Saffron is a versatile spice with thousands of uses; it is a great culinary spice that is also used in herbal healing methods.
Traditionally cultivated and harvested, original Saffron has an earthy and zesty flavor, and it’s been used as a culinary spice for ages. A small quantity of Saffron in various dishes enriches the taste of the food along with offering incredible health and beauty benefits.
These long red strands emit a sweet floral scent and when used in the right proportion, enhances the flavor of any dish. However, using them in excess also spoils the taste as the flavor becomes intensely bitter.
That being so, if you want to experience the best of Saffron, you should know the best ways to make it so you can get the amazing Saffron benefits whilst maintaining its sweet aromatic flavor.
However, the market is filled with impure Saffron, therefore, before you get familiar with the ways to consumer Saffron, get the most potent and pure Saffron that is lab-tested and complies with the international standards. Also, powdered Saffron is not an ideal pick since it has a lot of fillers.
Different ways to consume Saffron
1. Make a cup of Saffron Tea
The most simplest and traditional way of having Saffron is to dip its stands in the water and enjoy its tea. Saffron tea has a refreshing, mild, and nourishing flavor, and making it does not take much time but a little heat. For making your perfect Saffron tea, you would require-
- 4-5 strands of Saffron
- A cup of boiling water
- A teaspoon of honey
- A small handful of mint leaves (optional)
First, slightly rub the red strands of original Saffron between the fingertips, cover them with a tablespoon of warm water, and put them in a cup. Let them soak the water for around 10 minutes. Then, brew water between the temperatures of 77°C to 99°C, and pour this hot over the Saffron in the cup.
Before you pour the boiling hot water, wait for a moment till it slightly cools down, and then pour it. This will help suck out the best aromatics, flavor, and color from the Saffron strands besides ensuring that the taste does not get bitter or too musty. At last, add honey or sugar according to your preference, and also, mint leaves. Then, wait for another 15 minutes and let the water turn into deep orange before you enjoy your tea.
2. Make your own Saffron powder and add it to dishes
While the powdered form of Saffron is not at all good, but there is no harm in making your own pure Saffron powder. This form of Saffron is called Ground Saffron and is extensively used in Persian recipes such as tahgid, stews, puloas, and other layered rich dishes. Besides, the powdered form of Saffron can be utilized in various dishes to enhance their flavor.
For making Saffron powder, you have to grind the Saffron the traditional way using a small mortar. Place 5-6 strands into the mortar and start crushing. As the strand begins to break down, add a little sugar to assist the process, as it helps in turning the strands into a fine powder. You can also use salt in place of sugar, but to have minimal effects on the taste of Saffron powder, sugar is a better option. Mix the grounded Saffron into some water, and the mixture will instantly turn into a deep orange color with strong aromatics. Add this Saffron liquid to various rice dishes, and in small amounts to prevent the dish from becoming bitter. This colorful and original Saffron broth with its pungent flavor is going to add the kick that you were searching for.
3. A glass of Saffron milk
Saffron is a real gem to have in your kitchen, and drinking Saffron or Kesar milk is one of the most delicious ways to consume Saffron. This is another easy-to-make Saffron recipe, and you can have this milk chilled, warm, or hot, according to your likings. Saffron during pregnancy is the most recommended drink for women. For preparing this, milk is infused with Saffron and sweetened with sugar.
To make the Saffron milk, you can soak 3-4 strands of Saffron in a couple of tablespoons of milk for around 15 minutes. Or you can add the strands directly to the glass full of milk, and stew it gently below the boiling point for 5-7 minutes. Use whole milk for this drink to get the best out of the Saffron strands. Whole milk gives a better taste and is best for health. You can also some crushed nuts to the milk, or cardamom powder to add some flavor. However, do not add anything if you want to solely enjoy the sweet aromatic flavor of Saffron.
4. Add the strands directly to any dish
There are a lot of dishes that contain liquid and take ample to cook. Adding original Saffron directly to them is the best option if you don’t want to prepare Saffron before you add them to anything. Just add a pinch of grounded Saffron in the early making or cooking of your dish, so the Saffron has adequate time to bloom and spew out its flavors as it cooks along with the liquid dish. In some dishes, Saffron can be oil toasted to make the strands brittle, so they can stew better during the cooking of the dish.
You can also add the Saffron strands directly to the desserts like ice cream, custard, pastry, etc. Always make sure to use them in small quantities as the large amounts can spoil the flavor of the dishes.
At last, to draw out the best flavor and Saffron benefits from Saffron, you have to get the premium quality of Saffron from the market.
Saffron comes in various types, however, Kashmiri Mongra is the purest form of Saffron for both health and flavor purposes. You can get the best of Saffron by hydrating these stamens for few minutes and adding them to the dish you like.