Palm Jaggery, a healthy alternative to sugar is obtained from the sap extract of Palm tree or Palmyra tree. It is a must keep in all Indian kitchens, a healthy alternative to refined white sugar.

Commonly known as Karupatti in Tamil, Nolen Gur in Bengali, Taatibellam in Telugu and Gur In Hindi, it exhibits a wide range of health benefits. While the benefits of white sugar get washed away while processing, the nutrients in Palm sugar or jaggery remain intact.

Being a rich source of Potassium, it aids in weight loss by reducing water retention and stomach bloating. It also acts as an energy booster, helps treat cough and cold, heals migraine and improves digestion.

It is a key ingredient in most of the Bengali sweets or Sandesh and it is also extensively used in various sweets in southern India.

Here we bring you two recipes, one Bengali and the other from a south Indian kitchen to satiate your craving:

Palm jaggery

Nolen Gurer Rosogolla (Date palm Jaggery Rasgulla)

Nolen Gurer Rosogalla, is a traditional sweet and is considered as the “Queen of all Bengali sweets”. The cottage cheese or chhena balls boiled in palm jaggery or nolen gur syrup is a popular dessert.

Nutritional facts

The combination of cottage cheese or chhena and palm jaggery is high on proteins, Vitamins A, B and Calcium and considerably low on fats making it an amazing sweet packed with nutrients.

Ingredients

1-litre whole milk

2 – 3 spoons of lemon juice or vinegar as required

2 cups palm jaggery syrup

3-4 cardamoms

4 cups of water

Method

For making the chhena, boil milk in a pan.

Once it comes to boil, simmer the gas and add the lemon juice or vinegar and keep stirring until the milk starts separating from the whey.

Pour the entire thing in a white muslin cloth and squeeze tightly to drain the entire water.

For making the Rasgulla, knead the chhena in a bowl for 20 mins to make a soft smooth non-sticky dough and roll them into small round balls.

For preparing the Syrup, mix water and jaggery in a heavy bottomed vessel and bring it to boil. Add the cardamoms for flavour and keep on stirring under low flame until the jaggery completely dissolves in the water and the consistency is smooth.

Pour the chhena balls one by one into the bubbling syrup.

Cover the vessel with a lid and cook for 35 – 40 minutes and simultaneously check and turn the rasgullas after every 10 minutes to avoid the syrup from becoming thicker.

Once the chhena balls completely absorb the syrup, it will swell up and become fluffy.

Turn off the flame and serve it in a bowl and enjoy it hot or cold.

2. Karupatti Halwa (Palm jaggery Halwa)

Palm jaggery halwa

Yummy and delicious karupatti halwa is a famous sweet made in Tamil Nadu and Kerala. The sweetness of the palm jaggery with the velvety smooth texture of the halwa is simply amazing and delights your sweet cravings.

Nutritional Facts

The richness of coconut milk, ghee and nuts in the halwa provide you with a good source of healthy fats, vitamins and minerals that can boost energy and pump iron levels.

Ingredients

1 cup grated palm sugar

¼ cup rice flour

3 cups coconut milk

½ cup ghee

½ cup water

1 tsp cardamom powder

For Garnishing

20 nos cashews

10 nos raisins

Method

In a sauce melt palm jaggery by adding water and strain it and keep aside.

In a bowl add rice flour, coconut milk and blend well.

In a deep bottom vessel add melted jaggery syrup and bring it to boil.

Now add rice flour and combine well without forming any lumps, till it thickens.

Add ghee little by little and keep mixing.

Cook on slow flame till the halwa thickens and releases oil from the sides. Add cardamom powder.

With remaining ghee season cashews and raisins, add to halwa and cook till oil completely leaves the sides.

Pour halwa in a greased tray and let it set for 2 to 3 hours.

Slice and serve delicious karupatti halwa.

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