Saffron is derived from a flower crocus sativus. The stigma of the flower are used as seasonings which
imparts crimson color and flavor to the product. Called as Kesar in Hindi, Saffron is the most expensive spice in the world. The attractive eye appealing color, the flavor and the medicinal properties imparted by Kesar makes it a exquisite spice. Being the strongest and flavorful spice, addition of this spice can totally change the taste of the final food prepared to a higher level.
This spice is also called as Varnya Gana in Aryuveda science which means the one that gives fairness and makes the skin glow.
Properties of Saffron.
Saffron can change the color and the flavor of the entire food product when added in minimal quantities. Infusion in milk can create wonderful Indian desserts such as Shrikand, Kheer, Cheesecakes. Also, saffron is also used in biryani and other rice related dishes.
Saffron is added to the food products by dissolving in milk or hot water to extract the color and flavor from the spice. This is due to the fact that saffron needs a moist medium to release its color and flavorful components. Chefs of popular restaurants dissolve saffron in wine for the complete extraction to add flavor to the food dish.
Saffron is a sensitive spice and hence its usage must be regulated. Saffron is never exposed to heat treatments as it gives adverse affects to the final product of the food.There are three types of Saffron in the market: Indian Saffron, Iranian Saffron and the Spanish Saffron. One must take care that adding saffron with other spices may alter the taste of the latter spice when added in larger quantities.
Benefits of adding Saffron to Milk for pregnant ladies
- Saffron is rich in Vitamin A, Vitamin C and Folic Acid.
- Saffron can control the blood pressure which fluctuates during pregnancy
- Boil your glass of milk with strands of saffron; saffron rich milk is extremely beneficial as it improves the hemoglobin level in the blood owing to Saffron’s richness in Iron.
- Saffron rich milk can help in keeping the baby in the womb voluntary.
- Saffron rich milk can combat the mood swings which most of the pregnant ladies face during her first trimester.
One must always consume saffron milk in morning before breakfast and before bedtime. Depending on the season, the quantity that must be added to the milk as Kesar threads are considered as hot foods.
When to drink Kesar ka Doodh (Saffron Milk)
During the beginning of pregnancy, one can take around 2-3 threads and slowly increase 3-4 threads.
- Summer: 2-4 threads
- Winter season: 4-5 threads of kesar and
- Rainy Season: Should not exceed 3 threads
Tips while cooking Saffron
- Take care while using the saffron as adding large quantity of saffron can make the food taste bitter.
- Never add saffron directly to the prepared food. It must be dissolved in milk or water beforehand.
Infusing saffron in wine can give better results of the final product.
- For 1 tsp of saffron, add 3 tsp of liquid to dissolve the strands.
- Do not mix saffron using wooden utensils as it can absorb saffron.
- While adding in liquid food products such as soups, stews and salad dressings, the threads of saffron can be crushed and added, taking care that the saffron should not get burnt.
Cooking Pasta using Saffron
Recently, I developed a white pasta sauce using saffron to increase the intake of saffron in my regular diet. It was delightful dish and it also supplied my body with good amounts of nutrients.
- One can use saffron for cooking white sauce pasta by adding a pinch of saffron to the usual white sauce preparation
Can we now understand how a small thread can provide us bundle of nutrients, serving multiple health benefits such as curbing acidity, giving us a radiant skin, preventing hair fall. If this strand can be beneficial to a growing baby in the womb, can we imagine the numerous benefits that it can give to a developed adult?