Food Items, Food

Fake vs Real: Learn How to Identify Pure Kashmiri Kesar

Fake vs Real: Learn How to Identify Pure Kashmiri Kesar

Pure Kashmiri Kesar or saffron is considered to be the most valuable spice that is obtained from the delicate purple flowers of the crocus sativus plant. The unique flavor, vibrant color, and numerous health benefits make it a highly prized spice not only in India but all over the world.

Authentic Kashmiri Kesar is a culinary treasure that gives your homemade dishes a unique aroma and exquisite flavor. However, it is not easy to find Kashmiri Kesar in its original or pure form. Due to the high demand for this spice, various knockoffs and poor-quality products have flooded the market.

To make sure the Kashmiri kesar you bought is real and not some cheap fake, you need to conduct some tests. In this article, we will help you separate real Kashmiri Kesar from the fake one using some simple methods so stay with us till the end.

Following are a few ways to determine the authenticity of your saffron (kesar) 

  • Cold water Test
  • Baking Soda Test
  • Taste Test
  • Rub With Your Fingers
  • Paper Test
  • The Appearance of Kesar
  • Patrol Test
  • Smell Test
  • Tips to Buy Pure Kashmiri Kesar

Tests to Identify Pure Kashmiri Kesar

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Here are a few tests that you can try out to differentiate pure Kashmiri kesar from the fake one 

  1. Cold water Test

This is probably the simplest and most effective test to identify pure Kashmiri kesar. You just need to take a bowl of cold water and place some saffron threads in it.

After about 10-15 minutes a golden hue is released and the water starts to turn yellow. This is the proof that your Kesar is pure.

If it is a fake then after soaking it the water turns dark red instantly. After a while, the threads of the Kesar turn white which is another thing that shows it is not pure.

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  1. Baking Soda Test

This test involves mixing a small amount of baking soda in water and adding Kesar to the solution. If the mixture turns pale crimson or orangish it shows the Kesar is fake. On the other hand, if the color appears to be yellow it means the Kesar you have bought is pure Kashmiri.

  1. Taste Test

Pure saffron does not taste as sweet as some people might believe. If it is extra sweat then it means it has been altered. Sometimes the Kesar you buy is sprayed with honey or sugar to increase its weight and you need to be aware of that.

The taste of pure Kashmiri kesar resembles bitter honey or hay aroma. The taste of the old crop Kesar is also a bit sharper than the new crop. 

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  1. Rub With Your Fingers

You can also check the authenticity of Kashmiri kesar by soaking it in cold water and then taking some strands out and rubbing these with your fingers. If the strands leave a yellowish and orangish color, it shows your Kesar is pure.

Another thing you need to notice is how fast the saffron breaks apart. Fake Kesar quickly breaks and turns to dust as compared to the real one.

  1. Paper Test

Sometimes, profiteers will add oil to increase the weight of the saffron and make it appear shinier. To find out if the Kesar you have bought is altered this way, you can try the paper test.

For this purpose, you simply need to take two white papers and rub saffron between them for a few seconds. The oil added to Kesar will stick to the paper showing that it is a fake or altered product.

  1. The Appearance of Kesar

Though simply looking at the appearance of saffron is not enough, still it can tell you a lot about its purity. The real Kesar threads are in a trumpet shape. If the threads of saffron do not have a bulge at one end, it usually means it is not real stuff.

Again, it is wise to conduct other tests and not just rely on the appearance when buying Kesar. Other products like corn-dyed stems, safflowers, and even strands of red meat have the same appearance which is why you cannot rely on this test alone.

  1. Patrol Test

This simple test involves adding Kashmiri kesar into some petrol. Saffron is insoluble in gasoline or petrol. If on adding Kesar the petrol gets colored, it is clear proof that it has been altered.

  1. Smell Test

To check the aroma of Kesar, rub a few strands between your fingers and smell them. Real Kashmiri kesar has a bitter, floral, honey-like smell. If the smell is extra sweet, there is a high chance that the Saffron you have bought is a fake.

Tips to Buy Pure Kashmiri Kesar

The first thing to look at is the origin of the Kesar you are about to buy. The highest quality Kesar is found in regions of Kashmir and Iran. Before buying look at the color, shape, and smell of the saffron. Pure saffron has a deep red-orange hue and it tastes and smells slightly bitter.

The threads of pure Kesar are thin, long, and trumpet-shaped. Finally, make sure to pick a reliable vendor and avoid buying from generic brands. If you do all these things, we assure you that you will be able to find the purest Kashmiri Kesar in no time.


It is not easy to differentiate real Kashmiri kesar from fake. However, if you use the above methods to check the authenticity of the Kesar, you will be able to save a lot of your money. This spice is quite expensive and picking out a random product online or from an aisle of a store is not wise.

Always buy your Saffron or Kashmiri kesar from a reputable source and conduct the tests we have mentioned above to make sure you get your money’s worth.

You can visit us at to buy pure Kashmiri Kesar at a very reasonable price. 

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