September 28, 2020

Kesar Elaichi Sharbat | Saffron Cardamom Cooler

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 Saffron is the most expensive spice produced in the whole world and this is probably the only crop that needs to be harvested Manually and cannot be done by any modern machinery. 

The labour intensive process involved in the production and the delicate handling makes this the world's costliest spice . 1 pound (approx 490gms) can range anywhere between  500 USD to 5000 USD .

Saffron / Kesar is cultivated almost all over the globe but Spain , Kashmir and Iran are considered to produce the highest quality pure saffron .Iran produces almost 90% of the global production of Saffron and most of it is exported world wide . Afghanistan, Greece and Italy also are involved in the production of Saffron.

Some Interesting facts about Saffron

  • It takes roughly 40hrs to pick 1,50,000 saffron flowers known as Crocus 
  • 2,00,000 stigmas from 70,000 flowers will yield approx 450gms of saffron.
  • One saffron crocus flower produces just 3 stigmas.
  • The quality and strength of the saffron isn't the same world wide . The purest unadulterated saffron will have more stigmas and red strands and will release a natural yellow color with a mild soothing fragrance when immersed in milk / water. 

Saffron Test

Despite lot of quality checks and processes in place, adulterated saffron is widely available in the markets and we need to be careful while buying them. 

  • Original Saffron when immersed in milk or water , will naturally turn the water or milk to light yellow . This can take anywhere between 15 mins to 1 hr.
  • Once immersed, if you rub the strands between your fingers , they shouldn't break or disintegrate .
  • If the water or milk immediately turns yellow or orange or red then the saffron is adulterated. 
  • If the water or milk remains colorless , then the strands aren't saffron at all.

Saffron Storage

  • Always store saffron in a cool dry place .
  • Preferably store it in a glass bottle .
  • Never keep the saffron in plastic cover even if it comes in that packing. 

Benefits of saffron

  • Mood enhancer and mild usage of saffron is known to reduce stress levels and cheer one up.
  • Saffron in warm milk is said to handle PMS and mood swing issues in women.
  • Saffron is an antioxidant. 
  • Saffron is an aphrodisiac. 

The  266th week of FMBH is a very rich and royal week with Saffron as the star ingredient suggested by Mayuri ji of Mayuri's Jikoni. Needless to say her blog is a treasure chest of lip smacking delicacies and her latest Gujurati Thali was nothing short of a Royal feast.

As most of you know I have a special soft corner for Kesar and cardamom and no sweet I make is devoid of these two royal and exotic spices.  Donot miss to check some exotic Saffron based desserts on my blog listed below. 

Kesar Pista Kulfi

Kesar Pista Shrikhand 

Kesar  Badam Milk 

Kesar Peda

Emirati Spl Saffron Tea

This time around , though I had many sweets in my mind which use saffron,  I wanted to prepare something where Saffron was the Hero ,to do justice to the title "Exotic Saffron" .

I had the chance to taste this refreshing Kesar Sharbat  with mild flavor of saffron and elaichi at a function few years back and when I prepared the Emirati Special Karak Chai using saffron , I was reminded of this cooler and as luck would have it I get to blog it this week.  A big thanks to Mayuri ji for suggesting this and claps to all my co bloggers for having voted for this choice .

It hardly takes 10 mins to prepare this sherbet and about an hour to cool . If you are hosting a party or get together with your family or friends , all you have to do is prepare this sharbat in advance and chill it for a few hours. You are all set to treat your guests to a Royal exotic welcome drink .

Preparation Time - 10mins

Cooking Time - 3 mins

Complexity - simple

Makes 2 glasses ( 200ml each)


400 ml water (2 cups)
10 to 12 strands saffron 
1 tsp cardamom powder 
4 tsp sugar ( + / - as per your taste)


  • Soak the saffron strands in warm water for 10 mins to release the flavor and color. 
  • Boil the water with sugar until sugar dissolves. No need for any string consistency. 
  • Add in the soaked saffron , cardamom powder and bring it to a rolling boil.  The saffron strands on further boiling will give out a bright orangish yellow color and a soothing aroma.
  • Bring it to room temperature and refrigerate it until serving. Serve chilled . Add in some ice cubes if you wish.


  • If you feel the sugar has a lot of  dust, then add a few drops of lime juice to remove the scum. Filter the sugar syrup and then add the saffron strands to prepare the sharbat.
  • You can add a few drops of rose water if you like the taste.I kept it plain because the flavor of saffron is very soothing and refreshing 


  1. Saffron amd cardamom pair so well and this sharbat is no exception. Can imagine how aromatic amd flavorful this cooler drink must have tasted. Loved the gorgeous golden color saffron has imparted to the drink.

    1. Thanks Poonam. Indeed it was very refreshing

  2. Saffron and cardamom are a great combo. Sharbat looks so refreshing flavorful and delicious. I would love to try it soon.

    1. thanks Suja ji .. would love to hear your feedback when you prepare

  3. I love the golden colour of this sharbat. With the cardamom going in, this must make for such a delicious and refreshing drink.

  4. Wow, the only time I've tasted saffron cardamom cooler is as prasadam at the ISKCON temple and that too we were given about a tablespoon only. Such a beautiful cooling orangish yellow drink. Awesome recipe.

    1. Thanks Mayuri ji .. oh yaa..the theertha prasad at Isckon is so tasty. Seems like nectar ..

  5. Kesar elaichi sharbat looks so awesome. I love this flavorful and easy to make Sharbat. Beautiful colour too.

    1. thanks Preethi..truly this sharbat can be made very quickly .

  6. Loved the information you shared about saffron Priya, Kesar elachi sharbat looks very colorful, eye catch. It's easy to prepare, can imagine the aroma of this sharbat will preparing.

    1. Thanks Aruna.. glad that you liked the information on saffron :-)

  7. It is a soothing and delicious flavour. The addition of rose water gives it a shahi addition and adds another layer to the taste. Love this

  8. Lovely colors of the saffron! Love it there is something so beautiful that saffron gives to a liquid. As for the sherbet its beautiful. I love the colors and combo of cardamom and saffron! Lovely

  9. lovely, soothing sherbet... the saffron test is interesting to know coz aduleteration of saffron is rampant nowadays... great clicks as well...

  10. Loved this Kesar badam sherbet.. perfect cooler for hot and humid weather

  11. ahaaa ! I simply love the beautiful golden color of this cooling and flavorful saffron cardamom cooler. Priya you have shared a simple yet amazing post using saffron ..


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