Connect to the source

Arya Saffron imports the highest quality saffron directly from Afghan farmers. This direct connection to the source benefits the farmers, the product and ultimately the price. By Leaving out third parties we ensure that our farmers are paid a fair price for their saffron whilst also guaranteeing the quality. Arya Saffron delivers the highest quality saffron, because we sort the quality at the source via the ‘handpicked’ method. All of our saffron has independent quality certificates from Eurofins.

Farmers from the Afghan region

Our saffron brings entirely new cooking experiences to kitchens all over the world. It is an opportunity to share wonderful flavors with family and friends. However, it is also an opportunity to support honest Afghan farmers who work under harsh conditions to cultivate their saffron. By buying their saffron for a fair price we support over 500 farmers in the region and ensure a lasting legacy of this ancient culture.

The ‘sourcing’ is entrusted to Arash Behrad, who in this way can also fulfill his personal mission; offering honest saffron at a fair, acceptable price.

Arash Behrad

Arash Behrad was born in Afghanistan. He completed his university studies in both Amsterdam and London and became a Dutch citizen in 2019. He has success with black eye beans cultivation in Uzbekistan and exports high-quality dried beans to the Netherlands. He is married to an Afghan woman and spends on average six months per year in Afghanistan.







Arya Saffron

Arya Saffron and Arash Behrad share a common mission: high quality saffron for a fair price. This is why we have entered an exclusive partnership. Through this partnership we maintain total control over the supply chain which enables us to deliver the highest quality saffron at a fair price for both the farmer and the consumer.

Quality of Arya Saffron

Arya Saffron was founded by the specialist in gourmet bourbon vanilla beans: Vanille B.V.. Under the brand Arya Saffron top quality Afghan saffron threads are offered to consumers, restaurants and industry.

The standard packaging varies from 1 to 20 grams. In the near future saffron powder and saffron extract will also be available.

Saffron from Afghanistan

The saffron is grown in Herat region, in the western part of Afghanistan, which is also the birthplace of Arash. This area has the perfect agricultural land and a favorable climate that allows the farmers to grow such high quality saffron.

What is saffron?

Saffron is a special and precious spice. Saffron is made from the flower Crocus Sativus. Saffron are the styles and stamps (stigmas) of the flower, which are picked by hand and then dried.

Which saffron is of good quality?

Saffron is not all of the same quality and strength. The quality is determined by the intensity of the color (crocin), taste (picrocrocin) and the smell (safranal). The saffron with higher score on color, smell and taste is of good quality.

The highest quality saffron comes from the blood red stamps, the upper part of the dried styles.

International standard

Following the ISO 3632-2 standard

Kwaliteit Arya Saffron

What determines the price of saffron?

There are many types of saffron that are offered in many price ranges. The saffron price is strongly influenced by the origin of the saffron and the saffron quality. Picking saffron is a time-consuming process. For 8 days a year the saffron crocus blooms and the (blood red) pistils can be picked. Each flower contains 3 pistils that can only be picked by hand. For 1 gram of saffron, more than 150 flowers (450 pistils) are needed. This labor-intensive process ensures that the saffron is expensive.

Quality of Arya Saffron

Every purchase order, which is processed and packaged, has been tested by Eurofins. Arya Saffron structurally scores grade 1 which means that the saffron is among the highest quality in the world. Recently, the International Institute for Taste and Quality Assessment of Food, named Afghanistan as the country that produces the highest quality saffron of all 300 countries tested.


How is saffron used?

Saffron can be used in different ways. As a seasoning in dishes or for making tea.

Saffron can be stewed, baked, roasted or soaked in a liquid (infusion).


The threads are added without preparation to dishes that require long cooking time. This way there is enough time to get the full aroma, taste and color out of the saffron.


This preparation is often used in short cooking methods. Put the threads in a bowl and pour hot water (not boiling) over it. Press the threads against the wall of the bowl with a spoon and let them stand for 10-15 minutes. The saffron liquid is now ready for use. You can immerse the wires in a liquid of your choice.


Bake the saffron threads briefly at the beginning of your preparation in some oil or butter, or fry them together with some meat so that the fat can absorb the flavor of the saffron and the aroma can develop. This is often used in dishes where the ingredients already have a lot of flavor.


You can also roast the saffron in a frying pan or in a regular pan, or in the oven without oil or butter. After roasting, you can squeeze the threads between your fingers and add them to your dish.

Arya Saffron focuses on premium saffron from Afghanistan.
Due to the short chain from farmer to user, we deliver at very competitive prices.

