Tuesday, 16 December 2014

My Love for Saffron


Saffron also known as kesar is a spice derived from the flower of Crocus sativus, commonly known as the saffron crocus always fascinated me.Since childhood saffron is being used in our home in pulav,kheer,milk,kulfi,phirni and many other delicacies.


Image source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saffron


What makes Saffron the most expensive spice in the world?
Well around 80,000 flowers are required to make approx 453 grams of saffron.When the violet blue flower opens the saffron stigmas are collected.And an interesting fact is that the stigmas of saffron are only picked at dawn; the reason is it is done just before the opening of the flower and to preserve the aroma and properties.

Image source:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Crocus_sativus_01_by_Line1.JPG


Saffron is
 -Anti oxidant
 -Prevent diseases
 -antiseptic 
 -antidepressant
 -digestive
 -anti-convulsant

 Its a good source of minerals
 -copper
 -potassium
 -calcium
 -manganese
 -iron
 -selenium
 -zinc
 -magnesium

 Thats why it helps to control heart rate and blood pressure.

 Saffron contains a-crocin,zea-xanthin, lycopene, a- and ß-carotenes antioxidants that protects our body from
 -stress
 -cancer-infections


 How to use saffron threads effectively
 -Saffron threads can be added directly to the food preparations
 -Make a paste using saffron threads using traditional mortar and pestle and then add to the recipes
 -Take few saffron threads add to a cup of hot water  and then add this water to the recipes

 Saffron is used for flavour and colour for  food and drinks

 Saffron to treat baldness :
 Take 1 tbsp liquorice root pieces (mulathi) and grind it to a paste with 1 cup milk. Add ¼ tsp saffron (kesar) to  the paste.Apply this on the bald patches daily before going to bed.

 Saffron for Body Swelling
 1 teaspoon honey
 a pinch of saffron (kesar)
 cardamom
 rose water (gulab jal)
 and sprinkle all of these on mango slices.It really works if taken twice daily

 Saffron to recover from Fever
 Take half a teaspoon of saffron in 30 ml of boiling water.Give a tsp of this tea to the patient every hour till  the temperature returns to normal.Take twice daily.

 or

Take 4 basil leaves, saffron 7 shreds and 7 black pepper.Grind them to a paste by adding water and form small tablets out of the whole lot. Take each tablet twice or thrice everyday with lukewarm milk. 

 Saffron For Menstrual pains
 Boil 1 teaspoon saffron (kesar) in ½ cup water. Let it reduce to become 1 tablespoon. Divide this decoction into
 three portions and take with equal quantities of water,thrice daily for a couple of days.

 Saffron for Old age problems
 Boil 1 teaspoon ginger (adrak) in 1 cup water till reduced to ½ cup. Add to it ½ cup cow's milk, 2 pieces of cardamom, 5 strands of saffron (kesar) and 1 teaspoon sugar. Drink every morning.


 Saffron is a must for winters
 -Saffron improves vision
 -prevents age related macular degeneration (AMD), which is the most common cause of sight loss in the elderly.
 -treat depression
 -Saffron tea is known to cause feelings of happiness
 -Improves blood circulation
 -Saffron is a natural Aphrodisiac
 -inhibits the growth of malignant cancer cells

 It is very important to know that you are using only genuine saffron.
 So test it and immerse a bit of the produce in warm water or milk. If the liquid turns yellow immediately, then the
 saffron is fake. Pure saffron must steep in either warm water or milk for at least 10 to 15 minutes before its deep
 reddish-gold colour or a dark yellowish colour permeates in the water or milk and the saffron aroma begins to develop.

 Tip:Always soak the saffron for at least around 8-10 hours before it can be used ( most of the benefits of saffron are achieved through saffron infused in milk or water ).So its best to leave it overnight.

I use only Organic saffron threads because its 100% Organic Certified only offering extremely high grade saffron

 http://www.organicindiashop.com/index.php?route=product/product&path=66&product_id=260






 Most beneficial ways to use saffron
 -Blend a few threads of saffron with milk and drink it regularly, your complexion will recover naturally and your
 skin will become healthier from the inside.

 - Grind a few saffron threads with olive oil, almond oil,coconut oil or sesame oil to massage your skin. Massaging your skin with these oils gives brighter and softer skin

No wonder that Cleopatra used to indulge in a hot saffron bath.She used saffron as a type of cosmetic.
In ancient times people used to sleep with pillows stuffed with saffron to cure hang overs.


A very interesting recipe one must try :

Saffron cake

Ingredients
1 tsp saffron strands
125ml milk
500g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
½ tsp dried, fast-action yeast
pinch salt
¼ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
250g cold butter, cut into cubes, plus extra for greasing
250g caster sugar
300g currants


Method
Grease a baking tray with butter.Heat the saffron strands and milk in a pan over a medium heat until the milk mixture has turned yellow and is almost simmering.
In a bowl, mix together the flour, yeast, salt and nutmeg until well combined.
Add the butter and sugar and rub in using your fingertips until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
Stir in the currants until well combined.
Pour over the saffron-infused milk and stir until the mixture comes together as a soft dough.
Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and knead lightly until smooth.
Transfer the dough to the prepared baking tray. Cover with a damp tea towel and set aside in a warm place for 30-45 minutes, or until risen.
Preheat the oven to 180C/350F
Transfer the baking dish to the oven and bake for 45 minutes to one hour, or until the cake is pale golden-brown and has risen.

Set the cake aside to cool slightly, then turn out the cake onto a plate and cut into slices.


One can shop online for pure saffron:
If in India http://organicindiashop.com/
USA http://organicindiausa.com/
Australia http://www.organicindia.net.au/

Or locate a store near you now
http://www.organicindia.com/store_locator.php


I prefer to buy Saffron from Organic India because:
Image source : Organic India

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