Saffron Threads Crocus Flowers
Saffron is a spice derived from the flower of the saffron crocus. The stigmas of this flower are often dried and used in cooking as a seasoning and colouring agent. Saffron is characterised by a bitter taste and an iodoform- or hay-like fragrance; it also contains a carotenoid dye, crocin that gives food a rich golden-yellow hue. These traits make saffron a much-sought ingredient in many foods worldwide. Saffron also has medicinal applications. Saffron is the most expensive spice in the world by weight, but fortunately a little bit of saffron goes a long way.
Saffron appears in Moorish, Mediterranean and Asian cuisines. Its most common function is to colour rice yellow, as in Indian pilau and Italian risotto dishes, where its delicate flavour make it the most famous of Indian and Italian rice dishes. It combines well with fish and seafood, infamous as a key ingredient of Spanish paella.
Large doses can be fatal. It has not much of medicinal values. It was a belief in Yarlpanam that if saffron is chewed with betel by pregnant women the baby gets a fairer complexion.