Monday, March 22, 2010

mellow yellow Monday, ruby red tuesday: Saffron



These days, I am more often at the computer than in the kitchen. But when I entertain, I like to serve the best. My guests are curious about my saffron rice.

Saffron is more expensive than gold, but you need only a few strains to produce when I produce a special pot of saffron rice. It's aroma is very unusual, and you don't need to doctor the taste with lots of other spices. I just fry up some ginger, garlic and onion. It goes nicely with curry and other mid eastern dishes.
In the past, I used to cook the cheaper version of yellow rice, using tumeric or yellow ginger. The rice turns out more yellow, and to make it more aromatic, I have to add coconut milk or suntan. In South East Asia, they call it nasi Kunic.
This info is from wikipedia.
Saffron (pronounced /ˈsæfrən/, /ˈsæfrɒn/; Persian: زَعْفَرَان; Chinese: 藏红花) is a spice derived from the dried stigma of the flower of the saffron crocus (Crocus sativus), a species of crocus in the family Iridaceae. The flower has three stigmas, which are the distal ends of the plant's carpels. Together with its style, the stalk connecting the stigmas to the rest of the plant, these components are often dried and used in cooking as a seasoning and coloring agent. Saffron, which has for decades been the world's most expensive spice by weight,[1][2] is native to Southwest Asia.[2][3]. Saffron is known as 'Kesar' in India.
Most saffron is grown in a belt of land ranging from the Mediterranean in the west to Kashmir in the east. Annually, around 300 tonnes of saffron are produced worldwide.[5] Iran ranks first in the world production of saffron, with more than 94 percent of the world yield.[67] Iran's annual saffron production is expected to hit 300 tons by the end of the nation's Fourth Five-Year Socioeconomic Development Plan in 2009. Other minor producers of saffron are Spain, India, Greece, Azerbaijan, Morocco, and Italy. A pound of dry saffron (0.45 kg) requires 50,000–75,000 flowers, the equivalent of a football field's area of cultivation.[68][69] Some forty hours of labour are needed to pick 150,000 flowers.[70] Upon extraction, stigmas are dried quickly and (preferably) sealed in airtight containers.[71]
Saffron prices at wholesale and retail rates range from US$500/pound to US$5,000/pound (US$1,100–US$11,000 per kilogram)—equivalent to £250/€350 per pound or £5,500/€7,500 per kilo. In Western countries, the average retail price is $1,000/£500/€700 per pound (US$2,200/£1,100/€1,550 per kilogram).[2] A pound comprises between 70,000 and 200,000 threads. Vivid crimson colouring, slight moistness, elasticity, recent harvest date, and lack of broken-off thread debris are all traits of fresh saffron.


MaR said...

Fantastic! if I only knew how much to use in the kitchen... :)

My Ruby Tuesday

Jama said...

I don't use them as they are very expensive.One small packet are sold for #10 in NTUC. I remembered my late dad used them in his briyani, that's why it has that special flavour and aromatic.

Eaton Bennett aka Berenice Albrecht said...

Thanks, I didn't know all those things about Saffron. Your rice sounds delicious. Happy RT!

My RT is on Silently Mine.

GreensboroDailyPhoto said...

All right. Now I want to run out and buy some saffron!!! Great idea for your photos!


Auntie E said...

Oh We love Saffron rice. Happy RT
making it easier for you to visit,My Ruby Link for you

Stephanie V said...

I enjoy saffron rice, too. Yours looks yummy - even in the morning.

Ms. Journ said...

hmmmm interesting entry. Maybe i can ask my hubby one day to try with. Looks so yumyum... My daffodils entry.

Diane AZ said...

I've never had Saffron rice but I hope to try it someday. I like how the red pieces turn the water a yellow color.

Marice said...

aww thats pretty interesting :) thanks for sharin!

u may view mine here

Ralph said...

The rice offers subtle rubies scattered all about the bowl. I guess saffron always seemed pricey - but a little goes a long way for color, and taste for sure...

gigi said...

So interesting!

Patti said...

The rice sounds delicious. I don't think I've ever had it, unless it was at a restaurant.

Johnny Nutcase said...

good info and it sounds tasty! i'm sure it smells great, too!

michael bird said...

Sounds yummy - going to have to try some.