis.
  4. Cook the rotis on a hot griddle, brushing with ghee on both sides until golden brown.

5. Jaggery Sweetened Rice Pudding (Kheer)

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup of basmati rice, washed and drained
  • 1 liter of milk
  • 1/2 cup of organic jaggery
  • 1/4 cup of chopped nuts (almonds, cashews, pistachios)
  • 1/4 teaspoon of cardamom powder

Method:

  1. Cook the rice in milk until soft and creamy.
  2. Add jaggery and cardamom powder and cook for another 5-10 minutes.
  3. Garnish with chopped nuts before serving.

6. Jaggery Sweetened Coconut Ladoo

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of grated coconut
  • 1 cup of organic jaggery
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cardamom powder
  • Ghee for greasing
  • Chopped nuts for garnish

Method:

  1. Heat a little ghee in a pan and add grated coconut.
  2. Add jaggery and cardamom powder and cook until the mixture thickens.
  3. Remove from heat and let it cool slightly.
  4. Shape the mixture into small balls (ladoos) and garnish with chopped nuts.

Conclusion

In conclusion, organic jaggery is a versatile and healthy ingredient that can be used in various ways in the kitchen. It offers several health benefits and is a better alternative to refined sugar.

Incorporating organic jaggery into your diet can not only add sweetness and flavor to your dishes but also provide you with essential nutrients and antioxidants.

Whether you use it as a sweetener, flavoring agent, or in traditional Indian recipes, organic jaggery can be a delicious and nutritious addition to your meals.

Dr. Kaviraj Khialani
Dr. Kaviraj Khialani
Chef Kaviraj Khialani is Swiss Certified in International Hotel Management & Culinary Arts. He is a Master Chef in over 33 types of International Cuisines & is certified by the British Executive Overseas Training Center-United Kingdom.
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