HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >


stretching saffron

  • 7

This seems like some pretty good advice. I thought I'd share this with the group. Has anyone tried this?


  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Yes! It works well to dissolve the saffron in warm milk or water for a few minutes first. I always do this.
    Another trick is to put saffron in a spice grinder with a lump of sugar and blend it to a powder before you dissolve it in the warm liquid - it helps it disperse more than in strands

    1. I always dry-roast it (not to dry the saffron, but to further enhance the flavor & aroma). I then put in in a small bit of aluminum foil, and using the back of a spoon, break up the threads a little, then soak it in warm milk, as Siegal wrote.

      1. Saffron goes a long way, I usually soak it in some wine before adding to a dish.

        1. Most indian recipes that use saffron call for soaking the saffron in warm milk for a few minutes, then drizzling into/over the dish.

          1 Reply
          1. re: boogiebaby

            Learn something new all the time here. Thank You.

          2. I usually bloom my saffron right before using it. Since I often make saffron rice and add chicken stock, I put the saffron in a glass cup and cover it with 1/2 cup of chicken stock (or part white wine), microwave it for 20 seconds about twice (maybe let it sit for a minute between, to avoid having it boil over, making a big mess and wasting a lot of the saffron). Then I let it steep for the next 10 minutes while I do my other prep and saute the rice (pilaf prep style, in a little oil). By the time I'm ready to use it, it has bloomed nicely.

            If you have a little white wine, the alcohol in the wine helps to release the flavor, too. I think some flavors and aromas are more soluble in alcohol. So a mix of the liquids may do a better job than just stock. Milk works well if you're doing an Indian style sweet dessert.

            1. Thanks for sharing the lovely food shots and creative tips!
              Saffron is an ingredient I use in the rice dishes of a line of Middle Eastern ready meals I produce. I use Persian saffron, and the traditional Persian method for processing it, namely: ensure saffron is nice and crispy-dry (if not, it can be toasted or some people even microwave it for a few seconds); finely grind saffron, with a pinch of salt, in a mortar and pestle (at this stage it can be decanted and into a spice jar and stored in the fridge); pour in enough hot water to immerse all the saffron, and soak for at least 10 minutes, to soften; pour into whatever you're using it for. Use a little more water to rinse any remaining precious saffron elixir from your mortar into your recipe. If you're using the saffron for rice, Persians take a bit of the cooked rice and stir it into the elixir, then sprinkle the resulting brightly stained rice onto the top of their lovely, fragrant basmati rice.