I spent 3 years living in Spain and unfortunately there is nothing I
know of that will replace the flavor of saffron. In Spain a lot of
people use a product sold as "colorante" which is pretty much flour
with food color added so that when added to rice it gives it the color
associated with saffron. A lot of restaurants will add this to give
Paella the deep safron color and then add just a tiny amount of saffron
for the flavor. Saffron is a very mild flavor so you could just try
leaving it out. Won't be the same but probably better than using
If you ever get the chance to fly through the international terminal at
Madrid look for saffron. The duty free stores were the cheapest place I
ever found saffron. I bought an 8 ounce container for about 45 dollars.
They also sold 1 ounce jars of powdered saffron for about 10 dollars. I
bought a lifetime supply.