It’s so beautiful.
It’s profoundly delicious.
Saffron threads are the stamens of the Crocus flower, which is native to the Mediterranean and western Asia. (The stamen is the pollen-producing reproductive organ of a flower.) The Crocus flower is a very high-maintenance flower that only blooms for one week of the year and only produces about three stamens each. The stamens must be very carefully hand picked, and it takes about 80,000 flowers to produce 1-pound of saffron!When the stunning red threads are hit with liquid, they immediately turn a deep, rich golden color.
Remember when we made Spicy Turmeric-Coconut Rice? The color of the turmeric is similar to that of the saffron — though the flavor is quite different.
- 1 pinch saffron threads
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup basmati rice
- 1¼ teaspoon salt
- about 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ¼ cup roughly chopped, fresh dill, washed and dried
- Add the pinch of saffron threads to a mortar. Use the pestle to grind the spice until it's a powder. This should only take a few seconds, and will yield less than ⅛ teaspoon, which is all you need.
- Add about 2 tablespoons of the water to the mortar and then pour this, along with the remaining water into a medium-sized soup pot. Bring it to a very gentle simmer and then turn off the heat. Let it steep for at least 15 minutes.
- Now pour the rice into a fine mesh strainer and rinse it thoroughly, and then add it to the pot, along with the salt and olive oil.
- Gently stir and then bring to a boil. Immediately turn the heat to low, cover the pot, and cook just until all of the liquid has been absorbed, about 15 minutes.
- Fold in the dill and serve.