If cardamom is the rani of spices, saffron is the maharani. Coming to fruition through the flower of Crocus sativus for one week of the year. Saffron or kesar likes only to be touched by human hands in the early morning hours. This is when the purple petal gates open to reveal her royal self in the form of three threads. Plucked, dried and sold for exuberant costs, saffron is one of the most expensive spices on planet earth. Rightfully so, her honey like tobacco-ish scent and flavor have no viable substitute. While she has a unique aroma and taste, saffron is also powerful medicine.
An essential ingredient in Iranian, South Asian, Middle Eastern, & North African cuisines, saffron is also the signature spice of French bouillabaisse, Swedish breakfast rolls, and Spanish paella. Loved globally for her ability to bless desserts and the main course, the fewest of her firey colored threads will leave her signature sun-colored mark. And infuse in her slightly sweet, pungent, bitter tastes and intoxicating fragrance.
Documented by many ancient medical systems including Ayurveda for her ability to purify. Like all true royalty, she favors none. For all who taste the essence of her delicate threads will be left nourished and cleansed. While she may sit high on a throne, like all feminine divines, she is a mover and shaker. As she circulates, she transforms. Cleansing the blood and enhancing nutrient absorption. As enrapturing as she may be, all spirits blessed with her alchemy leave feeling balanced and calm. For at heart, she is an aphrodisiac. The laughter she evokes is said in old wise tales to take one’s breath away. This is why she is only to be consumed in small doses. As this great queen with her indescribable flavor is potent shakti.
WHAT ARE THE HEALTH BENEFITS OF SAFFRON
- Supports nutrient absorption
- Promotes clarity and joy
- Fosters circulation and purification
- Encourages sweating and opening the pores, a diaphoretic
- Cleanses the skin and restores a healthy glow.
- A refrigerant for the mind
- Revitalizer of the blood
- Fosters love, devotion, compassion
- Supports female reproductive, hormonal health
- Helps flushes out toxins from the bodily tissues
- Is ojas building, supports the immune system and promoting vitality
HOW TO SPICE UP YOUR LIFE WITH SAFFRON
- Infuse a few threads in a cup of hot water to make a tea or in room temperature filtered to make an herbal infusion
- Crumble threads and steep in a couple of tablespoons of warm water then toss with rice, into batters or yogurt for a rich flavor and color
- Add a few threads into simmering stews, grains, oats, or milk
SAFFRON BY IMBALANCE (DOSHA)
- For pitta imbalances serve with cow’s milk
- For vata imbalances serve with ghee
- For kapha imbalances with water or honey
TIPS ON SAFFRON
Saffron is delicate, its best to extract its flavor with a carrier like water, slightly warm oils or when simmering. In cold infusions, it takes longer to extract, longer soaking time may be needed.