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Crocus Sativus, the delicate purple flowers, cultivated widely in India, Iran, Spain, Greece etc. give the most expensive spice in the global market, saffron. In India, saffron is cultivated in the northern state of Jammu & kashmir. Kashmiri saffron are the most high ranked and expensive among all the other varieties.
Saffron is quite famous for the medicinal properties it holds. They are peculiar for the crimson red colour and the mind blowing aroma it spreads upon the food items. You can buy saffron online to make your kitchen a living garden with flavorful fragrance and tasty dishes.
The purple flower of saffron is being grown in the valleys of Kashmir for over hundreds of years. Pampore district in the state is often known as “Kashmir’s saffron town”, where thousands of hectares of land is being saved for the cultivation of saffron alone.
There are three types of Kashmiri saffron available in the spice market. All the three forms of saffron are differentiated with the amount of stigma and style it holds within.
Stigma and style are the parts of the flower and stigma is the saffron. To be more clear, every purple saffron flower has three dark red stigmas in the centre. These are attached to the flower by a pale filament called a style, which is yellowish.
Mongra or Mogra Saffron
It is the most expensive and finest saffron because they are broken stigmas. They are just the crimson red part on the top, where stigma is completely separated from the style.
These dark red stigmas are high in demand as they are the cream of the usable flower parts with high aromatic nature and flavouring qualities.
They are mostly prefered for all kinds of commercial, personal and household purposes.
This is the type of saffron in which the stigma is not completely separated from the style like Mogra saffron but only “partially separated”.
It is a double shaded product with the dark red stigma portion on the top and a centimeter or half centimeter yellowish style attached to it.
Since it is a mixture, it is less costly than Mogra saffron. Yet they are also widely used as flavoring and colouring agents in food recipes.
They are also called the “stamen” variety. In this, the whole style filament is kept with the red stigma without removing anything at all.
Thus, along with the dark red stigma one can see the long yellowish tail filament in Zarda saffron. Since it has most of the floral waste and not the cream finest of the saffron flower like Mongra, Zarda is the most inexpensive among the three.
During a visit to the Pampore district of Kashmir one can spot thousands of ladies plucking threads from the flowers, extracting the aromatic spice to be sold in spice markets.
For getting one pound of saffron, about 75,000 flowers have to be plucked. Yet they are of high demand in markets and only a minimal amount is required to spread the desired smell and taste for the cuisines.
Thus, Kashmir grows widely in saffron cultivation year after year. They usually pack the extracted saffron and export it to other countries or within the country.
There are also wide opportunities for them to sell saffron online as online marketing is a growing industry with numerous spice stores booming everyday. It would definitely be a great venture to the future world of electronic shopping.