Saffron Liquid

Saffron is an essential ingredient in the Persian kitchen. Although it is a delicately aromatic and mildly pungent spice, using too much will yield an overpowering medicinal taste, so use it sparingly. The deeper the colour of the threads, the better the quality. Ready-ground saffron can easily be adulterated, so I recommend using saffron threads. Store the saffron threads in an airtight jar in a cool, dark place. Increase the quantities based on requirement, and store any extra saffron liquid in an airtight container, in the refrigerator, for up to a week.

Preparation Time: 5 minutes, plus infusing
Cooking Time: 30 seconds


  • 10 saffron threads


  1. Toast the saffron threads in a heavy-based pan over a medium heat for 30 seconds until fragrant, shaking the pan often.
  2. Transfer the saffron to a mortar and leave to cool for 1–2 minutes, before grinding them into a powder.
  3. Mix the ground saffron with 1 tablespoon boiling water and set aside to infuse for at least 1 hour (until a rich orange hue appears) before using. The colour and flavour will continue to develop for about 12 hours.