Author: kesari

Kesar Badam Kheer

A special kheer that gets a mellow flavour from golden pumpkin, almonds and saffron. Serves 6

Ingredients

  • cup whole almonds
  • 1 tbsp ghee
  • 200 grams grated yellow pumpkin
  • 2.5 cups whole milk
  • 1 sachet Kesari Saffron powder
  • ½ cup sugar
  • For garnish: 1 tbsp ghee, 8-10 cashewnut halves, 2-3 tbsp raisins, Saffron strands

Method:

  1. Soak the almonds in boiling water for  hour. Remove skins and keep aside.
  2. In  a pan, heat ghee and saute the pumpkin for 3-4 minutes. Add ¼ cup water, cover and cook the pumpkin until done.  Allow all the  water to evaporate.
  3. Grind the almonds with ½ cup milk and saffron powder to get a smooth puree
  4. Grind the cooked pumpkin with ¼ cup milk to get a smooth puree.
  5.  In a heavy bottomed pan, combine the  almond puree, pumpkin puree, remaining milk and sugar.
  6. Bring this to a gentle simmer for 5-7 minutes.
  7. Meanwhile, heat ghee in a small pan. Add cashews and raisins. Once cashews are golden brown, transfer it over the kheer. Garnish with saffron strands.
  8. Serve chilled or warm

Saffron Banana Muffins

standard banana muffins get a royal upgrade with the addition of saffron. Makes 6-8

Ingredients

  • ¾ cup maida / all purpose flour
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ cup unsweetened desiccated coconut
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 sachet Kesari Saffron powder
  • 2 tbsp ghee
  • cup powdered sugar
  • ¼ cup lukewarm milk
  • ¾ cup mashed ripe bananas (around 3 medium)
  • For garnish: 8 almond halves, 1 tbsp desiccated coconut Kesari Saffron strands (optional)

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven at 175°C. Line a muffin tray with paper liners or use silicone muffin cups.
  2. In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, desiccated coconut and salt.
  3. In  another  bowl, whisk the  ghee, sugar and Kesari saffron powder until creamy.
  4. To  this add  the  milk and  mashed bananas and whisk well until combined.
  5. Make a well in the dry  ingredients. Add the wet mixture and gently stir to combine.
  6. Divide  the   mixture  between  6-8 muffin cups.
  7. Place an almond half over the top and sprinkle desiccated coconut.
  8. Transfer the tray  to  the pre-heated oven and bake for 15-18 minutes or until a tester comes out clean. Garnish the  muffin with a saffron strand.
  9. Serve warm.

Variation:   ¼ tsp of ground cardamo cup of chopped pistachios

Saffron Kewra Paneer Cake

Makes one 7 x 3 inch loaf – roughly 8-9 slices.   is golden and white marbled tea cake with traditional  flavours of saffron and kewra makes a unique addition to your festive tea party.

Ingredients

  • ¾ cup maida
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ⅛ tsp
  • 3 tbsp condensed milk
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 3 tbsp melted ghee or butter
  • 4 tbsp powdered sugar
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 50 grams freshly made paneer
  • 4-5 drops kewra water
  • ½ sachet Kesari Saffron Powder
  • For icing: 1 tbsp icing sugar, 1 tbsp milk

Method:

  1. In  a  bowl,  mix  together  the  dry ingredients.
  2. In     another    bowl,    cream    the condensed milk, lemon juice, melted ghee, sugar and milk.
  3. Mash the paneer well into a coarse paste in a small bowl and whisk it into the wet ingredients.
  4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix gently until well combined.
  5. Divide  this  into  two  halves. Add kewra water to one half and Kesari Saffron Powder in the other and combine each of them well.
  6. Grease   a   small   sized   loaf   tin (7”x3”)with melted ghee and line the bottom with a piece of  parchment paper. Now we have two batters – one white and one yellow.
  7. Using two  separate spoons, spoon the batter alternately into the loaf tin, so that we have a alternating squares of  white and  yellow, until all the batter is used up. Using a skewer or toothpick, swirl the batter in the tin into a few circles.
  8. Bake in a preheated oven at 180°C for 25 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.
  9. Remove from oven, allow to cool in pan  for  10 minutes. Remove cake from pan and cool on a wire rack for  30 minutes.
  10. Whisk together icing sugar and milk and spoon it over the loaf. Cut into slices and serve with a cup of tea or coffee.

Variation: Instead of  Kewra, you can use vanilla extract for an unusual flavour combination.

What is Saffron?

What is Saffron? Saffron comes from the Crocus sativus flower is the most expensive spice in the world and it has several health benefits.

