You can buy a kilo of saffron for a buck or so, which may sound like a steal, but let’s break it down for you.
Saffron is a perennial herb so when it’s fresh, it will cost you less than two quid. It takes a long time to grow saffron to make this cost work but we usually get saffron in the middle of the night when it’s in full bloom. When I think of saffron, I think of a light yellow or green color with a slightly bitter aftertaste. My guess is that when I think of saffron I also think of all the food I eat, especially pizza, with just a hint of the saffron taste.
Saffron can be purchased online or at Indian food stores and is most commonly available in a packet which is sold as a spice rub. The best place to buy saffron is at home, or at home on a small scale, as the spice rub is not always available. One cup equals about a tablespoon of saffron.
If you want my favorite Indian food, we’ve put an Indian spice rub together you can try for less than 20¢.
When you buy saffron, it has a tendency to smell like something in the kitchen, but in reality it’s extremely aromatic. The aroma is similar to the smell of cumin or clove or even vanilla.
Saffron has a milder taste than other spices, which means it tastes wonderful on an Indian dish, and when served with it it has a slightly sweet taste that is wonderful for eating with chutney or naan bread.
Saffron is used to flavor things like:
Tandoori chicken (Tasnim in Hindi)
Indian ghee-based dosa bread.
Vegetable kofta (a bread made of bread crumbs).
Boil the cilantro for around one minute for the oil to evaporate. Remove it from the heat and stir it in when you add the cumin. It’s best to avoid using the heat, as it can easily burn your tongue.
Saffron in Indian Cooking
Saffron is used in Indian cooking as a vegetable garnish. The leaves are finely chopped, mixed with the onion and garlic and used in a dip made with chopped onions and tomato paste.
Other Indian uses of saffron include:
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