Mongra Saffron Laccha
Mongra Saffron Laccha that comes from Crocus sativus or the flower of saffron is the world's most expensive spices. Its fibers are red styles and floral stains that are dried and collected over some time.
It gets its second-to-none flavor and straw-like smell from chemicals such as safranal and picrocrocin. The golden yellow color is because of crocin- a carotenoid color.
Crocus sativus is a plant that blooms in autumn. In India, 5,707 hectares of land are used to grow this spice. Its once-a-year production is about 16000 kg.
The climate of Kashmir is ideal for the production of this spice. The cold winters and warm, dry summers of the state make it an ideal production site.
It develops inside crocus blossoms and should be picked by hand - a troublesome, tiring, complicated project.
For one gram of saffron, you need around 400 flowers! Its extended, red saffron threads have the most flavor, so the odds of each bloom bringing the ideal item are slim.
Each flower creates just three stigmas, so it will take around 75,000 blossoms to make a single pound of this spice.
Kashmiri Saffron Kesar
The Indian version of this flavorful spice has a pot with a curved top. Indian saffron is exclusively grown in Kashmir.
It is top tier producer of this spice globally. Most of the land in the state is used to cultivate the herb.
Kashmiri Mongra Saffron
Saffron, produced in Pampore, a district 15 km from Srinagar, is considered the best quality of saffron. Pampore is known as the "Saffron Town" of India.
This spice is grown in Kishtwar as well. Pampore and areas around it produce about 2,128 kg each year.
Kashmir saffron is of three types: Laccha, Mongra saffron, and Zarda saffron.
Mongra or Mogra saffron has stigmas that are dried in the sun. Red threads of mongra are the finest in this spice. Mongra, with a yellowish tinge, is known for its high quality.
Saffron Kashmir Mongra
Zarda is the tail end part of the red filaments of the saffron flower.
Lacha saffron, with its spots, separated from the flowers and is dried without processing. It falls in the grade 4 category.
The three long and flat dark red threads with the yellowish-red tail in flower are called Laccha.
No other substance is added to this type, making it a natural flavoring and coloring agent in different food products. It is used in Ayurvedic medicine as it provides many health benefits.
A kilogram contains eight hundred grams of Mogra Kesar, one hundred and seventy-five grams of yellow-red threads, Zarda, and twenty-five grams of flowers' dust.
Kashmiri kind is among the most used varieties used in various dishes for its flavour, aroma, and colouring properties. Many cosmetics and beauty products use it too.
This spice is one of the costliest spices in the world. It is called "Gold Spice" since it is costlier than gold.
No wonder people try to copy it and make a huge amount of money with less effort. You should know the following before you buy this spice:
- The quality of this spice is determined by three antioxidants present in them. These antioxidants are:
- Safranal - the spice gets its unique aroma from this element.
- Crocin- this property lends the spice that dark, rich red hue.
- Picocrocin- this element is responsible for the flavor of this spice.
- Its fibers have a trumpet shape. The spice keeps its trumpet shape no matter how the collection process is done.
- If you soak some strands in water, the genuine product would dye the water and stay the same color for 10 to 15 minutes. After 30 minutes, it'd start to turn orange. The fake kind immediately turns dark orange and darkens when put underwater in water.
- Genuine product dyes the liquid, but its color never fades. It does NOT turn white or pale.
- Genuine product has a sweet aroma but a bitter taste. The strands taste as bitter as tobacco.
- Strands of this spice are NOT soluble in water. The strands dye water, but they do not dissolve in it.
This expensive spice is usually added to a cup of warm milk along with some dry fruit to make Kesar Doodh. This beverage helps treat insomnia.
Storage: Store it in a slightly cold and dry spot to ensure wellbeing. Try not to freeze it and keep away from direct daylight.