IntroductionSaffron is a widely used spice all over the world. It is considered to be most expensive and powerful than other spices we usually use in our kitchens. Since long saffron has been an expensive substance because a large amount of workforce or labour and a lot of hard work is required for growing and cultivating saffron. In Kashmir, Pampore is known for wide cultivation of high-quality saffron (also known as Crocus sativus) and is called as the "saffron town". Pampore is a small town located at 13 km from summer capital, Srinagar.
High-quality SaffronKashmiri saffron is known for the best quality in the world. Saffron is derived from the crocus flower, a small beautiful plant which blooms purple and the important part of this flower is its orange-red stigma. This is considered to be the most expensive part of the flower and its bitterness proves the better quality of Saffron. There are two types of saffron: One is shahi saffron, which is the dehydrated high-quality stigma. It earns a good market in Australia, Japan and Canada. And the second is Mograh, the remnants of crocus flower or stigma which is considered as a low-grade saffron.
Grows in dry weatherSaffron flower or crocus flower blooms for three weeks beginning from mid-October. Saffron grows in hot and dry weather, and where sunlight is strong and direct. They are grown in raised soil beds with a high quantity of manure and fertilizers. Saffron needs very less water, so it usually needs a dry atmosphere for better bloom and quality production. Saffron herbs are cultivated in only three countries of the world: Kashmir, Iran and Spain. But Kashmiri saffron has a unique and subtle aroma and provides a great flavor. Saffron is called Kesar in India and people widely use it in foods for health benefits.
Saffron is expensiveSaffron is the expensive spice. To get one kg of saffron threads you need 750 crocus flowers. And one gram of saffron costs around INR 400-500 per gram. Cultivation of quality saffron is labor-intensive and hectic. But it is a great source of income for people as it attracts customers all over the world.
Uses of SaffronSaffron has some medicinal properties. It is used to cure so many health complications. Saffron helps to lower cholesterol level and prevents cardiovascular diseases. It also boosts metabolism and helps strengthen immunity. Saffron strands are also recommended for pregnant women: They can add 3-4 strands of saffron in a glass of milk but should take it in moderation and Doctors' advice would be appreciated. Saffron helps in memory retention and boosts memory. It is also helpful in preventing cold. Saffron relieves stress and lifts your energy.
Saffron can be used in our daily cooking. We, in Kashmir, use it in our food and mostly in kahwa- a famous tea world over. You can try 3 strands of saffron in a glass of water as well. It acts as a coloring agent and has a strong dye making ability.
ConclusionYou can use this stigma of crocus flower or simply saffron which has great medicinal properties. Usually, Kashmiri saffron is known for the best quality all over the world. You can easily get it from markets and enjoy your food with strands of saffron.