Saffron is one of the most precious spices in the world, which originally came from Asia Minor. The spice originates from a flower called crocus sativus. Today the production of saffron is primarily grown in Spain, Greece, Morocco and India. Saffron is prized for its high quality.
Saffron is extremely subtle and fragrant. With slightly sweet and luxurious tastes. The spice has always been considered very valuable. For this reason It forms part of the culinary culture of different regions:
- In India saffron is an important ingredient in many recipes of rice, sweets, and ice creams.
- In Saudi Arabia, Arabic coffee should have saffron and cardamom.
- In Spain, saffron is an indispensable ingredient in such famous dishes as Paella
- In the North of Italy, saffron is essential in the preparation of its famous Risotto
- In Sweden, it is a tradition to bake saffron bread on the day of St. Lucie.
Take a look about authentic Saffron recipes:
Spanish Paella with Saffron
You will need:
- 3 cups bomba rice
- 1 onion, diced
- 3 lemons, quartered
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 8 cups chicken stock
- 1 bell pepper, diced
- 10-15 flat green beans
- 4 plum tomatoes, diced
- 0.5 (4 ounce) can tomato paste
- 15 large shrimp (feel free to add clams, calamari, prawns or mussets as well)
- 4 links chorizo sausages, frito sliced into 1 inch pieces
- 2 -3 lbs chicken, or other meat
- 1⁄2 cup fresh parsley
- 2 -3 tablespoons fresh thyme
- 1⁄2 tablespoon paprika
- 1 pinch saffron
- Prepare all your ingredients before you start cooking.
- Prepare the chicken by separating the legs, cutting remaining meat into small slices and lightly salting.
- Peel the shrimp, leaving only the tail and then salt them.
- Try to make chicken stock from scratch, adding a bit of rosemary, a tiny pinch of saffron and a bit of thyme. (Keep your stock hot but not boiling as you cook.)
- Coat the bottom of your pallera/pan with olive oil.
- Brown your chorizo over high heat for 1-2 minutes. Do not fully cook, just get the outside well browned. Set aside.
- Brown the chicken for 2-3 minutes. It should not be fully cooked. Set aside.
- Brown garlic, onion and bell pepper until they’re softened, adding plum tomatoes shortly before the mixture is finished.
- Push the vegetables to one side of the pan and on the other add the half can of tomato paste. Caramelize it, flipping it and spreading it until it begins to loosen (1-2 min over high heat).
- Mix all of the vegetables and meats together with the caramelized tomato paste also adding the paprika, parsley and thyme.
- Add rice, mixing together and stirring as the rice browns (1-1 1/2) minutes. As the rice browns mix in the saffron.
- When the rice is slightly translucent add enough chicken stock to cover the whole mixture. If it’s been kept warm, it will begin to boil almost immediately. Lower to a medium heat but keep it at a steady boil.
- This is where paella is made and broken. I stir a few times in the first 5-10 minutes, adding broth as necessary to keep the rice fully covered. After this you must let the paella SIT! Let it cook for another 10-20 minutes, adding broth bit by bit to keep the rice submerged until the rice on the top is al dente.
- Once you’ve stirred the paella for the last time and are letting cook, when you have about 8 minutes left to cook, lay shrimp on top, turning over after 2-4 minutes to cook the other side.
- When the rice on top is still quite al dente, take paella off of heat and cover. You must let it sit for 15-20 minutes.
- Once you’re sure it’s ready, garnish with lemon wedges and enjoy!
Saffron Pistachio White Chocolate Cheesecake
For the crust you’ll need:
- 100g chickpeas
- 4 tablespoons sugar
- 30 g pistachios
- 3 tablespoons quark or greek yoghurt
- Preheat the oven to 175 degrees.
- Rinse chickpeas and mix with a hand blender. Crush/chop pistachios and add to the chickpea-batter together with the remaining ingredients.
- Press down in a greased pan and bake for 10 minutes.
For the filling you’ll need:
- 150 g cream cheese
- 150 g cottage cheese
- 1 scoop (30 g) vanilla protein powder
- 3 tablespoons sugar/sweetener
- 150 g quark (or greek yoghurt)
- 1/2 dl egg white
- 100 g white chocolate
- .25g MA Saffron
- zest from 1 orange
- Mix cream cheese, cottage cheese and quark/yoghurt.