Neerloopweg 53
4814 RS Breda

VAT NL 8062.65.620.B01
Chamber of Commerce 23087654

Persian Baghlava

  • 1/2 pound almonds, lightly toasted, finely ground
  • 1/2 pound shelled pistachios, finely ground
  • 1 package of phyllo (thawed in the fridge overnight if frozen)
  • 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
  • 2 tbs sugar
  • 1 cup of unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1/6 cup rose water
  • 1/8 teaspoon powdered saffron, pinch the threads to a powder or use pestle and mortar
  1. In a medium sized bowl combine the chopped almonds, pistachios, two tablespoons sugar and the ground cardamom. Mix well and set aside.
  2. Combine sugar and water in a small pot and bring to a boil on medium heat for about 15 minutes until sugar is completely dissolved. Add the saffron to the syrup, lower the heat, simmer for an additional 5-7 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat, add the rose water and allow to cool.
  4. Lightly butter the inside of the baking pan.
  5. Place the first phyllo dough sheet down and lightly brush the melted butter across covering the entire surface.
  6. Add four more pieces of phyllo dough and lightly brushing each with melted butter.
  7. Add a layer of ground almond/pistachios.
  8. Add five more pieces of phyllo dough sheets lightly brush each sheet of phyllo dough with melted butter.
  9. Add another layer of the chopped nuts covering all areas.
  10. Place five more pieces of phyllo dough, lightly brushing each with butter.
  11. Cover the phyllo dough sheets with another layer of the crushed nuts.
  12. Place the last five layers of the phyllo dough sheets and brush the surface with butter.
  13. With a sharp knife cut across diagonally to make diamond shapes.
  14. Place the baking pan on the center rack of the 350 degrees Fahrenheit or 180 degrees Clelsius preheated oven for 30 minutes or until the top is golden.
  15. Take the tray out of the oven and turn the oven off.
  16. Pour half of the cool syrup all over the baghlava and place it back in the oven for 5-7 minutes.
  17. Remove the tray from the oven and pour the remaining syrup over the baghlava and let cool for at least a couple of hours before serving. (It tastes much better the next day so you may want to make it ahead of time).
  18. To sum it all up, this recipe has 4 layers of 5 phyllo dough sheets and 3 layers of ground almonds and pistachios.

Moroccan lamb tagine

Serves 4

  1. 1 ½ tsp cayenne pepper
  2. 2 tsp groundblack pepper
  3. 2 tbsppaprika
  4. 2 tbspground ginger
  5. 1 tbspturmeric
  6. 2 tsp groundcinnamon
  7. 1 x shoulder or rump oflamb trimmed and cut into 5cm/2in chunks (about 1.1kg/2½lb meat in total)
  8. 2 largeonions, grated
  9. 2 tbspolive oil
  10. 2 tbspargan oil
  11. 3 clovesgarlic, crushed
  12. 570ml/1 pinttomato juice
  13. 2 x 400g tinnedchopped tomatoes
  14. 115g/4ozdried apricots, cut in half
  15. 55g/2ozdates, cut in half
  16. 55g/2ozsultanas or raisins
  17. 85g/3ozflaked almonds
  18. 1 tspsaffron stamens, soaked in cold water
  19. 600ml/1 pintlamb stock or chicken
  20. 2 tbsp clearhoney
  21. 3 tbspcoriander, roughly chopped
  22. 3 tbsp flat leafparsley, roughly chopped
  1. Place the cayenne, black pepper, paprika, ginger, turmeric and cinnamon into a small bowl and mix to combine. Place the lamb in a large bowl and toss together with half of the spice mix. Cover and leave overnight in the fridge.
  2. Preheat the oven to 150C/300F/Gas2.
  3. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil and 1 tbsp of argan oil in a large casserole dish. Add the grated onion and the remaining spice mix and cook over a gentle heat for 10 minutes so that the onions are soft but not coloured. Add the crushed garlic for the final 3 minutes.
  4. In a separate frying pan, heat the remaining oil and brown the cubes of lamb on all sides then add the browned meat to the casserole dish. De-glaze the frying pan with ¼ pint of tomato juice and add these juices to the pan.
  5. Add the remaining tomato juice, chopped tomatoes, apricots, dates, raisins or sultanas, flaked almonds, saffron, lamb stock and honey to the casserole dish. Bring to the boil, cover with a fitted lid, place in the oven and cook for 2-2½ hours or until the meat is meltingly tender.
  6. Place the lamb in a tagine or large serving dish and sprinkle over the chopped herbs. Serve.

