Gula Melaka (Palm Sugar)
Palm sugar is made from the sap of the palm tree. Fresh palm sap is boiled down shortly after collection to make concentrated heavy palm syrup. This syrup is poured into bamboo sections to form cylindrical shapes, or into small shallow bowls to form shallow hemi-spheres. The sugar range from, almost white through pale honey-gold to a deep, dark brown, with varying consistency.
Palm sugar is used throughout South East Asia – for both savoury and sweet dishes.
(Asian Food Channel)
I got this pure gula melaka (no added sugar) during my last visit to Melaka (a state in Msia)...it is fragrant...not so sweet..just perfect
I decided to make ponggal this year using gula melaka ;)
Wash 1 cup of rice with a handful of passi parupu...Boil 4 cups of water and rice..Add more water if needed..Stir once in a while so rice doesn't stick to bottom of pan...Cook till rice is very tender and soft.....Add in 1/2 - 3/4 cup of fresh milk, sukku powder, 2 pieces of cardamon, 3/4 cup of grated gula melaka and mix well...Lastly heat some ghee in a small pan and saute cashew nuts and raisin..Add this to the ponggal mixture and mix well...Add a pinch of salt...Mix..Turn off heat...Easy Ponggal is ready....