Saffron milk/ Kesar milk
Hi friends ! Here is a very healthy drink for the approaching Winter ! Saffron flavored milk enriched with almonds, cardamom powder, nutmeg powder, dried dates/ Sūkhē khajūra/ chuhara and served hot. You will never be able to say NO!!!
Preparation Time : 5-8 minutes
Cooking time : 15-20 minutes
Servings : 4
Cooking time: 25 minutes
Cuisine: India ,Uttar Pradesh, North India
Level Of Cooking : Easy
- 20 Almonds blanched and roughly chopped
- 3 cups Milk
- 6 Green cardamoms, finely powdered
- 4 dried dates/ Sūkhē khajūra/ chuhara, stone removed ,sliced
- a pinch Nutmeg powder
- a pinch saffron strands
- 3 tbsp sugar
Heat milk in a thick-bottomed pan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer on low heat for fifteen minutes.
In a food processor grind the almonds to a smooth paste by adding a little milk while doing the grinding. Add almond / badam paste , cardamom powder, a pinch of saffron and nutmeg powder to the simmering milk and continue to boil for another five minutes.
Add sugar stir, boil for another two minutes, remove from heat. Serve warm in individual glasses.
The King of Spice: Saffron
The undisputed King of all these spices is the Saffron, which, when included in the recipe, gives a royal touch to any dish, savory or dessert. Also known as the Golden Spice, Saffron is unique in many ways. Exquisite, elusive, exclusive, exotic, delicate and the most expensive, this is a spice to be reckoned with and is worth its weight in gold! Elusive because saffron is the stigma of the saffron flower (Crocus Sativus) and each saffron flower contains only three stigmas. These stigmas or saffron threads are handpicked by elderly women from the centre of the crocus flower and it takes anywhere around 70,000 to 250,000 flowers to get one pound of saffron. Thankfully however, only a very little quantity is required to be added to a dish to get that distinctive aroma, flavor and color.
Buying, Storing Saffron:
There are three important criteria to look for while buying saffron
- Saffron threads (Stigmas) are all red and have no other color.
- Saffron threads must be dry and brittle to the touch.
- Saffron aroma is strong and fresh, never musty.
Storing: Saffron has to be stored in an airtight container away from heat, moisture and light. If stored carefully saffron can retain its potency, aroma and coloring properties for almost three years.
- Saffron has to be soaked in water, liquor or the cooking liquid so as to best release its flavor and essence. For one teaspoon of saffron strands use three teaspoons of liquid and soak for around one or two hours to get best results.
- Do not use wooden vessel to mix saffron as wood absorbs the saffron easily.
- Turmeric can be used as a cheaper substitute for saffron to obtain the color, but not the flavor.
- Though a smaller quantity of powder is required in recipes in comparison to saffron strands, it is not very feasible as the powder has a shorter shelf life.
Uses Of Saffron
Saffron is widely used in many cuisines around the world, including India. It is used in Indian sweets and sweet dishes, to make syrups, to color food and flavor both food and beverages.
Saffron is also used in the cosmetic and perfume industry. It is used to dye fabrics. In India, it is a part of religious and marriage festivities.
Ayurveda, Unani and Chinese medicine have used saffron traditionally for healing and even Western medicine uses it to treat certain health conditions.
According to Ayurveda saffron balances the tridoshas and increases body heat.
Nutrients In Saffron
- Saffron contains over 150 volatile oils that yield aroma of which safranal is the one that gives it its hay like flavor.
- Among the non volatile compounds, alpha-crocin gives saffron its distinct yellow orange color.
- It also contains, lycopene. zeaxanthin, alpha and beta carotenes etc.
- Saffron is extremely rich in manganese and has very good amounts of vitamin C, iron, potassium, phosphorus and copper.
- It has good levels of folates, niacin, pyridoxine, riboflavin and Vitamin A.
Health Benefits Of Saffron:
Saffron has an amazing number of health properties among them are anticarcinogenic, antimutagenic, antipoisonous, cardiotonic, carminative diuretic, stimulant, lactogogue, sedative, aphrodisiac, immunomodulating and antioxinant properties.
Saffron can be taken in foods or beverages to derive its health giving benefits.
Saffron can be used to suppress appetite to control weight. This can be beneficial to those who wish to control their overeating habits.
8 to 10 strands of saffron can be steeped in a cup of warm water for 20 minutes to make a saffron tea like drink. that will provide this benefit. 1 gram of saffron can make 50-60 cups of this saffron tea.
Nick’s kitchen medical Disclaimer:
- Nick’s kitchen is for Vegetarians. It sometimes provides education and support to individuals who want to become vegetarian, or move toward a more vegetarian diet.
- Nick’s kitchen provides some information on vegetarian and vegan diets to the best of their knowledge and abilities.
- Nick’s kitchen does not claim to be health care professional, nutritionist, nor does it claims to treat any illness through vegan or vegetarian diet.
- If you have a medical condition,Nick’s kitchen recommend that you consult your health care professionals before changing your diet.
- Any changes that you make to your diet, and the results of those changes, are your decision and your responsibility.