In other districts, it is simply molasses but in Brahmanbaria it has got the adorable name of Lali. Homemade pancakes and desserts made with this sweetener take traditional winter delicacies to new heights.
Over the years, Lali has grown in popularity throughout the district, and in other places as well.
According to data from the Department of Agriculture (DoA), about 600 tonnes of Lali will be sold from the district this winter at a market value of about Tk4 crore.
Since the molasses contains no additives or ingredients to enhance its taste or change its color, this traditional Brahmanbaria sweetener is free from adulteration.
Farmers use the traditional method by using buffaloes to press the sugarcane, thereby collecting the juice. The molasses is a result of boiling the juice in the oven for a long time.
According to people engaged in producing and marketing 'Lali Gur', locals of Bijoyanagar, Kasba and Bancharampur upazilas of Brahmanbaria produce this molasses between November and February.
More than 100 families here are involved in its production. Of these, Bijoyanagar upazila produces the most with an average of 1,000 kg per day.
During a visit to Bijoynagar, this correspondent saw farmers busy pressing sugarcane with buffaloes in their yards. After the juice is collected, it is boiled for two hours at night, which later turns into the delicious Lali.
According to the Department of Agriculture, although there was a time when a large amount of sugarcane would be cultivated in Brahmanbaria, farmers are now fast losing interest in favour of other crops, which they consider as more profitable.
However, sugarcane has been cultivated on 68 hectares of land in Bijoyanagar, Kasba and Bancharampur upazilas of the district, which will yield 4,000 tonnes of sugarcane this season, it added.
Lali is sold to wholesalers at Tk75 to 80 per kg, and it retails at Tk100 to 110 per kg.
Rukku Mia, a Lali-producer from village Bishnupur in Bijoynagar, said he bought sugarcane from a field for Tk15,000 this season. He hopes for a profit of Tk20,000-25,000 by selling Lali produced from this sugarcane.
Another Lali producer, Arab Mia, said, "Previously, one had to go to the market to sell Lali. Now the wholesalers come straight to our homes to buy this molasses. This year, my sales will generate a profit of Tk1 lakh.''
Some families cultivate sugarcane to produce Lali, just to hold on to the traditional trade of their ancestors. They anticipate that with the right level of government support, farmers' interest in sugarcane cultivation is bound to grow.
Rabiul Haque Majumder, deputy director of the district agricultural extension department, said sugarcane cultivation has declined here as farmers are now turning to other crops.
"We used to make a lot of Lali in Brahmanbaria. This season, we hope to sell Lali Gur worth at least Tk4 crore this season," he said.