Thursday, June 23, 2016

Paper Cut Art: Saffron

Papercut by Indira

Do-Something-Everyday, June 23, 2016

 Saffron, mainly used in the cuisines of India and the Middle East, is the most expensive spice in the world. It is derived from the flower of Crocus sativus.  Each crocus bears about four flowers, each with three red stigmas known as threads.

Photo courtesy Wikipedia

Photo courtesy Wikipedia

The threads are harvested by hand and dried to be used both as a flavoring and a colorant in food. Each flower produces about twelve threads and about 125 flowers are needed to produce one gram of saffron threads. The labor costs involved in the cultivation and the limited amount produced by the plants are the main reasons for the high cost of saffron. Thankfully, only a small amount is needed to add distinctive flavor and yellow color to food. To make the most of  the small amount of dried saffron, soak it in a few teaspoons of warm milk for a few minutes before adding it just as the dish approaches doneness. When buying saffron, which are sold at all Indian grocery stores, buy a small amount at a time, and store it in the freezer.

I love the taste and the color of saffron and it finds its way in many of the milk based desserts that I make. Below is Eggless Indian Tapioca Pudding topped with threads of saffron.  The complete recipe post is found here.

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