How to use saffron

How to use saffron

How to use saffron

we would like to mention a few basic tips on using saffron.

·         Saffron can be used in two ways: powdered or threads. If your main goal in using saffron is to create the visual effect such as decorating your food, use threads. A good example is the photo below.On the other hand, If you want to use saffron in such a way that is not obvious to the eye, then you should grind it. A good example of this is using a bit of saffron in pizza sauce and keeping it a secret.

·         Do not buy powdered saffron for two good reasons, unless you trust your supplier. First, it is very easy to adulterate powder saffron and you have no idea how pure it is. Second, powdered saffron has a short shelf life and loses flavor rapidly.

·         If you need to use powdered saffron, make your own as you need it by grinding the saffron threads to a fine powder before adding to your cooking. If you are going to only use a pinch or two at a time to prepare powdered saffron, buying a mortar and pestle is highly recommended .If you have a hard time grinding your saffron with mortar and pestle, due to its moisture content, add a pinch of sugar grains to it and then grind it. This makes the grinding easier and does not affect your recipe. Buying a blade coffee grinder is recommended for chefs or those who use more than few grams at a time (burr coffee grinders will not work as the saffron threads are light and they will not fall into the burr).

Once your saffron is in powder form, add 3-5 teaspoons of warm or boiling water to it and leave it to infuse for about 5-10 minutes. This is referred to as liquid saffron. You can prepare liquid saffron with milk, vinegar, or wine instead of water. If you prepare the liquid saffron with boiling water, you can keep it in a jar for few weeks and use it as you need.

·         Once you decide how much saffron to use, before you mix it with anything else or powdering it, place your saffron threads in a clean flat dish and separate the threads and look carefully. Anything that does not look like a saffron thread, pick it out and throw it away. Often there are foreign particles mixed with the saffron threads, not intentionally but by accident as the entire process is done by humans and humans make errors. Cleaning saffron is a very labor intensive process when you deal with pounds of saffron. Saffron packers do their best to ensure the saffron is free from any foreign particles, but some times they miss. Since you only use a little bit of threads, it only takes few seconds to scan the threads with your eyes. For your safety and the safety of others please take this tip seriously. This is another disadvantage of powdered saffron as everything gets grinded.

·         Since saffron from different regions of the world have different potencies, at most, use only as directed in the recipes. For example, Kashmiri saffron is very potent and you may need to use less than what is called for in your recipe.

·         Always store your saffron in a cool dry place and away from bright light. Do not expose your saffron to moisture.