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Saffron Substitutes

Cooking tips for the caring cook.


Tumeric is also known as Indian saffron, but do be careful when using turmeric as it has a rather strong flavor and can overwhelm your food.

  • Saffron comes either powdered or in threads (the whole stigmas). Powdered saffron loses its flavor more readily and can easily be adulterated with less expensive powders like turmeric.
  • You can also use safflower, but use 8 times as much. Safflower is less expensive and imparts similar color, but taste is inferior.
  • Try marigold blossoms if you're looking to match color, not flavor. Use twice as much.
  • Lastly, annatto seeds. Steep 1 teaspoon Organic Annatto Seed in 1/4 cup of boiling water for 30 minutes, discard seeds. Reduce liquid in recipe by 1/4 cup.

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