You cannot use Saffron, this sweet, flavorful, and aromatic plant as it looks. The delicate and fragile stigmas of saffron inside the package you have bought should be crushed carefully with patience. This is the method Iranians have traditionally used for many years to use saffron efficiently. However, I have seen people outside Iran crushing this valuable spice into a powder in a spoon before using it.How to use Saffron
As harvesting saffron is a difficult task and it’s fairly valuable, Iranians always have a tiny mortar and pestle dedicated to saffron in their homes. If you enjoyed a saffron flavored dish such as Kebab on your trip to Iran and you decided to purchase a pack of saffron, do not forget to buy a special mortar and pestle along with.
Traditional Iranian method for grinding the saffron
If you want to get the most out of saffron, put the stigmas into a mortar. Then, put a white cotton piece of cloth under the mortar. While grinding, some saffron would slip away the mortar anyway; with a white piece of cloth, you can prevent waste. Now tap gently on the saffron with the pestle, and then grind it in a circular motion.
Many Iranians, including my mother, add a cube of sugar in the mortar to make the grinding process easier. However, lots of people do not do so. Therefore, it is totally up to you. But if you live in a humid climate, we recommend you use it to easily grind the saffron up.How to use Saffron
After grinding, to preserve the aroma and the flavor of saffron, keep the powder in a small container. If you have purchased multiple packs of saffron, keep them in a dry place, far from direct sunlight.
The right way to use saffron in cooking
Not only the grinding technique of saffron is unique, but also the way to prepare it needs to be learned. In other words, you cannot use that powder directly. First, put one teaspoon of saffron in half a cup of boiling water. Then, cover the cup with a plate or ceramic lid. This creates steam in the cup and as a result, the saffron will release its original color and flavor into the water. How to use Saffron
Be aware that saffron stigmas are dark red, the liquid is crimson. And after applying it on the rice or Stew, it turns into amber. If you have some extra saffron liquid, you can keep it in a sealed glass jar up to one week. If you keep the liquid in the refrigerator for more than a week, it is prone to mold. So use it in time.
- The higher the water temperature and the more you grind saffron, the more color saffron releases
- Do not put the mixture on direct heat in order to get more color or saffron compounds release. It would reduce the properties and benefits of this spice.
- Saffron loses its quality due to improper maintenance and becomes slimy. Therefore, add ground saffron to boiling water only as much as you need right away.How to use Saffron