Jaggery i.e. Gud in Hindi, Bellam in Telugu, Vellam in Tamil, Sharkara in Malayalam, Bella in Kannada, is one the most used ingredients in Indian Kitchen. It is basically unrefined sugar which is obtained from raw and concentrated sugarcane.
Ever wondered why our elders ended a meal with it?
Some of its benefits are as below:
- Prevents constipation
- Detoxes the liver
- Cleanses the blood
- Boosts resistance against infections and helps prevent free radical damage
- Increases the haemoglobin count
- Helps in menstrual cramps
- Benefits pregnant women with its iron richness and folate
- Controls blood pressure as it contains potassium and sodium
- Provides high source of energy
- Jaggery can be enjoyed in many ways. Below are some of its most prevalent usage.
- Take it along with milk or roasted grams
- Use it as a sweetener or flavour in varieties of desserts
- Prepare various Cold Jaggery Drinks
- Medicinal usage such as mixing Jaggery and powdered ginger for cold and cough
Some interesting recipes to try with Jaggery are:
- Jaggery Dosa for kids
- Jaggery malpua
- Jaggery and muesli bites
- Bajra roti with Jaggery
- Shepu sweet idli
- Various kinds of chutneys
Jaggery is primarily used during Makara Sankranti festival. Jaggery is rich in calories and hence should be consumed in moderation. You should always buy jaggery produced with organically grown sugarcane for maximizing its befits. Also, store it in an airtight container to prevent from moisture. It is also good to consume a small bite of jaggery post lunch and dinner especially during winters.
Dr. Vijeta Goyal
Nutritionist & Diabetic Counselor