Methods of Using Saffron
The best way of using saffron is to draw it. In drawing the spice, users are advised to put a handful of saffron in a bowl pestle. Next, it must be rubbed with a small sugar. Then, a tsp of rubbed saffron must be mixed with a ½ cup of boiling water.
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Using Saffron in Cooking
1 – For saffron consumption: For drawing saffron, a bowl made of zinc is the most excellent choice. Saffron will have a stronger color if rubbed saffron is combined with boiled water.
2 – For saffron consumption: More color will be acquired from saffron if more saffron powder is used and the boiled water is hotter. Simply put, the color of the saffron will become stronger if the rubbed saffron is mixed with hot water.
Sometimes, when a few amount of saffron is added, its color is more enhanced. The solution can be preserved inside the refrigerator for up to 7 days.
Note: If you consume 3-5 grams of saffron, it may completely harm your liver. Experts advise pregnant women not to consume too much saffron.
Preparing Saffron in Cooking:
Since heat releases the flavor essence of saffron, it must be steeped in boiling water, alcohol or even broth before adding to any food. You can also pre-soak it to enable the color to disperse all throughout the food.
Ideal Way of Consuming Saffron:
For each teaspoon of saffron, you have to add 3 tsp of liquid. Using a spoon, ensure that the threads of saffron get soaked properly. Allow the saffron to soak for about 2 hours. The saffron mixture can be soaked for as long as 12 hours, but 2 hours can already give you your desired results. The saffron leaves will enlarge to 1 ½x their size when dry.
Instant Way of Consuming Saffron:
If you forget to soak the saffron, just add 5 tsp of liquid for each tsp of saffron; let it soak for at least 20 minutes. Using a spoon, mash the saffron threads to form a thick paste. When required, you can add the paste to the food or dish.
Toasting Method of Consuming Saffron:
Toast the saffron threads carefully in a skillet. Watch it carefully and don’t allow the saffron to burn, as heated threads of saffron are unusable and irreparable. Then, grind the saffron threads into powder and use according to what is stated in the recipe.
How to Use Saffron in Cooking:
In saffron cooking, the general rule of thumb is to use a little saffron.
When identifying the amount of saffron to use when cooking, bear in mind that the flavor of the saffron will get stronger on the second day.
Just use a pinch of saffron powder in stews and soups that can serve 4-6 people.
Saffron is great when used in cooking dishes like paella and bouillabaisse. It is also used in rice recipes such as risotto and others. To make your tomato-based sauce and beef stew taste more delightful, add some saffron to them.
To have a delightful fish marinade, add garlic, thyme, and saffron threads to vinegar. Saffron is also used in baking cake and bread. Make use of your imagination and creativity in saffron cooking.
Saffron – Its Origin and History
It is believed that saffron is a native to middle east, Asia Minor and Mediterranean area. However, it is in middle east where it has been originally cultivated. Later on, it was taken to other parts of the world due to the barter trade.
Saffron Legends and Facts:
- According to legends, saffron was brought to India with the descent into the world and later on, was take to Kashmir in order to be cultivated and applied in several fields.
- The oldest surviving document with regard to saffron’s application originally belongs to the ancient dynasty of Iran. Achaemenids engraved an inventory on a pillar including the quantity and variety of foods items that were utilized in the palace kitchen, and saffron is one of the items mentioned. The Achaemenids also used saffron in cosmetic products due to its skin.
- With saffron’s bitter taste and exotic aroma, it was named among the sweet smelling herbs in the Song of Solomon.
- A golden-colored water soluble dye for fabric was extracted from the stigmas of saffron in India during the ancient times. After the death of Buddha, his priests made saffron the official shade of their robes. The dye has also been utilized for royal raiment in various cultures.
- Saffron was also used as a perfume. It was sprinkled in Roman and Greek balls, theaters, courts and halls. Not long, it became linked with the hetaerae, a proficient class of courtesans in Greece. The roman streets were also strewn with saffron when Nero entered the city.
- When the Muslims conquered Spain, some items cultivable in areas under Muslim influence were taken there in AD.
- Saffron is also mentioned in an English healing manual also known as English leechbook in the 10th century.
- Saffron is also said to have been brought to China by the Mongols who took its bulb from the Iranian soil. It is recorded in PunTsaou, a Chinese material media (1552-78).
Cooking with Saffron Tips
- Turmeric can be an ideal alternative for the saffron’s color properties, not its flavor.
- If the recipe includes liquid (wine, broth, or water) use a small amount of it and pour over your saffron.
In cooking, do not ever make use of wooden utensils when stirring saffron, as they absorb saffron quickly. Saffron is costly, so don’t waste it.
How to Use Saffron in Powder Form:
Powdered saffron easily and quickly losses its flavor and can also be mixed with cheap powders such as turmeric. Purchasing cheaper saffron will not save you green bills in the long run, as more will be required for the same flavor effect.
The General Rule of Thumb When Substituting Saffron in Powder Form:
Sometimes, adding a small saffron amount will enhance its color degree. The saffron solution can put in a glass bowl and preserve inside the ref for up to 7 days. If you wish to consume saffron powder, you need to preserve its fragrance and aroma.
½ tsp saffron thread is equal to ¼ tsp of saffron powder. The rule of thumb is to use half the powder amount as you would with threads.
1/2 teaspoon of saffron threads = 1/4 teaspoon of saffron powder. The general rule is to use 1/2 the amount of powder as you would with threads.
- Saffron is highly sensitive to moisture and light. Thus, it must be stored in a container away from the light of the sun. if properly stored, it will last for many years.
- Saffron effectively absorbs other odors and flavors. If you wish to transfer the saffron to another container, ensure that the container is 100% odor-free and clean before using it.