It may look like saffron, it even does what saffron does (gives food a yellow-orange hue), but Kasubha is not saffron. While saffron is derived from the saffron crocus, kasubha comes from the Carthamus tinctorius, or as it is commonly known, safflower.
Kasubha comes from the safflower. Just like real saffron, the red petals of the safflower can yellow your food beautifully, but add no flavor.
This is KASUBHA (scientific name: Carthamus tinctorius), also commonly known as safflower. Packers of Filipino ingredients have chosen to refer to them as “saffron” in English.
Safflower is commonly passed off as saffron due to its similar ability to color food along with a pleasant, distinctive flavor. If your dish calls for a teaspoon of saffron, you would use a teaspoon of safflower instead.
If you can’t find kasubha you can add a few strands of saffron, another alternative is if you have some turmeric powder add about 1/4-1/2 tsp to give you this yellow cast. Add turmeric while sautéing garlic, ginger, and onion.
It may look like saffron, it even does what saffron does (giving food a yellow-orange hue), but kasubha is not saffron. While saffron is derived from the saffron crocus, kasubha comes from the Carthamus tinctorius, or as it is more commonly known, safflower.
Turmeric is widely considered the best substitute for saffron in paella. Turmeric belongs to the ginger family. Its taste can be described as earthy and bitter and is often used in curries. While saffron has a floral and sweet taste, turmeric is much more powerful and peppery.
The English meaning of saffron is: color path.
Also known as poor man’s saffron, Safflower has been used for thousands of years as a natural food coloring in beverages and foods, as a fabric dye, cooking oil and as an ornamental. It is native to Asia and North Africa and is now widely grown around the world.
Ground turmeric is the best substitute for saffron and is easy to find at your local grocery store. Some other substitute options are annatto or safflower, but these ingredients are pretty hard to find. In our opinion, turmeric is the best choice!
Cooks can use safflower — colloquially known as “poor man’s saffron” — as an affordable saffron substitute because the two spices share a similar color. Uses: The main difference between safflower and saffron lies in their use in cooking: Safflower is a standard cooking oil, while saffron is often used as a spice.
Safflower and saffron may have similar nicknames, but they have very different uses in the kitchen. Safflower is prized for its oil, which can be used to cook food over high heat. Saffron, on the other hand, is the valuable and precious stigma of the flowering crocus plant.
Is there a cheaper substitute for saffron? Turmeric, safflower, and annatto are all much cheaper substitutes for saffron. All of the items on this list are easier to find and cheaper. If you need the color that saffron adds, use turmeric or safflower.
Turmeric (Curcuma longa), also known as Indian saffron, belongs to the ginger family. It turns food golden yellow, but has a different flavor than saffron. Turmeric is used by unscrupulous retailers to stretch saffron powder.
The Different Saffron Substitutes
According to Raw Spice Bar, turmeric imparts a similar color to saffron, which may be why it’s one of the most recommended substitutes, but the flavor is actually quite different.