Gur: Streetside Sweet

IMG_0001The ensuing weeks will find me trotting around my home state of Punjab on an exciting new assignment. That aside, I look forward to re-acquainting with the idea of Punjabiyat – an elusive ethos that once was – of a shared way of life. A brief glimpse of which I caught on my visit to the Rauza Sharif last year.  Like most elsewhere, Punjabi tradition, too, demands a new beginning be marked by ingesting something sweet. Surely, a jaggery-laced post makes for as befitting a tribute as any barfi or ladoo, don’t you think?

IMG_0009A common winter sight along many a state highway is that of gigantic cauldrons bubbling lustily with boiling sugarcane juice.

IMG_0002Fires continuously fed with crushed and de-juiced cane strands by hardy veterans till the liquid reduces to desired consistency.IMG_0006

Once it achieves this fudge-like texture, it is poured into large wooden troughs and endlessly agitated till it further dehydrates.

IMG_0012While still hot, it is shaped into rough patties and sprinkled with saunf (aniseed) and magz (melon seeds), then left to cool.

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Following which, the freshly minted gur or shakar (powdered form in pic above) is piled up streetside, irresistibly beckoning to every sweet tooth that attempts to drive past.

 

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