How to Grind Saffron

Written by renee kristi
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How to Grind Saffron
When grinding saffron, remember a little goes a long way. (Spoon filled with saffron image by Han van Vonno from

Known as the most expensive spice in the world, saffron comes in two forms: ground and threads. You might feel tempted to buy ground rather than saffron threads believing the two are equal. However, there are important differences. Saffron is sorted by hand, and sometimes foreign materials can unintentionally make it past the sorters. As a result, there is a chance pre-ground saffron might contain other materials. Additionally, pre-ground saffron loses its flavour more quickly than whole threads. By purchasing whole saffron and grinding it yourself, you can ensure your saffron is safe and full of flavour.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Saffron strands
  • Mortar and pestle
  • Pinch of sugar

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  1. 1

    Warm the skillet over low heat. Add a few strands of saffron to the warmed skillet. Toast the saffron, making sure not to burn it.

  2. 2

    Remove the saffron from the skillet and place it in the mortar with the sugar. Place the pestle in the mortar and press down on the saffron. Turn the pestle in a circular grinding motion around the mortar.

  3. 3

    Check the saffron to see whether it is fully ground. If necessary, use the pestle to apply additional pressure and grind any whole strands.

Tips and warnings

  • Check your saffron for foreign materials before grinding.
  • Store your saffron in a cool, dark and dry place.

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