Gula Melaka or palm sugar, is a raw brown sugar made by boiling down the juice of various palm trees. It is commonly used and sold in countries where palm trees grow in abundance such as southern India right through to and including most of Indonesia. It appears as brown cakes, roughly the size of half a small coconut. As with many raw products, the quality and flavor may vary significantly according to the type of palm and the process used. The lighter, cinnamon coloured cakes are choice and sweet, so look out for them.
Can be used in a variety of dishes, as perhaps a sweetener for parfait’s, cakes, and puddings. Not to mention the subtleness it brings to curries and chili dishes.
Other names for palm sugar include:
Bangladesh/Bengal: gur (jaggery), taal patali (solid palm sugar), khejura-cini
Cambodia: skor tnot
Indonesia: gula kelapa, gula aren, gula merah, gula semut (gula jawa in the Netherlands)
Kannada: Ole bella
Kerala: panam kalkandam, Karippatti, Karipetti, Karippotti
Laos: nam tan pip
Malaysia: gula anau, gula melaka , gula kabung , arenga pinnata
Sri Lanka: jaggery, kitul-hakuru, tal-hakuru
Tamil Nadu: panam karkandu,Karupatti,panai vellam
Telugu: nalla bellam, thaati bellam (palm jaggery)
Thailand: coconut palm sugar: (Thai: น้ำตาลมะพร้าว; rtgs: nam tan maphrao); sugar palm sugar: (Thai: น้ำตาลโตนด; rtgs: nam tan tanot)
Vietnam: đường thốt nốt