This dark, coarse unrefined sugar (sometimes referred to as jaggery) can be made either from the sap of various palm trees or from sugar-cane juice. Palm sugar is primarily used in India, where many categorize sugar made from sugar cane as jaggery and that processed from palm trees as gur. It comes in several forms, the two most popular being a soft honey butter texture and a solid cakelike form. The former is used to spread on breads and confections, whereas the solid version serves to make candies and, when crushed, to sprinkle on cereal, and so on. Jaggery has a sweet, winey fragrance and flavor that lends distinction to whatever food it embellishes. It can be purchased in East Indian markets.
From The Food Lover's Companion, Fourth edition by Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst. Copyright © 2007, 2001, 1995, 1990 by Barron's Educational Series, Inc.