Gur becoming a sweet rage

11 Mar 2020

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NAROWAL: Brown sugar and jaggery or gurr, manufactured without chemicals, are new a rage in Narowal.

The process to manufacture gurr is toiling and involves several processes, said a farmer. The first step is to cut ripen sugarcane plants and brought to the plant where juice is extracted and peels preserved for burning.

In the past, bull run-machines were used for extracting sugarcane juice. Now, time-efficient engine-run machines have replaced bulls. Sugarcane juice is filtered with thin net and is poured into a pot and is placed on the fire. After boiling it for a specified time, a little amount of bleaching powder is added to it so that impurities in the sugarcane juice may be separated. While boiling it, the sugarcane juice is continuously shaken and stirred with a wooden stick so that it is not burnt.

When it gets condensed, the stuff is poured onto a big wooden sheet called ghad. When the condensed matter becomes hard, round balls are made of it with bare hands. These balls are then spread on a sheet and when they become cold, they are ready to be transported and for usage.

Muhammad Azhar, jaggery and brown sugar maker, said: “Up to 80 litre sugarcane juice is boiled on full flame in one stretch for about one and a half hour.” Sugarcane molasses are burnt for this purpose.

“Up to 80kg sugarcane molasses are needed to boil 80 litres of sugarcane juice. The fuel is is available to us free of cost in order to prepare gurr and brown sugar.”

Villagers, especially landlords, said they use jaggery and brown sugar in order to keep themselves safe from the severe weather conditions of summer and winter. Also, gurr is eaten after meals, in tea and dishes. Some landlords add dry fruits such as almonds, walnuts, pistachio, ground nut and coconut to improve its taste and quality.

Talib Hussain, 80, said, he was an ardent user of gurr prepared without chemicals as it kept our digestive system strong.Up to 60 to 80 maund of jaggery can be prepared with the crop of one acre.

Not only, people, animals are also fed on gurr. Muhammad Basheer said, he gave jaggery to his animals to prevent them from illness.

Published in Dawn, March 11th, 2020