Summers are fast knocking on our doors and it is finally time to bid good bye to the gloomy winters. With the change in season, it is time to make room for the season special foods and spices too. The leafy greens and warming beverages of the nippy weather would soon be swapped for more cooler and refreshing fruits and vegetables. However, there are some foods you never want to part with. Saffron is one such fragrant spice we are not ready to say good bye to yet. The priceless and rare saffron when added to our most bland preparations can turn the fate of the dish around. A pinch of saffron has been an integral part of various Indian cuisines especially Kashmiri. Saffron is a spice derived from the flower of Crocus sativus, commonly known as the "saffron crocus". Saffron is collected and stored in the form of beautiful orange-crimson strands and is renowned for both its strong and fragrant flavour and as a colouring agent in food. It is said that saffron originated in Greece or one of the Mediterranean countries and was an intrinsic part of households and royalty in the bronze age civilization.
Later when the trading communities set out in seek of exotic spices, fruits and vegetables, saffron travelled too and made its way into various cuisines. In India, it is cultivated in Jammu & Kashmir and in Himachal Pradesh. Saffron thrives best in warm sub-tropical climate. For the longest time, saffron was considered as the spice for the rich. Till today, saffron is one of the costliest spices sold on the Indian terrain. Safranal and crocetin are some of the main antioxidants in saffron, which are packed with several health benefits.
Safranal and crocetin are some of the main antioxidants in saffron.Traditionally, saffron has been regarded as an effective tonic to treat cold and winter-related ailments. According to Macrobiotic nutritionist and Health practitioner Shilpa Arora, saffron mixed in milk and applied over the forehead may quickly relive cold. Kesar doodh, kesar halwa are other ways in which you can make the most of saffron benefits. However, kesar or saffron is mostly associated with winter, for its hot tendency. So is it okay to have saffron in summers? Let's find out.
Ayurveda Expert Dr. Dhanvantri Tyagi says, "It is preferable to have saffron or kesar during winters as it is a hot potency food. There are three kinds in which we classify foods and spices; hot potency, cold potency or the normal. Saffron has traditionally been a go-to winter spice because of its warm nature. There is no harm in having saffron in summers either. People use it in so many cooking preparations too. If you want to have saffron in winters, the ideal way is to have it with milk. Milk balances the hot potency of saffron and brings it to the normal state."
Milk balances the hot potency of saffron and brings it to the normal state.
So what are you waiting for? There are several reasons why you mustload up on kesar doodh. According to the book 'Healing Foods', by DK Publishing, the active compound crocetin that is found in saffron has been known for its role for reducing the cholesterol level in the blood and preventing heart-related diseases to a large extent. Other than that, saffron can promote sleep, memory and alleviate cold and cough too.
About Sushmita SenguptaSharing a strong penchant for food, Sushmita loves all things good, cheesy and greasy. Her other favourite pastime activities other than discussing food includes, reading, watching movies and binge-watching TV shows.