While driving back from Dehradun to Delhi, we crossed Muzaffarnagar and spent time understanding the fascinating process of making Jaggery (termed ‘Gurh’ in Hindi) at this roadside unit.
The state of Uttar Pradesh tops in Sugarcane production in the country and thus, not surprisingly, Muzaffarnagar District in Uttar Pradesh has the largest jaggery market in the world – we learnt this during the course of our interactions with elderly men owning this unit.
As per BBC food website, “Jaggery is a completely unrefined sugar made from sugar cane juice that is reduced (cooked down) and set into blocks. It has a wonderful, rich flavour, somewhere between molasses and caramel depending on the quality and season.”
But for me, ‘Gurh’ as I commonly refer to it, is something I love having a little block off after my meals. It helps in aiding digestion and is non-fattening, says my mother.
Recent scientific studies have proved that consuming a small piece of Jaggery every day can fight carbon pollution and this is thus a popular way to protect factory workers who work in polluted environments.
You can perhaps consider stocking some little blocks of ‘Gurh’ in your medicine kit and remember the information shared above as a travel tip on your travels across Indian cities that are battling high pollution levels.