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In foods, saffron is used as a spice, natural food coloring, and as a flavoring agent. In manufacturing, saffron extracts are used as fragrance in perfumes and as a dye for textiles.


Saffron constitutes as an irreplaceable condiment in a wide range of international dishes. It is widely used in the Middle Eastern, Indian, and South American cuisines. Saffron is most commonly used in rice dishes, pasta, tea, coffee, and a variety of desserts. Saffron enhances both the flavor of foods and provides a unique natural colors suited for world-class culinary presentations.


Basmati Saffron Rice (Persian)

View video here.

saffron rice

3 cups Long Grain Basmati Rice
6 tbsp Olive Oil
2 tbsp Salt
1 tsp Saffron Thread

Dissolve the saffron threads in 4 tablespoons of boiling water and set aside to soak. This will go on top of the rice once the rice is prepared and ready to be served.

Place basmati rice in large bowl and fill with water. Wash 2-3 times by draining water and refilling each time. The last time you fill the bowl with water do not drain/wash and add salt.

Set rice in salt water aside for 2-3 hours. This gives you time to create the dish to accompany the rice i.e. kabob, chicken, khoresht etc.

After 2-3 hours has passed, fill a non-stick pot with water half way and bring to a boil. Drain salt water out of bowl and add basmati rice to boiling water. Next, pour 1 tbsp of olive oil and continue to boil for about 10-15 minutes.

Drain rice in strainer. Place pot back onto medium heat and add the half of remaining olive oil to the bottom of the pot. Add drained rice back to pot and distribute the remainder of olive oil on top of rice. Tightly cover the lid of the pan with a cloth. On medium heat, cook rice for about 30-45 minutes or until rice is completely cooked. A crisp and golden rice crust will also take form at the bottom of the pan. Be sure to not allow the rice to over cook or burn the bottom crust.

The crusted/crispy rice that forms at the bottom is usually served separately and referred to as "TADIG" pronounced "ta - dig" meaning bottom of pot/pan.

With a laddle, start placing rice on to a serving dish. Add saffron mixture in horizontal pattern over rice and immediately serve.

Serves 8-10.

Note: Make sure you use Basmati rice for this dish in order to achieve fluffy and long grain looking rice as pictured. Basmati is a very long grain rice which doesn't stick together and is what's used in Persian restaurants and foods.

Saffron Chicken: view video here.

Saffron Chicken Skewers & Saffron Rice: view video here.

saffron rice and chicken skewer

Chicken Tagine with Roasted Grapes and Saffron Couscous: view video here.

Saffron Risotto ( Risotto Allo Zafferano - Italian recipe): view video here.

saffron risotto


Saffron crocus is a flowering plant that is usually used as a spice. However, it is also used in herbal supplements. Saffron is rich in Vitamin B2 and Riboflavin. Saffron has been recognized to serve very beneficial for an array of medicinal purposes. Saffron supplements are often claimed to help with the following conditions:

  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Asthma
  • Baldness (when applied to the scalp)
  • Bronchitis
  • Cancer
  • Coughing
  • Depression
  • Dry skin
  • Fright
  • Gas
  • Hardening of the arteries (Atherosclerosis)
  • Heartburn
  • Helps loosen phlegm (as an expectorant)
  • Indigestion
  • Insomnia
  • Intestinal gas (flatulence)
  • Pain
  • Painful menstrual cramps and premenstrual syndrome (PMS)
  • Prevent early orgasm (premature ejaculation)
  • Shock
  • Spitting up blood (hemoptysis)
  • Whooping cough (Pertussis)
  • Saffron is also used to increase interest in sex (as an aphrodisiac)

Saffron is a potent spice. Excessive intake can be harmful. The dosage of saffron varies according to many conditions like climate (whether hot or cold), the health and age of the individual, the manner in which the dosage is taken etc. Saffron should be taken for medical reasons always under proper medical advice. The medical information provided on is, at best, of a general nature and cannot substitute for the advice of a medical professional (for instance, a qualified doctor/physician, nurse, pharmacist/chemist, and so on). is not a doctor.

Other Uses


In the olden days, royalty and women from wealthy houses used saffron as a face-mask to remove pimples and soothe rashes. Saffron is antiallergenic and is used widely in the cosmetic industry owing to the trend of using natural products and saffron's active substances.


Owing to its health properties as a relaxant and natural cure against headaches, in the Middle East, saffron is used to prepare an oil based perfume called 'Zaafran Attar' which is a blend of saffron and sandal wood. Saffron is also used as perfume ingredient in many famous internationally renowned brands.

Prestigious Gifts

Saffron is always appreciated as a unique gift item. It is usually presented & appreciated as a valuable gift item during very special occasions such as engagements, weddings, Christmas, New Year, Eid, Diwali, Onam and other festive seasons.

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