Persian borani-e bademjan

Makes 2 cups

  • 2 large eggplants
  • 12 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, plus 12 small onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced, plus 1 clove, thinly sliced
  • 12 cup Greek yogurt
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 14 tsp. crushed saffron, soaked in 1 tbsp. water
  • 12 cup chopped walnuts
  • 2 tbs chopped parsley
  1. Heat oven to 375° Fahrenheit or 180 Celsius°. Place eggplants on a foil-lined baking sheet, and prick all over with a fork. Bake, rotating, until skin is charred and flesh is very soft, about 1 hour; let cool. Scoop out flesh, transfer to a colander, and drain for 20 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, heat 14cup oil in a 12″ skillet over medium-high heat. Add the medium onion; cook until browned, about 15 minutes. Add eggplant and minced garlic; cook, mashing, until liquid evaporates, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat; transfer to a bowl. Add yogurt, salt, and pepper; stir until smooth. Cool.
  3. Meanwhile, heat 2 tbsp. oil in a 10″ skillet over medium-high heat. Add sliced garlic; cook until lightly browned and crisp, about 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer garlic chips to paper towels to drain; set aside.
  4. Transfer eggplant mixture to a bowl and drizzle with saffron; garnish with garlic chips, parsley and walnuts.

Persian Baghlava

I was once told that we have the master glazier of Milan’s cathedral to thank for risotto alla Milanese, the creamy rice dish that gets its vivid color and flavor from saffron. In 1574, the master hired a disciple nicknamed Zafferano because he used saffron to stain the glass gold. The master teased, “You’ll be putting saffron in your risotto next!” Well, it happened that his daughter was to be married. At the celebration, a table held four steaming pots of risotto. The guests were amazed to see it was tinted gold—the wedding gift of all wedding gifts. —Marc Vetri, chef-owner of Vetri restaurant in Philadelphia

Serves 4

  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 1 tbsp. saffron threads
  • 3 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 2 small yellow onions, minced
  • 2 cups Arborio rice
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 2 oz. raw bone marrow (optional)
  • 12cup grated Parmesan
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  1. Heat stock and saffron in a 2-qt. saucepan over medium heat; keep warm.
  2. Heat butter in a 4-qt. saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onions; cook until soft, about 4 minutes. Add rice; cook until lightly toasted, about 4 minutes.
  3. Add wine; cook until evaporated, about 2 minutes.
  4. Add12 cup warm stock; cook, stirring, until absorbed, about 2 minutes.
  5. Continue adding stock, 12 cup at a time, and cooking until absorbed before adding more, until rice is tender and creamy, about 16 minutes total.
  6. Stir in marrow, if using, and Parmesan; season with salt and pepper.

Spanish Saffron aioli with asparagus

Asparagus spears are fantastic on the grill, which turns the flower ends crispy and charred while the stems remain tender. Saffron aioli adds a distinctive Mediterranean flair. Choose medium or thick asparagus spears; pencil-thin asparagus are hard to handle on the grill and burn easily. Saffron is a pungent and earthy spice that goes a long way in small amounts.

For the saffron aioli:
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Pinch of saffron
  • 1 tbs warm water
  • 3 small garlic cloves
  • coarse salt
  • ½ tsp Dijon musterd
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1 to 2 tbs. Fresh lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 lb. medium or thick asparagus
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, slivered
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 hard-cooked eggs
  1. Place saffron in a small bowl with water; set aside.
  2. Use a mortar and pestle to mash garlic and a pinch of salt to a fine paste. Add mustard and incorporate. Add egg yolks and mix well. Add saffron-water mixture and stir to incorporate. Slowly add half the oil, drop by drop at first, and then in a slow steady stream, while mixing with the pestle. (Thin with about a tablespoon of warm water if mixture is too thick.) Continue incorporating oil until all of it is absorbed. Thin with additional water if needed, and season with salt and lemon juice to taste.
  3. Trim or snap off the tough ends of the asparagus, leaving each spear about 5 inches long. Using a vegetable peeler, peel the outer skin, starting 1 inch below the tip. Prepare a medium-hot fire in a grill. Brush and oil the grill grate.
  4. Grill the asparagus directly over medium-high heat, turning often, until the spears are crisp-tender and nicely grill-marked, 5 to 6 minutes.  Serve hot off the grill or at room temperature with the saffron aioli on the side.

Tea ceremony