None of Bhat's family members holds a job outside of farming, a convention that is changing among his peers. For him, looking after the land and trying to adapt to new means of cultivation is the only path he's willing to consider. Farida Jan, 40, another saffron grower in Pampore, feels the same. She has farmed saffron since childhood, first at her own home and then at her husband's. "If you soak a few strands of the spice in lukewarm water, you will see its natural color and [bring out its] taste," Jan says with a smile as she separates tiny rust-red stigmas from petals, stamens, and the rest of the flower on a large cotton sheet in her kitchen. The family's day is punctuated with hot cups of homemade saffron kehwa, the traditional sweetened green tea made from saffron, cardamom, and cinnamon, and prepared in oversize copper kettles called samawar, which are in almost constant use for brewing and boiling. The saffron is also essential in a broad range of dishes prepared commercially and at home, including beverages, rice, and main meals. There is pulao, a rice dish with dried fruit and saffron; al rogan josh, a Kashmiri pumpkin in red gravy; and kong firin, a saffron-flavored sweet prepared with rice flour and milk. Jan, sharing the knowledge passed down from her elders, also says that the spice helps with the complexion and to soften skin.