Iranian saffron vs Indian saffron
Written by Vahid Epagloo, Food Consultant Updated:

Saffron is the stigmas of the lilac flower, which is called Crocus Sativus in botanical. This flower is known as the saffron flower, crocus saffron flower or crocus flower in public. This magical spice is grown in some countries in special condition. Two of the most famous saffron producers are Iran and India, Queen of Flowers compares Indian saffron and Iranian one.

Saffron Producers

Growing saffron needs special conditions like climate, weather, temperature, humidity, and light. Due to these conditions there are just some countries in them saffron could grow well. These countries are Iran, India, Afghanistan, Spain, Italy and Greece. These products have various quality, in other words, the range of quality is explained for these products. For example, Greece and Italy produce the saffron in just one type, While Afghan, Indian, Iran and Spanish saffron have different types.

Statics show that almost 85 percent of saffron usage in the world produces in Iran. These statics also show that India produces about 7 percent of the saffron using all around the world. These amounts of these productions change due to the climate and other conditions. Iran has been produced saffron more than 3000 years; actually the first saffron producer in the world is Iran.

India could produce good saffron due to its conditions. India and Iran are in Asia, and near each other, it means that they have many subscriptions in climate and agriculture conditions.

Comparison between Iranian saffron and Indian saffron

When we talk about compare two products, we should compare different aspects of them. The first aspect of this golden spice is its quality, and it has other important aspects like shape, color and aroma.

The usage of this magical spice is recommended. Actually, experts recommend to use especial amount of saffron per day, they do not say which kinds of it. They recommend to use high quality and real saffron, but it is great to recognize real and fake saffron. It is wonderful to know the differences between types and kinds of saffron.


Based on statics, the best quality of saffron is for Iranian one. Iran is the oldest saffron producer. When you are the first producer of something, it means that you are the first one who test conditions and find the best quality. The quality of saffron and its fineness test in approved labs. These labs check the amount of Crocin, Crocetin, Safranal and Kaempfral. These are the four components of this magical spice, which cause its great health benefits. Due to these components, the color, taste and aroma of this golden spice is unique.

The amount of these components would change the quality of the red gold. Based on approved lab tests, Iran produces the highest quality saffron. The fineness criterion of this sunshine spice is called saffron Karat. The Karat of Iranian saffron is near 300, the highest amount of this criterion. The best saffron grows in the region that name is Ghaenat.

Indian saffron stands in the second place in quality. Among the saffron from India, Kashmir saffron is the best. The third place is for the Afghan saffron.


Saffron is the most expensive spice in the world; due to its price it is called the red gold. This expensive spice has different price due to the cultivation region. One of the most important reasons for the high prices of the golden spice, it is the cultivation and harvesting conditions. These works should do manually, and the labor cost a lot to producers.

The price of the Iranian red gold is less than Indian and Spanish saffron. As we mentioned the quality of saffron, which cultivate in Iran is the highest, so why it is cheaper than other? That is because of the costs of labor in Iran. The salary of the labor is in the lowest amount all around the world.


The Iranian red gold is longer. It should better to say that the Irani saffron threads are longer than the Kesar. The Indian calls their saffron Kesar.

The shape of saffron threads is like a trumpet, wide head and narrow tail. The Kashmiri saffron has a wider head than the Iranian one.


Saffron has a fragrant and exotic aroma. Actually, its aroma is one of the reasons that this spice is so famous. The aroma of saffron is stranger than other spices; it is also a unique one.

The ancients used this spice as a luxury perfume. This spice was the royal family perfume. Today, many perfume producers use it as the main raw material to their popular perfumes.

The aroma of the Indian and Iranian saffron is the same. We can just say that the aroma of the Iranian one is stronger.


The color of the brewed saffron threads is similar, in these two types, while the color of the strands is different. The color of the Irani saffron strands is red; but the color of the kesar is crimson or dark red. It could be the reason of the drying method. In Iran, people say the dark threads are burned they do not buy them. When a person recognizes the good quality of the golden spice, he looks for the bright red ones. In India, people believe the darker color of the strands show better quality.


The taste of saffron threads is like a well-prepared espresso. It has a lovely bitterness. These two types of the sunshine spice have the same taste.


Iran and India, both are old countries, and they both have traditional medicine. Saffron has lots of great health benefits, in both these countries; saffron is used as a spice and the treatment of many diseases. In India, most people drink saffron in milk daily, while in Iran people use it in their foods or drink it as saffron tea.

Types of saffron

As we mentioned above, just Iranian, Indian, Afghan and Spanish saffron has different types. These types are named Sargol, Negin, Super Negin, Daste (Bunch), Pushal, Powder and Root. In Iran, most people buy Sargol, Negin and Super Negin. They prefer to grind their spice themselves. Iran exports all these saffron types to the whole world.

Indian people use all these kinds, but they do not export all of them. They export the Sargol, Negin, Super Negin and Daste.


There are many differences between Indian and Persian saffron. Almost all the factors that explained as quality factors depend on Persian type. That is because that Iran is the largest producer of this magical spice, almost 85 percent of the world saffron produce in Iran. In addition, based on the approved lab experiments, the Persian saffron has the finest quality.

According to the medicinal properties of the red gold, it is better to add it to your daily diet, no matter which type, just be careful to add the real one, not fake saffron.


Is there any difference between Iranian saffron and Indian one in properties?

Iranian saffron has the best quality, but both of these kinds are saffron and have the same properties.

Can I use Persian saffron instead of Indian one?

Yes, both of them are great kinds of the golden spice.

Does Persian and Kashmiri saffron have the same color?

The amount of Crocin in Persian saffron is more than in Kashmiri saffron, that means Persian one has a better color, but the difference is not clear to everyone.

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