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I have big chunks of jaggery. I want to turn them into fine powder.

What is the best way to turn the chunks of jaggery into their powdered form?

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3 Answers 3

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I don't get to an Indian grocery very often, so I buy a huge block of rock-like jaggery to keep at home. Over time, I chisel off some more manageable pieces, and turn those pieces into powder as needed. So, my process is:

  1. Literally a hammer and chisel for the big block. Sometimes sawing with a serrated blade is useful, too.
  2. To make powder from a chunk, I use a box grater with the "zester" or "star grater" side of the tool. Do not use the "shredding" side(s) of the box. I have not had luck with a food processor; the jaggery is too hard, and sticks to the blades rather than getting cut up. It stops making progress long before it's a powder.

Example of the grater side to use: (source)

enter image description here

Some misc notes:

  • Lots of recipes don't actually need a fine powder. You can just dissolve a chunk of jaggery in (hot) liquid, which may be easier.
  • In a pinch, a wide hammer (such as the flat side of a meat tenderizer) or rolling pin can be good for making powder. Put some smallish pieces of jaggery on a flat hard surface, and roll the hammer over them, crushing them. Do not whack in a hammering motion, just press down hard and roll it. This will not produce quite as fine a powder as the grating method, but it's pretty good.
  • It might be better to get a microplane-style "hand zester" and just use that on the big block directly. I haven't bothered buying one, yet.
  • You might have luck with a Parmesan grater — they are designed to turn a hard cheese into powder, which is not too far off from jaggery. Likewise, a nutmeg grater would have the right effect, too (though a little small). These all have essentially the same design as the "zester" side of a box grater, pictured, above; that's the important bit.
  • This video recommends microwaving the jaggery to soften it, then you can crumble it directly, rather than grating. It won't make quite as fine a powder still, but pretty good.
  • As others have mentioned, jaggery comes in various forms. Some softer/harder, bigger/smaller, etc. If you have the ability to visit the store as needed, you can maybe find something less labor-intensive (:
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I usually grate my jaggery block on a microplane grater although your standard cheese grater will work too. I haven't tried a food processor yet, although that would probably work.

Next time I'm going to get granulated palm sugar as I've found working with a jaggery block too much hassle.

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  • I'm fairly certain (though can't recall source, sorry) that jaggery is hard enough to damage food processor blades, so try at your own risk. I think the microplane is the way to go.
    – logophobe
    Oct 8, 2014 at 17:39
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    I think it depends on the jaggery. My block is fairly moist and more sticky than hard, but others have been harder. None of the ones I have had seemed hard enough to damage a processor blade but I would not assume anything.
    – GdD
    Oct 9, 2014 at 7:29
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A mortar and pestle should do a pretty good job also!

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