In How to make Organic Jaggery – Part 1 we saw how Sugarcane is grown organically. Now its time for harvest. Sugarcane is harvested manually at Govardhan Eco Village using a large chopping tool, which is sharp on one side and blunt on the other. While the sharp end serves to cut the cane, the blunt end is used to clear the leaves off the cane.
Once harvested the sugarcane is transferred to the kitchen using bull driven carts. Bulls have been traditionally used for transportation in India and they provide a very economical and eco-friendly alternative for transportation. Traditionally when the economy was mainly dependent on Cattle, the number of Bulls was large and they were engaged in such purposes. However owing to mechanization today many cattle owners fail to utilize the potential of bull-power.
Then the sugarcane juice is extracted from the cane and is collected in a huge cauldron. Then a small portion of lime (200 gms in 200 lt of juice) is added to the sugarcane juice and set to boil. As the liquid begins to boil the molasses is separated out. The removed molasses can be used as cattle feed. As the temperature of the liquid raises it begins to foam and gradually the foam vanishes. At a certain stage the juice begins to boil, which is identified by formation of bubbles. By raising the stirring spoon one will observe that the consistency of the juice is still liquid-like. Upon further boiling the juice condenses into a thick viscous liquid, which is called Kakvi. Popularly used as a sweetening agent, this liquid Jaggery is very popular in this part of India. For making Kakvi, the boiling process is stopped at this stage and the liquid is allowed to cool, after which it is bottled. At Govardhan Eco Village, some portion of the sugarcane is utilized for making Kakvi.
For making Jaggery, the Kakvi is further boiled until the liquid becomes even thicker. While stirring a small portion of the boiling liquid is poured in a mug of water and cooled. While cooling it is made into a ball of Jaggery. This ball is hit against the inner surface of the cauldron and the sound is heard. If the sound is loud and clear, it is understood that the Jaggery is ready. However instead of making a loud clang, if the ball makes a damped sound, it is understood that the liquid needs further boiling. Using this simple traditional technique, Jaggery makers since ages have found the perfect temperature at which the sugarcane juice turns to Jaggery.
Once the right temperature is reached the boiling is stopped and the liquid is than transferred into a flat pan, to facilitate faster cooling. The liquid is stirred in the pan and when it cools down sufficiently, it is transferred into various moulds of different shapes and sizes. The Jaggery is than left aside to solidify and after a day it is extracted out of the mould and is ready for use. Using this traditional chemical free process, this year Govardhan Eco Village produced about 900Kgs of Jaggery and 300Kgs of Kakvi. Check out our organic store to try these products.