Saffron: How To Use This Precious Spice Wisely

One of the rarest and most costly spices in the world is saffron. It is renowned for its red stigmas. Foods that contain saffron have a deep golden colour and a flavour that is strong and aromatic. Since ancient times, it has been utilised in Persian, Arab, European, and Indian cuisine. Despite all the information we have heard about the spice, there is still a lot of uncertainty around its proper usage. Here is all the information you require. 

What Is Saffron 

The crocus sativus bloom, also called the saffron crocus, produces saffron, a spice that is manually collected. It can be purchased as powder or red-gold threads. Saffron powder is made from the dried and crushed stigma of the saffron crocus, whereas saffron threads are the entire stigma. Saffron is incredibly delicate and fragrant. It has a taste that is somewhat sweet and opulent, hard to define yet instantly recognisable in food. This fabled spice has an earthy flavour that is additionally characterised as flowery, smokey, and sharp. The most costly spice in the world is saffron; one pound costs between $500 and $5,000. (450 grams). Its labor-intensive harvesting technique and hefty production expenses are to blame for its high pricing. 

Saffron is a native of Asia and has been grown there for thousands of years for use in food and drink flavouring, medicines, perfumes, and colours. Today, Iran, Greece, Morocco, and India are the main countries where the spice is grown. 

How To Use 

There are numerous methods to use saffron in various recipes and meals. Here are the most popular ways to incorporate saffron into food so you can determine which is ideal for your recipe. Just keep in mind that adding a few threads to a salad or a sheet tray of roasted vegetables won't do much because saffron is comparable to a dried herb in that it needs heat and moisture to bring out all of its aromatics and give it its beautiful golden colour. To get the most of each strand, use one of the techniques listed below. 

Saffron doesn't have an endless shelf life, just like any dried herb or spice. Try to use up your saffron within a year of purchase to obtain the greatest colour and flavour from it. Use it or lose it since older saffron will start to lose its flavour, colour, and become brittle. 

Before using them in a recipe, saffron threads need to be crushed. Start with saffron threads and softly toast and grind them to create ground saffron. Using a mortar and pestle or a spice grinder, powder 2 teaspoons of saffron threads and a pinch of coarse salt. Then, add 2 to 3 tablespoons of hot water, hot broth, or stock to the saffron powder in a small bowl. Before adding it to your dish, give it a gentle stir, cover it, and wait five minutes for the colour and scent to emerge. 

In order to improve the flavour of any savoury cuisine, saffron powder can also be lightly heated in olive oil and then toasted. Saffron complements a wide range of dishes, including rice, pasta, vegetables, meat, and even sweets. With only a pinch, saffron enhances the flavour of anything it comes in contact with while adding a mystical aroma and a golden hue to any dish. 


Saffron has a limited shelf life for maximum aromatic quality, like any dried herb or spice, but it can be kept for longer by keeping it in an airtight container in a cold, dark location away from direct sunlight. Saffron threads can be frozen for up to a year and will maintain their flavour for up to six months. 

Similar storage methods can be utilised for ground saffron, but since it has already started to lose some of its strength, it should be used right away. For up to three weeks, saffron water can be kept in the refrigerator in an airtight container.