Day 28 of the March SOLSC! #SOL21

Spices and other ingredients for cooking 😊

Along with a number of spices  jaggery is also an important ingredient in our cooking. We add a little of it in everything we make. Maybe it is all in the mind, but when I forget to add jaggery my husband  feels something is missing. 😊
We get cube shaped , bucket shaped or square shaped blocks of jaggery. I make jaggery syrup at home by adding water to the some pieces and boiling it into one thread consistency. Jaggery is also available in liquid form. We recently bought a bottle of it and it and tastes delicious with dosas.

My father-in-law remembers that  jaggery was prepared in his home till 1944. Sugarcane was planted in June and harvested in March. Every year it was planted in different fields. A wooden mill was used to  extract its juice. An ox was tied to the handle and as it moved round and round the mill, the juice was squeezed out into a vessel. We saw this many years ago by the side of sugarcane fields in Aurangabad. The liquid was boiled for many hours in a huge vessel and when it reached a certain consistency,  it was poured into moulds. When it was cool and solidified , the product was stored in air tight containers. 

In Aurangabad

Writing this I remember a disturbing story we read in the papers. The southern parts of our state are famous for sugar factories. We read chemicals were added to whiten the jaggery. Unfortunately many believe the white jaggery is better than the dark one,

The memory of sugarcane factories is tied to  Hospet, where my father lived his childhood. There was a sugar factory outside the town and farmers grew cane to feed the factory.  But they prepared jaggery for their daily use in their own fields. The boiled liquid was poured into the moulds. When it started drying cream formed on the surface. My father and his friends knew when this happened and presented themselves in the fields. The farmers took a sugarcane and rolled it on the surface of the drying jaggery.  It was like a lollipop and was called ‘kene- bella’ in Kannada. Kene ( pronounced like the name Rene) is cream and Bella is jaggery. Read what my father writes, ” Taste it. If you have not done it so far you have missed the greatest event of your life. It is not just pleasure but something far greater than that.” 😊

https://www.vegrecipesofindia.com/glossary-of-legumes-lentils-in-english-and-hindi/

https://www.deccanherald.com/specials/insight/the-bitter-truth-of-karnatakas-jaggery-961724.html

By Lakshmi Bhat

I am a person who believes there is not enough darkness in the world to extinguish the light of a small candle. We live in a small place in South India. I love reading, blogging, stitching, traveling, photography, listening to people and many other things which make life so very nice and interesting. Blogging is a fun experience, it has brought me into contact with people in different parts of the world and it is good to read about their everyday life. In spite of the differences there is a sameness which is fascinating. I have learnt and am learning something everyday. I have learnt to write haikus. I enjoy combining the thought and the number of syllables. I have always read books and I was happy to write short fiction. I had thought I would not be able to do so. Stream of Consciousness and photo challenges are fun too. Yes, there is so much in life that is sad and that hurts us. Many a time I wonder why life is so unfair to so many. We all have problems in life but the problems of many seems unbearable. This makes me feel so helpless. It is not possible to help everyone but we can do our bit, we can do something to help some in whatever way we can. I go to the Home for the Mentally challenged in our campus twice a week. I have been going there since 2011. The members are an important part of my life. I did not go there last year. There have been so many changes in our life, we will always remember the year 2020. There have been many challenges in life and we have faced them with a positive approach. Our grandson and granddaughter have made life so much more richer.

18 comments

  1. We used to buy jaggery a lot in south India, especially in the Ooty market. It is delicious but almost painfully sweet I find. I know what you mean about the flavour. We don’t get much in the north east, no sugar cane and so it’s expensive. I do miss it. Thanks for your family history of it!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s strange, Mauritius grows sugar cane, but I had not come across jaggery until I saw it in Indian grocery shops in the UK. Cheers

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m so glad you explained what jaggery was because I thought it was pepper! How interesting all your blog posts have been this month! I love reading about your cuisine and your life there and the history behind everything.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. It is interesting, the commonalities in cultural cuisines…in Mexico (and therefore here, in Texas), one can find cones of sugar called piloncillo that is used in the same way your cubes are. And I vaguely remember chewing bits of sugarcane during my time in Thailand, sucking the sweet juices and then spitting out the fibers before taking the next bite. Sweet memories, pun intended!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Thanks for your slice. I’m sure there is a form of jaggery in Ghana as sugarcane is planted here. I need to find out. We peel the sugarcane and suck it as a snack, leaving the fibrous part. It is a whole job peeling sugarcane as the husk is very tough.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is sweet in taste. We use it in our desserts too. In our cooking to give a slight sweetish taste we use jaggery instead of sugar. In our cooking there is a slight flavour of sour, spicy using red chillies or green chillies or black pepper and of sweetness.

      Like

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