Fragrant and sweet Nolen Gur, Khejur Gur, Patali Gur is a special jaggery produced by date trees palm trees in Bengal only in the winter months. Many sweet shops, restaurants and hotels host nolen gur festival of traditional Bengali sweets during this time. The Gur is a starch extracted from the pith of several species of palm tree belonging to the genus Metroxylon, Cycas and Phoenix. The Gur is a staple food for the peoples. It is traditionally cooked and eaten in various forms, such as in pithas, mixed with boiling water to form a paste, or as a pancake.
The jaggery resembles many other starches, and both the Gur that the tapioca are commercially produced in the form of pearls, similar to each other in appearance, that can be used interchangeably in different dishes. This similarity causes some confusion in the names of dishes made with the pearls. Because of Gur starch produced by Metroxylon is the most used, this item will refer to Gur obtained from Metroxylon unless otherwise specified.
The palm trees are cut just before flowering when the stems are rich in starch. From a palm tree are extracted from 150 to 300 kg of Gur. Sago starch is cooked getting products similar to bread, flatbread or the biscuits or mixed with boiling water to form a dough. The Gur can be added to the pudding steamed, as the plum pudding and sago, may be in powder used as a thickener for other dishes, or it can be used as a consistent flour.
The starch is also used to treat the fibers making them more easy to work. The process is called sizing and helps to increase the cohesion between the fibers rinforzandole, make the outer surface more smooth, lubricate it to make easier the sliding on metal. Most of the fabrics and clothing is treated with sizing, which, however, leaves residues that are removed by the first wash.
In Indonesia and Malaysia, Gur is a staple food of many traditional communities of New Guinea, Borneo, Maluku and Sumatra. In Brunei , it is used to prepare a typical dish called local ambuyat. Commercially, it is used for noodles and white bread. Globally, its main use is in pearls like the Tapioca and often present in beverages and smoothies.
The sago starch is not only used in the food industry, but is also an important material in various industries such as paper, plywood and textile industries. The Gur is in fact used to produce adhesives, paper, ethanol, syrups with a high content of glucose and fructose, maltodextrins, cyclodextrins and monosodium glutamate.
The Gur starch through fermentation can be further converted to produce biodegradable plastic and ethanol diesel. The residual biomass can, likewise, be used for the production of energy and heat. Since many people rely on traditional Gur as a food essential, and since reserves are not unlimited, in some areas of the commercial or industrial uncontrolled harvesting of Gur can conflict with the food needs of local communities.