Gurh with assorted nuts
Gurh is there in our lives for so long now that we don’t even remember when the first time was it enters our culinary. Sugar and Gurh in South Asia or Southeast Asia are usually made of sugarcane juice as this is the home place of this giant grass (Saccharum officinarum), rest of the world has tasted it not before early 18th century.
After the introduction of refined white sugar, in rural communities, sugarcane growers used to make it for their own or community use only. The research about the use of manmade chemicals fertilizers and pesticide on the agriculture crops revealed the hazardous effects on human health. The spreading awareness about it created a fairly good market for the Organic or chemical free agriculture products. So organic/chemical free Gurh and raw sugar is regaining its market share.
Granulated White Sugar we commonly used in our food is purely sucrose, free from molasses and is bleached to be white with chemicals (like Sulfur dioxide etc.) not good for human health.
Gurh is supposed to be better than white refined sugar as it contains molasses and all the goodness of sugar cane. Gurh is concentrated sugar cane juice obtained through boiling it. Ideally it contains 50% Sucrose, 20% inverted sugar (our body metabolized sugar (Sucrose) by breaking it down to Fructose and Glucose which are called Inverted sugars) and 20 % moisture. Rest 10 % is wood ash, bagasse fiber, molasses and minerals etc.
- Source of Minerals & Fiber
Gurh is not an isolated sweetener and has molasses in it as well so, it is rich in vitamin B6, and minerals like calcium, magnesium, iron and manganese.
- Digestive Agent
Gurh activates the digestive enzymes and itself changes to acetic acid in the stomach, thereby speeding up digestion and making the process go very smooth, reducing strain on the intestines and digestive tract. A few grams of Gurh after heavy meal or eating meet is highly recommended.
- An Effective Cleanser
We normally not connect Gurh with “cleansing the body”, but that is actually one of the well-proven benefits of Gurh. Gurh effectively cleans the respiratory tracts, lungs, food pipe, stomach and intestines. It pulls out dust and unwanted particles from the body, while also giving relief from constipation, perhaps due to presence of fiber in it. Reducing constipation and stimulating the bowel movement further cleanses the body of the toxins which Gurh just cleaned out and prepared for excretion.
- Instant Energy
Gurh has Fructose and Glucose along with Sucrose and they are absorbed in the blood stream almost instantaneously and give a boost to your body when it required.
Reviving the tradition
Traditional ways of producing Gurh does not make a right product for the sophisticated urban consumer. The conditions are not hygienic, it is also cleaned and bleached by harmful chemicals. There is no innovation in the presentation to attract the consumer habitual of buying multinational FMCG as well.
We have not invented the wheel again but just have tried to correct the way it was being produced. We have revived the cleaning and color improving techniques our ancestors have been using for centuries. These have been replaced by shortcuts of using chemicals. The chemical cleaning is not only quick and time saving but cheap as well.
We have used the herb Gaozaban (Onosma bracteatum) and Suhanjna (Moringa oleifera) leaves to clean its impurities and Organic Milk for further cleaning from minute impurities and to improve color of the final product.
The shape is simple and easy to handle. The 3” x 3” size Gurh tablet cast out of an Aluminum die, can further be divided in to 9 pieces of 1 inch cube. This easy to use tablet prevents wastage in breaking it up. A variation with dry fruit will also come soon
It is not yet called “Organic” as the sugarcane growing on the lands have been using chemical fertilizers and pesticide in the past (3 years at least) but there is no chemical used in the process of making Gurh, so safely we can say it is “chemical free”.