Iranian Powdered Saffron

As Parivash Rohani from Ardestan and Shiraz, Iran, taught Lindsay Sterling in Freeport, ME, 2016

Cooking Time: 5 minutes
Note: For use in dishes such as Iranian chicken in walnut-pomegranate sauce. Ground saffron releases its flavor into the food faster and more evenly than saffron threads. 


  • 2 grams saffron threads (preferably Iranian)
  • 1/2 tsp sugar


  • mortar and pestle
  • small empty, clean, dry spice jar with tightly fitting lid
  • clean sheet of paper


1. Put all your saffron threads in a mortar and pestle with 1/2 tsp sugar. Pressing hard and putting your weight into the pestle, grind in a circular motion quickly for about a minute until you have a fine powder.

2. Pour powder into a pile on a clean sheet of paper.  Then lift two sides of the paper to create a channel that allows you to pour the powdered saffron into a storage jar without spilling any precious granules. Tighten lid on jar, and store for use in any dishes that call for saffron.

3. So as not to waste the saffron residue in the mortar, put a couple tablespoons of hot water in the mortar. This will create saffron water, which you can use immediately in a dish, or store in a jar in the fridge for use within 5 days.