Kasubha – Weekend Lugaw Special
For a long time, I had been looking for ‘kasubha’ in Jeddah. I recall seeing it at a grocery store perhaps 10 years ago (yes I am in Jeddah for more than a decade long already). Frustrated I was not able to find this spice, I just settled with its cousin saffron. Kasubha by the way is a spice used in ‘arroz caldo’. Kasubha is fairly cheap, while its counterpart saffron costs a fortune comparing the former with the latter.
Pictured above (right down corner), is a Spanish saffron I bought for US$ 4, on which with the same amount I can purchase literally a jar of kasubha in my home country.
I had to wait for the saffron to become available at the grocery for about a month, and I think I waited for about a couple of months. Which I believe is a good timing, just enough to bring back my crave for ‘arroz caldo’.
Arroz Caldo in my hometown is called ‘puspas’, in my neighboring town ‘higute’, and on some other places as ‘lugaw’ or ‘goto’. There is a distinction nonetheless on the manner of labeling arroz caldo – which of course is Spanish for “rice and chicken (poridge)”. As far as I know, puspas (and higute) is always ‘chicken and rice’, while goto is mostly ‘beef/pork and rice’ and lugaw is devoid of the meat.
As a child I am a loyal patron of a ‘lugawan’ at the wet market in my hometown, where I frequent the place for my breakfast — if not, my mother usually brings me home this arroz caldo. Though I always prefer to dine-in there for some personal reasons though including some other couple of mundane reasons such as having the sauteed garlic and the freshly-squeezed calamansi on a ketchup bottle available. And of course at the end of every meal a cold water is ready on a pitcher with ice. Whereas, bottled water is still unknown at that time.
So there you go, my weekend lugaw special, thanks to ‘kasubha’, err saffron.