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Kong Posh Kya Wanaan – The Story Of Saffron

Saffron is the most precious and expensive spice in the world. This purple colored flower has a fascinating fragrance, pleasant flavor and a beautiful color.

1. Kashmir is one of the three prominent cultivating places of saffron all over the world besides Iran and Spain.

Saffron flowers kashmir

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2. Pampore, which is situated at a distance of 15 kilometers from Srinagar, is famous all over the world for its high grade saffron. Saffron is also grown, though in a limited scale, in Kishtwar of Jammu.

Saffron pampore

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3. Saffron has been grown in Kashmir since the Mughal period, which began in the 16th century when saffron bulbs — a species of crocus — were brought from Iran.

Saffron mughal kashmir

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4. Saffron has several names-Zafran, Kesar, Kong, Kong Posh etc.

Saffron plucking zaffran

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5. Saffron is the dried, redish, flattened stigma of cultivated saffron plant.

dried saffron kashmir

Saffron

6. Saffron is the world’s costliest spice and is called the red gold.saffron costliest

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7. Almost 130-160 flowes constitute 1 gm of saffron.

zaffran flowers

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8. Saffron is a perennial crop, lasting for about 10 to 15 years after sowing.

saffron perenial

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9.It is an annual crop. All the work is done manually from sowing to harvesting.

Saffron manual plucking

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10. The farmer avoids the fields in the vicinity of large trees as they reduce the moisture content in the soil. Moreover, the plot should not be close to any water-body as water may damage the seeds of the crop.

saffron karewa kashmir

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11. In Jammu and Kashmir, saffron is normally sown in August and till the 15th of September.

kashmir saffron fields

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12. Harvesting of saffron commences in the last week of October and continues for 4-6 weeks.

saffron harvesting

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13. During harvesting or plucking of flowers, the atmosphere must not be hot. So, this process is completed early in the morning after the disappearance of dew.saffron morning

14. After plucking the flowers from the field, family members sit together to separate the stigma (saffron) from the flower by hand.

saffron plucking kashmir

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15. When the stigma is separated, it is then left to dry in a room and not directly under the sun which fades its color.

saffron dry kashmir

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16. Saffron flowers are collected in specially designed baskets of bamboo and willow.

saffron basket willow

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17. It is water-soluble and when added to the dish, gives a pure and homogeneous color.

Saffron color

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18. Its primary usage is as a flavoring agent. In Kashmir, it is used in kehwa- a special kashmiri tea, wazwaan and other dishes as well. It has lot of medicinal properties.

kesar_kulfi

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It can be truly said of kesar, that it is gold in edible form.

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