- Add egg white, protein powder, sugar/sweetener, orange zest and saffron.
- Melt chocolate and add to the batter, then pour it all on the crust and bake for 30 minutes until set. Let’s enjoy it with our friends.
- 2 litres / 2 pints chicken stock
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- ½ tsp saffron
- 50g parmesan, grated
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 onion, very finely chopped
- 350g arborio risotto rice
- 125 ml Fino sherry or dry white wine
- Rocket salad (optional)
- Heat the stock in a pan over a very low heat
- Melt the butter and olive oil in a high-sided, non-stick frying pan.
- Add the onion and a large pinch of salt, then cook, stirring, for 5 mins until softened and fragrant but not colouring.
- Tip in the rice and coat in the oil and butter, cooking for a few mins until beginning to toast.
- Pour in the wine and cook, stirring, until it’s absorbed.
- Add the saffron and begin to add the stock, a ladle at a time, stirring continually.
- Add more stock as it’s absorbed.
- After 25-30 mins, all the stock should be absorbed and the rice should be creamy and al dente.
- Add the Parmesan and stir until melted.
- Turn off the heat and stir in the egg yolk.
- Season and serve with a peppery rocket salad, if you like.
Tah-Chin-Persian Upside Down Layered Saffron Rice and Chicken
You’ll need (for 4 – 6 serves):
- 2 1/2 cups long grain basmati rice, rinsed and soaked in water with 2 tablespoons of salt for a couple of hours. Drain.
- 1/2 teaspoon ground saffron, dissolved in 3-4 tablespoons of hot water
- 1 large onion, peeled, and thinly sliced
- 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 3 eggs, yolks only
- 1 1/2 cups plain yogurt
- A pinch of turmeric
- Chicken stock (optional)
- Salt to taste
- Butter or vegetable oil
- Garnish: barberries, slivered almonds or pistachios (optional)
- Place the raw chicken breasts in a pot along with onion, add turmeric, 1/2 teaspoon salt and a cup of water, bring to boil on medium-high heat, reduce heat, cover and cook for an hour on medium-low heat.
- Set aside to cool. Cut the chicken into small pieces.
- Bring 6 cups of water to a boil in a large pot on medium-high heat, add the rice and boil for about 8-10 minutes or until rice grains are soft on the ends and firm in the center.
- Drain and pour some cool water over it to wash away the starch and to separate the rice grains. This cool water rinse helps bring about a more fluffy rice. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl combine yogurt, yolks, salt and saffron. Mix.
- Add the rice to the yogurt mixture, blend well.
- In a nonstick pan, add 3 tablespoons oil and a tablespoon of liquid saffron. Move the pan in a circular motion to cover the bottom uniformly.
- Ladle 2/3 of the rice into the pan, flatten with a wooden spoon, layer chicken pieces evenly and cover the entire surface.
- Pour the rest of the rice over the chicken pieces, flatten the top with the back of a large spoon while pressing down.
- Pour 2-3 tablespoons strained chicken stock, 2 tablespoons oil or melted butter and the remaining liquid saffron over the rice.
- Place the pot on medium-high heat. When you notice a steam coming up, lower the heat, cover and cook for one hour until the crust forms and the flavors come together. Since there’s yogurt and egg yolk at the bottom of the pan it can easily burn, so adjust the heat setting of your stove accordingly.
Saffron Mango and Passionfruit Smoothie (extra recipe)
- MA Saffron – 1 pinch
- 1 Mango – Cold, peeled and sliced
- 2 Passion Fruit Flesh
- 1/2 cup of Orange Juice
- Add some Mint or Basil to top!
- Place ingredients in a blender – run for 1 minute until smooth.
- Pour into glass and garnish
Hope you enjoy all the recipes and let us give you saffron cooking tips, If your recipe includes liquid (water, broth, or wine), use a little of it and pour over the saffron. Turmeric may be substituted for the color properties, not not the flavor. Do not use wooden utensils when mixing saffron. Wood utensils tend to absorb saffron easily. Since saffron is expensive, you don’t want to waste it
Looking to order Saffron? Check out our Organic Persian Saffron in the deli section!