Saturday, 16 January 2016


Sugarcane is a cash crop with a long stalk that has high sugar content. The plant, botanically belonging to the grass family, grows in tropical and temperate climates and is the source of approximately 80% of the world's natural sugar production. It is widely cultivated in India, and during the summers, sugarcane vendors are a common sight. Armed with machines or occasionally, hand cranked presses, a glass of fresh juice is ready in minutes. Sugarcane juice in Maharashtra is usually served with the addition of ginger and lemon juice, both of which are fed into the juicer.
Sugarcane is sometimes peeled and cut into bite-sized chunks. These are called 'karve' (करवे). They're supposed to be chewed to extract the juice, which is swallowed, while the fibrous bits are discarded. I guess you could call it an ancient version of bubblegum. Once the sweetness is gone, you just spit it out !
Sugarcane karve 
A popular processed product of sugarcane juice is sugar cane syrup. It is called 'kaakvi' ( काक्वी ), which tastes like 'liquid jaggery' and is a common substitute for the same. However, if you are making Gulachi Poli or Jaggery Stuffed Flatbread, do not use kaakvi and stick to solid jaggery instead.
A glass of sugarcane juice
 is much healthier than you think !
From a religious point of view, sugarcane symbolizes sweetness and happiness and is thus a common sight during most poojas and rituals like bor nahan and tulshicha lagna.
Sugarcane has a number of health benefits too, it's antioxidants help boost immunity and fight infections, while high levels of potassium help in digestion. Studies show that due to it's high mineral content, sugarcane juice helps prevent tooth decay and bad breath. Although sugarcane juice tastes sweet,it contains natural sugars that have a low glycemic index that prevents sudden fluctuations in blood sugar levels. Thus, it is, in a way a diabetic-friendly drink. Type 2 diabetes patients though, should consume it in moderation only after consultation with their doctors.

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