Jaggery is an unrefined sugar made in India that is not purified or filtered. It can be made from either sugar canes or palm tree sap.
There is no clear, universal distinction made across all the regions in India between Jaggery from sugar cane and Jaggery from palm trees, though sometimes you will see someone specifying “sugar cane Jaggery” or “palm Jaggery.” It’s made by many small producers, as it doesn’t need expensive refining.
To make it from sugar canes, the canes are crushed, and the juice from the canes is boiled down and dehydrated until only sugar crystals are left.
To make it from palm tree sap, the sap is gathered and boiled down and dehydrated until only sugar crystals are left.
Jaggery comes in lumps or moulded shapes. The colour can vary, from brownish yellow to amber. It is very sweet, though not as sweet as refined white sugar, and has a caramel smell. Some makes are stickier than others.
15 kg of raw sugar canes will produce 12 kg of jaggery.
Demerara sugar, Light Brown sugar, Muscovado sugar.
Jaggery is not as sweet as white sugar, so when substituting white sugar for Jaggery use about 1/3 less. When swapping Jaggery in for sugar, use anywhere from 1/4 to 1/2 more Jaggery than was called for of sugar (if you want to keep the recipe as sweet as it was.)
Don’t believe any of the usual nonsense about this particular kind of sugar being healthy; all sugar is sugar.
Store in sealed container (as can go mouldy). Use within 6 months.