In the heart of Orissa, where the date palm grows abundantly, a sweet tradition has been flourishing for generations. This tradition revolves around the extraction of nolen gur, also known as "new jaggery," from the sap of the date palm tree. The process is laborious, but the end product is a winter specialty that holds a special place in the hearts of Odias.
The Date Palm's Rich Connection with Orissa
The date palm has woven itself into the cultural fabric of Orissa, inspiring painters, poets, and the common people alike. The rustling leaves of the date palm have been celebrated for their musicality, and the sweet produce, be it date palm jaggery or fresh toddy, is a cherished part of Odia cuisine.
The Art of Tapping: Shiulis and Gachias
The individuals responsible for bringing nolen gur to our tables are known as shiulis or gachias. These skilled artisans grow the date palm trees and collect the sap with expertise passed down through generations. Every evening, during the right season, shiulis climb to the top of the tall trees, scraping the outer layer to reveal the precious kernel. A bamboo pipe links the exposed kernel to an earthen pot, where the sap collects overnight.
"The shiuli's expertise lies in his hands: the more experienced he is, the sweeter the sap," remarks a fourth-generation shiuli. However, the heyday of the shiulis is now a tale of the past, with changing preferences and the arrival of synthetic substitutes leading to their disappearance.
The Nolen Gur Making Process
The process of making nolen gur is an intricate dance between tradition and time-consuming craftsmanship. The collected sap is boiled over a wood-fired earthen oven for more than an hour, releasing a heady aroma as it transforms into the coveted nolen gur. Further boiling results in dana gur, a grainy jaggery poured into earthen pots to cool down, taking the shape of the container and becoming patali gur.
Challenges and Changes Over Time
Despite the cultural significance and the efforts of artists like Sarfuddin Ahmed, who conceptualized the Rasamotee International Art Festival to preserve the skills of the shiulis, the production of nolen gur has faced challenges. Climate change and urbanization have led to the decline of date palm trees, and the younger generation's disinterest in this unique profession has further contributed to the drop in production.
The Role of Govedic in Nolen Gur
In the midst of these challenges, brands like Govedic have played a crucial role. Their Liquid Palm Jaggery has become a symbol of preserving traditional methods while adapting to modern needs. The high-quality jaggery from Govedic complements the authentic taste of nolen gur, ensuring that the legacy lives on.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Palm Jaggery:
Is palm jaggery and date palm jaggery the same?
No, they are not the same. While both are derived from palm trees, date palm jaggery specifically comes from the sap of date palm trees, offering a distinct flavor and characteristics.
Is palm jaggery the same as date jaggery?
The terms "palm jaggery" and "date jaggery" are often used interchangeably. However, it's important to note that not all palm jaggery comes from date palms. Date jaggery specifically refers to the jaggery obtained from date palm trees.
What is the price of Khajur jaggery 1Kg?
The price of Khajur jaggery (date palm jaggery) can vary based on factors such as the brand, quality, and location. It is advisable to check with local vendors or online retailers for the most accurate pricing information.
Is palm jaggery and karupatti the same?
Yes hey are same.
Which palm jaggery is best?
The choice of the best palm jaggery depends on personal preferences. Factors such as taste, texture, and quality may vary among different brands. Experimenting with various options can help determine which one suits individual preferences.
Which brand palm jaggery is best?
Preferences for the best brand of palm jaggery can vary. Govedic is one brand known for its high-quality Liquid Palm Jaggery. However, it's recommended to explore different brands to find the one that suits your taste.
Is date palm jaggery healthy?
Yes, date palm jaggery is considered a healthier alternative to refined sugar. It contains natural nutrients and minerals, making it a better choice for those looking for a nutritious sweetener.
Which is better, jaggery or dates?
Both jaggery and dates have their own nutritional benefits. Jaggery is a sweetener rich in iron and other minerals, while dates are a natural sweet fruit with fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants. The choice depends on dietary preferences and nutritional requirements.
Which variety of dates is best?
The best variety of dates depends on personal taste preferences. Popular varieties include Medjool, Deglet Noor, and Barhi. Each variety has its own unique flavor and texture.
How do you eat date palm jaggery?
Date palm jaggery can be consumed in various ways. It can be used as a sweetener in beverages, desserts, or traditional recipes. Some prefer eating it directly, savoring its natural sweetness.
What is the expiry date for palm jaggery?
Palm jaggery generally has a long shelf life. However, it's advisable to check the packaging for specific expiry or best-before dates. Proper storage in a cool, dry place can also extend its shelf life.
Does palm jaggery expire?
Like any natural product, palm jaggery can eventually degrade in quality. While it may not have a strict expiration date, it's recommended to use it within a reasonable time for optimal taste and quality.
Is vellam and karupatti the same?
No. Vellam is a term used for sugarcane jaggery in some South Indian languages, while karupatti specifically refers to jaggery made from the sap of the Palmyra palm tree.
Is karupatti and panakarkandu the same?
No, they are distinct. Karupatti is palm jaggery, while panakarkandu refers to palm sugar crystals. They are both sweeteners derived from palm trees but have