Palm Sugar Photo by stu_spivack
Palm sugar is often used in Indian cooking as well as Thai cooking. The dark-brown colored and crumbly sugar is also called gur or jaggery, is made from the sap of the sugar palm, or it can also be made from the palmyra palm. The tree trunk tree is tapped to drain the sap for months at a time. After extraction, the sap is then boiled down into a syrup consistency. The sticky syrup is usually dried into round cakes. By tradition, coconut shells are used as molds. Sometimes, the syrup is smoked before drying which gives the sugar a blacker color and highly distinctive, smoked flavor.