ABK's Saffron Showcased on Zee News (India)
The dark red Kashmir Saffron is considered as world’s best saffron for its distinctive long, flat, silky threads and with a red dark color. Saffron, as European name for this spice, ultimately derives from Arabic ''za'ffron''be yellow''. It is called Kesar in Hindi and is mainly produced in Kashmir, Iran, and Spain. The Kesar from Kashmir is famous for its intrinsic high quality and as such it is known for its extraordinary aroma and powerful coloring and flavoring capabilities. The main difference between Kashmiri and Iranian Saffron (kesar) is that of the yield of stigmas. Kashmiri kesar alone has a distinguishing feature of long stigmas with thick heads.
Kesar (Saffron) contains water (14.5 -15.5%) protein (12.5-13.5%) total N-free extract (54.5 -57.5%), starch and sugar (12.0-13.5%) , fixed oil (4.7- 8.5%), volatile oil (0.7-0.8%),crude fiber (4.0-5.0%), ash (4.0-4.5 %) and traces of potassium , phosphorous and boron. The yellow-red pigment is crocin ( glycosides). The yellow color liberated in water by Kesar (saffron) is from crocin.
How to use Kesar: Kesar (Saffron) needs moisture to release its flavor. The best way to extract flavor from Kesar is to soak the threads in hot (not boiling) liquid for 5 to 20 minutes. Then add both the Kesar and the liquid to the recipe.
Storage: Store in a cool and dry place away from direct heat and sunlight to keep your Kesar or saffron full of intense flavors.