Road Trip Vignettes – Jaggery Break!

Jaggery break? We all have had breakfast break or lunch break or coffee break on road trips. Jaggery break?

Wondering what is this jaggery break all about?

Thats’s the fun of going on a road trip and getting new experiences.

When we were going on the long road trip from Bangalore to Rajasthan in Christmas last year, we chose to go through Nagpur. The reason being great roads and a chance to see Baji Rao’s memorial – remember the movie Bajirao Mastani – and Kishore Kumar’s home town in Khandwa. When we left Nagpur early in the morning after breakfast, we drove through a pristine road till Betul and then took a deviation towards Khandwa. Driving on the double lane highway, suddenly we came across numerous make shift units making jaggery on either side of the highway .

Poorna asked us if we want to get an experience of “Aaalemane” or “Jaggery making unit”. All of us jumped for it. Poorna pulled the car over to the side and we walked towards the unit.

“Aalemane” as it is known in Kannada is the place where Jaggery is made. It is interesting to see how Jaggery is made. The sugarcane is crushed and the juice is filtered through fine filter to a tank. The juice is then mixed with a colouring agent to remove impurities and to add light yellow colour. The filtered juice is fed to a series of pans where the juice is boiled to obtain consistent thickness. When it reaches the right consistency of thickness, it is poured into the open surface, mixed and filled into cans.

Let us take you through the experience of Jaggery break we had through these pictures.

jaggery break

The Cement ponds holding the sugar cane juice. The one in the middle is filtered juice with added agents – very small percentage – to get colour

Sachin trying his hand in filling the cans!. Notice the molten jaggery in the pond behind him.

Jaggery break

It is now Brinda’s turn to try her hand in mixing the Jaggery and fill the bins!

Jaggery break

Brinda lifting a cake!

It was interesting to talk to guys who were making jaggery. They were all from Bihar who comes during the winter season and set up make shift manufacturing units to make jaggery. After four months, they return back to their village. We could count at least 20 such units on the road and all of them were from the same district!

The best part of the whole experience was tasting the freshly prepared hot jaggery. Tasting like “Halwa”, it was delicious.

The jaggery break was an interesting experience. If you are a road tripper like us, you will spot these places in Sugar cane growing regions. Stop over and enjoy delicious hot jaggery!

A nice video on jaggery making on Youtube

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