Saffron:

Saffron is an exotic spice that is processed from the blossom of Crocus sativus, also popularly known as “saffron crocus” in lay terms. It qualifies as the most expensive spice as the saffron price per kilo is higher than that of any other spice on earth. It is often packaged and sold in packages of 2 gm or more. A tiny quantity of saffron is sufficient to colour or flavour food as it has a compelling, earthy, flavour adds that distinct yellowish-orange colour to various food preparations. The plant grows up to 8 to 12 inches (20 to 30 cm) in height, and each plant bears just 4 flowers, each one bearing three stigmata in bright crimson colour.

These stigmata, known as saffron threads, are carefully hand-plucked and dried to be sold as one of the most sought after colouring and seasoning agents in the world. This exotic spice purported to carry amazing health benefits, is native to Southwest Asia and was first discovered and cultivated extensively in Greece. Slowly, it traversed all over Eurasia before being introduced in parts of the Americas, North Africa and Oceania. The chemicals picrocrocin and safranal are responsible for the distinct aroma of saffron , and it owes the distinct orange-gold hue to the carotenoid pigment crocin. No wonder that all it takes is a couple of threads of saffron to colour and flavour an elaborate dish.

History of saffron:

Historically, the health benefits of saffron have been clearly recorded in detail by Ashurbanipal, the Assyrian king who lived in the 7th century, and wrote a botanical treatise highlighting the qualities of saffron. This commodity has been traded extensively over four thousand years, and today Iran accounts for almost 90% of the world’s saffron production and sales. The name saffron may have originated from the French term safran, which in turn is derived from the Latin term safranum. Another school of thought propounds the belief that saffron originated from the Arabic az-za’faran, though safranum is derived from the Persian term za’faran.

To know more about saffron, check our blog page – Info about saffron.

Try using this amazing spice from Kesari.

How to use Saffron?

How to use Saffron?

Saffron:

Saffron, also known as kumkumapoovu in Tamil, Zafran in Arabic, and Kesar in Hindi is referred to as the king of spices. It is used in most of the traditional dishes, and the saffron health benefits are known the world over. Prescribing saffron during pregnancy, though in small quantities, is an age old practice as it takes care of the typical hormone surges related with pregnancy, and helps control the mood swings successfully. Consuming just a few strands of original saffron mixed in milk helps regulate the blood pressure in pregnant women. Saffron also helps treat common complaints associated with pregnancy like constipation, flatulence, etc by enhancing blood flow to the digestive system.

Consuming small quantities of saffron during pregnancy helps in preventing morning sickness, by fighting the nausea and dizziness that most pregnant women suffer from during the early stages of pregnancy. Saffron is a great natural spice that can be consumed by normal women also. In addition to being an effective painkiller, kesar benefits include relief from joint and muscle aches, and helps prevent cramps. Moreover, original saffron is very beneficial for the heart, thanks to the presence of antioxidants, potassium and crocetin, which help control the accumulation of cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood.

Saffron has a calming and soothing effect on the body, and works as an effective, natural sedative. It helps cure sleeplessness, as drinking saffron mixed in a cup of warm milk helps get a good night’s sleep. Although saffron price is very high and beyond the reach of many,saffron benefits far outweigh the price. Saffron is great for teenagers as it also helps rectify hormonal imbalance and helps cure pimples and blemished skin. Apart from adding saffron to various dishes, the next best way to use saffron is to consume it after mixing it in warm milk.

How to use saffron:

  • Saffron needs moisture to release its flavour. Press the Saffron threads between two aluminium sheets overcome its bitter after taste.
  • Avoid putting saffron threads directly into what you are cooking.

Crushing:

Measure saffron threads before crushing. Note that a “pinch” of saffron equals about 20 medium threads, and a pinch is usually enough in generally most recipes that serve four to six people. Make Use of mortar and pestle to crush the threads. Remember that crushing saffron by hand or with a mortar and pestle doesn’t offer the most appealing appearance because the threads are   no longer intact. However, you can still get a strong flavour, aroma, and colour from crushed saffron.

Soaking:

For a better burst of flavour soak the saffron threads in milk for 5 to 15 minutes before adding it to your dish. Then simply add it to the recipe. The longer the saffron soaks the yellowish the colour becomes.

Powdered Saffron: 

Use a mortar and pestle to crush the saffron threads. Grind saffron threads to make it into powder. It’s better to go for fresh saffron strands instead of ground saffron as powdered saffron is much easy to adulterate, falsify and counterfeit. When shopping for powdered saffron, make sure to get it from reliable suppliers.

 

You may also like to get more tips on How to store saffron.