Saffron & More

Persian Ingredients
Parya Zaghand grew up in Tehran, Iran’s capital city. Today she regards herself as an Aussie who is proud of her Persian heritage. Parya is passionate about building a bridge between east and west by bringing the food and culture of her homeland to people’s tables and in 2014 she started Saffron & More to do just that.
Saffron & More is now Australia’s major importer of premium Persian saffron along with other distinctive Iranian ingredients. For each product added to her range, Parya makes repeated trips to Iran to meet suppliers and check their sources, quality and facilities, including how their employees (mainly women) are treated.
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Cook With Parya

I use Parya’s products in all sorts of dishes, sweet and savoury, across a wide range of cuisines.

Scroll down to see some of my cooking videos and recipes using her ingredients.

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How To Prepare Saffron - Saffron & More (Parya Zaghand)
Play Video about How To Prepare Saffron - Saffron & More (Parya Zaghand)

How To Prepare Saffron

Saffron is usually mixed with water before it’s used. Here Parya explains the two methods of preparing saffron: brewing (with hot water) and blooming (with ice).

Zereshk Polo (Barberry Rice) - Saffron & More (Parya Zaghand)
Play Video about Zereshk Polo (Barberry Rice) - Saffron & More (Parya Zaghand)

Barberry Rice (Zereshk Polo)

This delicious barberry-studded rice is usually served with chicken and is delicious with fish, beef and lamb too. The saffron and barberries add such a special note to this easy dish.

Maast-o Khiar (Cucumber & Mint Yoghurt) with Rose Petals - Saffron & More (Parya Zaghand)
Play Video about Maast-o Khiar (Cucumber & Mint Yoghurt) with Rose Petals - Saffron & More (Parya Zaghand)

Maast-o Khiar

Yoghurt and rice are natural companions and, given that rice appears at virtually all Persian meals, so does yoghurt, often garnished with gorgeous rose petals.

Swordfish à la Bouillabaisse


Parya’s saffron comes from eastern Iran, not far from the Afghani border. The deep burgundy threads add colour, aroma and flavour to all sorts of recipes.

Prawns with Persian Split Pea Sauce

Barberries & Limes

Barberries grow on large shrubs and add a wonderful tart tang to sweet and savoury dishes. Small, sour, dried black limes come from around Shiraz in Iran's south.

Indian Rice Pudding (Kheer)


Intense green Persian pistachios are matched in vibrance only by the famous nuts from Bronte in Sicily. Parya's come from Kerman in south-eastern Iran.

Persian Halva

Roses & Oranges

Parya's rose buds, petals and rose water are made from fragrant pink Damask roses, and her heady orange blossom water is distilled from fresh orange blossom flowers.

All You Need To Know About Saffron

What is saffron?

Saffron is the dried stigmas of the purple Crocus sativus flower. Each flower contains just three reddish-orange stigmas. Saffron is the world’s most expensive spice, though gram for gram much less is needed than with other spices; just 15 tiny strands (about 0.0625g) are enough for most recipes.

Why is saffron so expensive?

Saffron picking and processing is very labour intensive. The flowers are picked at dawn before the main heat of the day and, as the plants are only about 15cm tall, this is back breaking work. Indoors, the thicker, pale yellow style, with its three red stigmas attached, is plucked from each flower then dried to draw out the spice’s flavour and aroma. Between 160,000 and 250,000 flowers produce 5kg of stigmas, which becomes 1kg of dried saffron.

What are the different grades of quality saffron?

There are two main grades of quality saffron: the pure deep red-burgundy stigmas separated from the styles are long, firm, smooth and waxy looking. Alternatively stigmas mixed with up to 20% styles is more orange-red with the yellow threads of the styles apparent; styles don’t contribute colour but do impart classic saffron flavour.

Where can I get cheap saffron?

Given its scarcity and the labour-intensive nature of its production, there is no such thing as cheap saffron. Marigold, safflower, corn silk and dyed coconut fibres are all used as saffron imposters and tartrazine has been found in products labelled ‘saffron powder’.

How do I know I'm buying good quality saffron?

Buy whole saffron threads (not powder which is too easy to adulterate) in small quantities from a reputable supplier. If the price seems too good to be true, be wary! Saffron provides more than colour, real saffron has a rich unmistakable aroma.

How should I store saffron?

Store saffron threads in a small airtight container in a cool, dark place (not refrigerated) for up 2 years.

How much saffron do I need for a recipe?

Most recipes call for a ‘pinch’ of saffron. Just 15 tiny strands (about 0.0625g) of quality saffron is enough for most recipes.

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