Saffron or Kesar is the ‘caviar’ of the spice kingdom!
3 maroon stigmas inside each mauve flower when dried form the world’s costliest spice! 150,000 flowers make 1 kilogram of Saffron. Pampore town, in Kashmir produces around 20,000 kg of saffron each year only in autumn. Growing is strictly a family affair which is then sold to traders.
Iranian saffron is prized for its colour while Kashmiri saffron for its aroma and flavor.
But buying saffron is a tricky affair, most of it available in the market is adulterated. Always check for an address or email on the packaging to verify authenticity.
Saffron is used extensively rice preparations like pulao, biryani and risottos. It has a strong affinity towards milk and frequently used to flavour milk based sweets. Royalty extensively uses it in flavoured green teas and even brew a spirit using saffron!
30% of saffron produced is used in rituals and skincare. Almost all priests in India use a paste of saffron to welcome deities. In cosmetics its believed to promote fairness.
Saffron, a spice shrouded in mystery and magic has always enticed us. Follow @elthecook to find out how we’ll use this spice in our recipes!
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