Granulated palm sugar or jaggery
Palm Sugar Vs. Jaggery: What's The Difference?
While brown sugar and white sugar are easy to tell apart, palm sugar and jaggery, two types of unrefined sugar, look more similar. However, they do have their own distinct traits.
Palm sugar and jaggery have thicker and coarser granules than refined white sugar. They're used in sweet and savory dishes all over India, Thailand, Vietnam, and parts of Africa.
Palm sugar can be derived from palm trees or coconut trees, and it's often called coconut sugar if made from the latter. Basic palm sugar and coconut palm sugar taste the same.
Palm sugar's flavor is like a mix of semi-sweet molasses and brown sugar, so it makes a good substitute for both of these, and you've likely tasted it before in traditional pad thai.
Jaggery, meanwhile, has a maple- and caramel-like flavor that is more similar to brown sugar than palm sugar is. It's most commonly sold in firm cubes or coarse, crumbly granules.
Jaggery also has its own unique health benefits, with vitamins and minerals that can aid in slower digestion, so your body absorbs less sucrose than it would with white sugar.
Jaggery is used in Indian sweets like fig jam, banana pancakes, and orange cake. Besides granules and cubes, both palm sugar and jaggery are sold in liquid and paste form.
You can find these sugars in the baking aisle of a supermarket or online. Whether you want to replace white sugar for health reasons or you're just curious, they're worth a try.