Known as the “Queen of Spices”, it is the most expensive spice in the world today.
Taste: Floral, sweet, aromatic taste.
Look: Bright red to orange threads.
Smell: Distinctive musky, woody, with a hay-like fragrance.
Use in desserts, biryanis, and meat dishes.
Flavors teas and yogurt drinks.
Steep whole in warm water or milk before adding to a recipe. Or toast first and grind in a mortar and pestle then add to liquid.
Pairs well with almond, clove, cinnamon, coriander, cumin, nutmeg, and mint.
- Look for a bright red ribbon (the stigma of the flower) when purchasing saffron. If ground it is more likely to be an adulterated form (safflower is the main imposter, it will color food, but not flavor it).
- Saffron can range in color from orange to deep burgundy. The deeper red the color, the higher concentration of crocin, which indicates better quality.
- To test whether or not your saffron is the real thing, put it in a bowl of warm water. It should bleed yellow instantly. If it bleeds orange or red it is not authentic.
- Diuretic and mild laxative.
- Effective anti-depressant.
- Strengthening to the body.
- Relieves dry coughs and bladder ailments.
- Aids in breast milk production in women and virility in men.
Disclaimer: The sole purpose of the Health Benefits section of our spice pantry is to provide information about the tradition of ayurveda. This information is not intended for use in the diagnosis, treatment, cure or prevention of any disease. If you have any serious acute or chronic health concern, please consult a trained health professional who can fully assess your needs and address them effectively. Check with your doctor before taking herbs or using essential oils when pregnant or nursing.