© 1994, Excerpted with permission from Ayurvedic Cooking for Self-Healing
by Usha and Dr. Vasant Lad
Cooking with Saffron
Saffron is sweet, astringent, and bitter to taste, heating with a sweet vipaka (post-digestive effect). It is balancing for all three doshas, easy to digest and helps food allergies.
Medicinal Uses: Very effective for migraine-type headache. It can be effective in revitalizing the blood, circulation and the female reproductive system.
Vata = Pitta = Kapha =
1 generous pinch saffron
1 Tbs water
1 1/2 cups basmati rice
3 Tbs ghee or unsalted butter
4 bay leaves
7 bits of cinnamon bark
(about 1 heaping teaspoon)
7 cloves, whole
1/2 tsp salt
7 cardamom pods, whole
4 cups hot water
Soak the saffron in the 1 tablespoon water for at least 10 minutes.
Wash and rinse the rice twice. Drain.
Heat a pot over medium heat and add the ghee. Then add the bay leaves, cinnamon, cloves, salt, and cardamom and mix well for a minute. Turn the heat to low, add the rice and sauté in the spices for 2 minutes.
Pour in the hot water and the soaked saffron and bring to a gentle boil. Boil uncovered for 5 minutes. Then turn down the heat to medium and partially cover.
Continue to boil gently for another 5 minutes, stirring once or twice to keep from sticking.
Turn the heat to low, fully cover and simmer until tender, about 10 minutes.
Sometimes at the end of a long day, comfort food can be soothing and relaxing. The simplicity of steamed vegetables and saffron rice can take the stress off and set you up for an evening of respite.