Jaggery, two kinds ~
Huge cylindrical pale gold colored jaggery block; and smaller dark colored jaggery blocks
Gud (as it is called in Urdu language), or Sugarcane jaggery, is as the name suggests unrefined dehydrated sugarcane juice. Sugarcane juice is cooked in large vats in Indian villages until it is reduced to a thick syrup/paste. This paste is then poured into molds of different shapes and sizes, and allowed to cool and solidify into hard blocks. These jaggery blocks are crumbly in texture and have a great caramely flavor that cannot be substituted. Jaggery is an integral constituent just as sugar is in Indian cuisine. I prefer the pale golden colored Jaggery block, made in India product. It is available easily at most of the Indian stores, wrapped in plastic, or jute cloth. Break the huge block of jaggery into smaller pieces using a hammer and an old knife and store in the refrigerator in air-tight containers or zip-lock bags for a long indefinite life.
Have you ever tried Gud ki Chai (Chai sweetened with jaggery instead of refined white sugar)? If you havent, then please do. Such tea has a thicker feel and the flavor that Gud imparts to Chai is phenomenal with a pleasant musky taste.