With the temperature plummeting by a few notches, it is time you savour lip-smacking jaggery to keep your body warm. One can find jaggery in stores, road-side vendors and in the markets. It is an age-old practice to consume a spoon of jaggery during winter seasons as it is rich in Vitamin C.

Jaggery is consumed in Asian and a few other countries in Africa. Jaggery, the traditional raw sugar, is technically known as non-centrifugal cane sugar. It is made by boiling sugarcane juice for hours and allowing water to completely evaporate. Then the molasses is made into moulds. This traditional unrefined sugar is also used in several ayurvedic concoctions as a substitute.

However, due to adulteration of products, it is very difficult for a consumer to get quality gur of late. Here are a few tips to identify good quality jaggery in markets:

Before selecting a mould of jaggery, one has to taste a piece of jaggery to ensure that the it is not salty. The salty nature of jaggery suggest that the stock is old.

If jaggery tastes bitter, it has undergone a process of caramelisation during boiling. If one finds crystals in the jaggery mould it suggest that sweetener was added into its making. Colour of a naturally made jaggery is dark brown. If it is yellow or white, we can come to a conclusion that makers had used chemical treatment in the process and is not safe for consumption.