Saffron uses in cooking
Saffron is mostly used as a spice in the countries where it is cultivated. Native to the Middle East, this spice is mostly used in Mediterranean, Asian and European cuisine. However, people all over the world are also interested in consuming saffron in cooking, and it is also used in foods such as Paella (Spanish pilaf or rice) or other Greek and Italian rice dishes, and Indian pilaf and Swedish saffron bread. It is better to use saffron in preparing foods such as Bouillabaisse or Risotto, which have a lot of liquids. But saffron uses in cooking are not limited to these few cases, we are here to explain many of the foods that saffron is a part of.
How to prepare saffron for cooking uses
As we said, Bouillabaisse and Risotto have a lot of liquids and mainly saffron gives better taste and aroma in foods that have a lot of water. Because in order for the taste of saffron to be completely absorbed by food, it must be soaked in water slowly for a while.
In order to prepare saffron for cooking uses, First, beat the saffron with a mortar and grind it. Then add it to the food from the beginning of cooking time so that its extract, aroma, taste, and color are completely removed (Being absorbed in food). Note that a very small amount of this valuable spice gives a lot of flavor to the food. So, you do not need to grind more than a few threads at a time.
How to use saffron in cooking in different countries
Saffron uses in cooking are common in the cuisine of different countries around the world. In India, this spice is used in the preparation of rice dishes and some types of sweets. But in France and Spain, it is mostly used in fish dishes. Here are some uses of saffron in cooking in different regions:
- Spaniards and Portuguese use saffron a lot, and this golden spice may be found in seafood. The golden color of Paella, which is the national food of Spain and is prepared from a variety of meat and seafood, is also rooted in saffron.
- Saffron is also used in Mongolian-Indian cuisine. To prepare lamb leg cuisine, which is a royal dish and is made from lamb legs, raisin sauce, and saffron, the lamb is soaked in saffron for three days to draw the rich flavor and color out of the saffron and into the liquid (Water).
- Middle Easterners use saffron and cardamom to flavor coffee.
- Another saffron uses in cooking are for Vikings! Scandinavians use saffron to make Lussekatter bread (Saffron bun). This pastry is used in the celebration of Saint Lucy, which is held on December 13 every year.
- Pennsylvania Dutches (Germans living in eastern Pennsylvania, USA) use saffron to add flavor and color to their special pie. Of course, this dish is not like pie at all, but it is a kind of chicken dish on which large square noodles are placed. Early German immigrants brought saffron and saffron flowers from Germany and grew them in their backyards.
Middle Eastern cooking
- Iranians – who have the best saffron in the world – use saffron in their national dish chelow kebab (Saffron steamed rice and and one of the many varieties of Iranian kebab) and zereshk polo (Barberry Rice with Saffron Chicken).
- The Indians (Real Indians in India country!) use saffron in the preparation of a variety of Biryanis, a traditional dish made with rice. Saffron is also used in the preparation of several types of candies and sweets, including Gulab jamun and Kulfi.
- In Morocco, saffron is used instead of mint to make tea. In addition, this spice is used in the preparation of Moroccan meatballs (a mixture of turmeric meatballs and tomatoes) and Mrouzia (a salty and sweet food prepared with dill). Saffron is also used in the preparation of Chermoula, which is a mixture of vegetables that gives flavor to Moroccan cuisine.
As you can see, saffron uses in cooking are not limited only to a few countries, even in Africa saffron has its own followers!
Why saffron uses in cooking are recommended?
From ancient times, saffron, like other spices, was considered to have different properties. Today, based on scientific research that has continued the widespread use of saffron in traditional and herbal medicine, the various properties of saffron and the effectiveness of its effective compounds have attracted the attention of many researchers and practitioners of medical science. Among the properties of saffron, we can mention these cases.
- Saffron uses in cooking help to digest food naturally, strengthen the stomach and saffron is anti-flatulence
- Saffron is analgesics, especially in the treatment of gum pain and colic
- Anti-tumor, free radical scavenger (anti-cancer properties)
- Brings happiness, treatment of nerve pain, sedative, treatment of insomnia
- Saffron is a kind of memory booster, concentration enhancer, anticonvulsant, antispasmodic depression, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s
- It uses in the treatment of blood pressure, lowering cholesterol, treatment of iron deficiency anemia in women, reducing the risk of heart disease and atherosclerosis, and increasing heart health
- It uses in the treatment of respiratory diseases such as asthma, colds, coughs
- It Increases blood flow to the retina, treatment of jaundice disorders due to aging
- It uses in the treatment of diseases such as dysentery, measles, enlarged liver and spleen, and urinary tract infections
Research also shows that the compounds in saffron have been effective in treating some types of cancer in laboratory animals.
Some suggestions to increase the saffron uses in cooking
Here are some suggestions to start consuming pure and best-quality saffron:
- In cooking all kinds of fish, including halibut and cod, use saffron to give the fish a wonderful taste and color
- Make saffron ice cream with saffron powder
- Pour saffron in your soups to lighten their color
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