Jaggery is made from Sugarcane. The juice is extracted from fresh sugarcane. Fresh Juice is the passed thru a filter & collected in a vessel. After vessel is full (batch) it is then transferred to shallow pan. From here it is slowly poured into a deep pan, which is heated from bottom. While pouring it is continuously stirred, so that impurities comes on out & it is then removed. Then it is transferred to another pan with more heat, stirring it continuously. Impurities are removed. In about 25 minutes it becomes slightly thick. Then it is transferred to 3rd pan with more heat. Here it is stirred for about 20 minutes, where is turns to golden brown & thick paste. It is then transferred to a shallow pan. It is allowed to get cool. Then it is poured in to required containers, which is then brought to warehouse. Containers are cleaned, labeled & placed in corrugated boxes.
The Jaggery contains 60-85% sucrose, 5-15% glucose and fructose along with 0.4% of protein, 0.1% of fat and 0.6 to 1.0% of minerals (8 mg of calcium, 4 mg of phosphorus, and 11.4 mg of iron per 100 gm of Jaggery). It is also found to contain traces of vitamins, amino acids and antioxidants. 100 gm of Jaggery gives 383 k-cal of energy.
Jaggery is used as an ingredient in both sweet and savory dishes. The various South Indian foods like rasam, dal and sambar are also prepared with the addition of Jaggery. In addition to its consumption in the raw form, it is used in the traditional dishes where it lends a touch of sweetness to the sourness and spiciness of the preparations. Further, it is used in the preparation of alcoholic beverages and to make items like candy, toffees, Jaggery cakes and other similar sweet preparations. Its regular usage is advocated in the daily diet as it is a healthy and unrefined form of sugar. Interestingly, Jaggery is used for the coating of insides of a tandoori oven to enable better flavor of dishes.