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The term “misri” refers to crystallized sugar lumps. Misri has its origins in India and Persia.
Arabic writers in the first half of the 9th century have described the production of candy sugar or misri in their parts of the world: Crystals were grown as a result of cooling supersaturated sugar solutions. In order to accelerate crystallization, confectioners later learnt to immerse small twigs in the solution for the crystals to grow on. The sugar solution was coloured with cochineal and indigo and scented with ambergris or flower essence.
In India, misri is often uncoloured or tinged mildly with orange food colour. Other food colouring may be added to the mixture to produce coloured candy. Misri has many culinary uses and is preferred over refined sugar by some.
Powdered misri-Misri can be powdered coarsely by pounding in a mortar with a pestle, or powdered finely in a mixer-grinder.
How to select
• Misri is available in roughly shaped lumps. Misri is also available in small, neat squares.
• Misri is available at grocery store across India in bulk bins.
• It is also available in the market as easy-to-use sachets, pillow packs or laminated plastic bulk packs.
• They should be white crystalline in colour without adulteration, and dust or sticks should not be visible.
• Misri is a great sweetener for tea or coffee and simply looks pretty on the table.
• It is also popular among makers of homemade fruit liqueurs.
• Loved by both kids and grown-ups, rock candy makes a good substitute for dessert after meals.
• Mixed with aniseed (saunf), it is a great after-food mouth freshener.
How to store
• Store misri in an airtight container and keep it in a cool and dry place in the cupboard.