Most of us have never heard of kaakvi and have no idea what it is. It is testimony to an increased dependence on western thought and ethos that we are slowly but surely losing touch with our roots, especially ancient homegrown (and certainly more nutritious) foods that India has always produced. So, while many of us would know about maple syrup and would have used it in some form or another, and mostly all of us know about honey, we have not heard of kaakvi, a wonderful best sugar alternative, liquid jaggery that is literally available in our own back yards.
Simply put, kaakvi is liquid jaggery or liquid ‘gur’ before it becomes the ‘gur’ that all of us use in our kitchens. It is amongst the most nutritious of sugar alternatives and is also extremely versatile in its use.
So, let’s learn a little bit more about kaakvi and its myriad benefits and uses.
Kaakvi or Liquid Jaggery is the in-between product that is obtained after clarification during the jaggery making process. As the liquid sugar cane juice begins to boil in a cast iron pan, the molasses separates out and the juice condenses into a thick viscous liquid, which is called liquid jaggery. If further boiled, it leads to solid jaggery.
Liquid Jaggery contains calcium, potassium, magnesium, phosphorous, iron, zinc, and sulphur among other elements and it is this mixture of vitamins and minerals that make kaakvi the medicinal powerhouse it is. No other form of sugar has this concentration of nutrients. While both honey and kaakvi are lesser processed natural sweeteners, kaakvi is slightly ahead in terms of both nutrient width and denseness. Interestingly, even though solid jaggery stands at a considerably higher GI score than honey, kaakvi has a lower GI score, so it trumps there too.
I also like the versatility of kaakvi. You can use it instead of gur whenever you require to sweeten a curry or a sherbet. Its liquid form helps it mix easily, spreading the sweetness consistently. Our family and friends have taken to it so avidly that they literally use kaakvi in everything from hot coffee to cold milk shakes to kheer to kokum agal sherbet. A friend of ours was so enamoured with kaakvi when he came home that he insisted on having a hot paratha with kaakvi as dessert! Personally, I enjoy putting kaakvi on the hot pancakes my husband makes on weekends making for a perfect cosy start to a lazy Sunday.
So next time you have a sweet craving, look no further than kaakvi and enjoy guilt free pleasure. Given that there are such few guilt less delights left in life now, I would recommend delay this no further.🙂
Author: Veena Malik