Saffron is a pure deep red,
clearly identifiable stigmas
Royal Saffron stigmas or
threads are gently sun dried before they get to you.
To release the aroma, colour
and flavour steep them in hot milk, or any acidic or alcoholic liquid for
at least 20 minutes. This draws out the saffranal, the crocin and the crocetin,
giving you saffron's exotically fragrant flavours in fullness.
However, Royal Saffron continues
to release its chemicals for as long as 24 hours. If you want to draw the
very most from this precious spice, plan ahead!
saffron, the Indian way to fulfilment!
you ask an Indian for special saffron recipes, you will be met with astonishment.
Saffron is used as and when it can be afforded, to enrich a dish and make
it truly royal! Indians have a penchant for aromatic foods, and nothing
pampers a guest more than sensual saffron.
tea is regarded as a rejuvenating and refreshing
brew. And you can make it any way you like it! A simple way of preparing
it is to boil saffron with Kashmiri green tea till half the water evaporates and the tea draws in strength. The kahwa should be sweetened and served with freshly crushed almonds and powdered
cardamom. Care should be taken to infuse the saffron well before you prepare
the tea. This is specially recommended during cold weather to decongest
the lungs, but the recipe can work in myriad other
ways as well.
milk, similarly, can have whatever additives
you like. The classic way again is with cardamom and almonds (this time
soaked in hot water till the skin peels off, and then slivered) for even
greater health! This is grandmother's recipe for toning up, best had
at night as a restorative.
is the drink to cool off when the sun gives out blinding heat. In its simplest
form it comprises almonds, fennel seeds, rose water, saffron, black peppercorns
ground together and blended with sugar and chilled milk or water.
Sherbet is even cooler! And simpler - an infusion of saffron stirred into sugar syrup and chilled out with ice!
saffron can be had in a jiffy, without fuss, for many seasons. But if you
really want to make a big thing about saffron, you can take some cues from
kashmiris and the princely cuisine of avadh.