Bafat Masala: 6 Tips To Cook With The Spice Blend At Home
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Masalas play a pivotal role in Indian cuisine, serving as the heart and soul of many traditional dishes. These aromatic spice blends are a hallmark of Indian cooking, infusing a myriad of flavours and depth into the diverse array of regional delicacies. From the vibrant garam masala to the fiery vindaloo masala, each spice mix brings a unique combination of herbs and spices that has been perfected over generations. Among these treasured masalas is the distinctive bafat masala, which hails from the coastal regions of Goa and Mangalore.

Its rich history and robust flavour profile make it a prized addition to a variety of curries, gravies, and meat dishes, adding that special "blast" of taste that makes Indian cuisine an extraordinary culinary experience. It is said to have originated in the Portuguese colony of Goa, and it is thought to be a variation of the Portuguese spice blend "piri-piri". The Portuguese introduced chilli peppers to India in the 16th century, and these peppers quickly became popular in Mangalorean cuisine. Bafat masala is a traditional Indian spice blend hailing from the coastal regions of Goa and Mangalore. 

Baffat masala is used to flavour a variety of dishes, including pork, chicken, fish, and vegetables. It is also used in some chutneys and pickles. The Portuguese influence on Mangalorean cuisine is evident in the use of chilli peppers and other spices. Baffat masala is a delicious and versatile spice blend that is a testament to the culinary fusion that took place in Goa during the Portuguese colonial period.

Best Ways To Use Bafat Masala

Bafat masala is a versatile spice blend used in Indian cuisine, especially in the coastal regions of Goa and Mangalore. Its bold and aromatic flavours make it an essential ingredient in a variety of dishes, adding a unique and tantalising taste to the cuisine.

Bafat Masala in Meat Curries:

One of the most popular uses of bafat masala is in meat curries. It pairs exceptionally well with chicken, mutton, or pork, infusing the dishes with a flavourful and spicy kick. The masala is often used to marinate the meat before cooking, allowing the spices to penetrate and tenderise the meat, resulting in rich and succulent curries.

Bafat Masala in Seafood Dishes:

Given its coastal origin, bafat masala is a delightful addition to seafood dishes. It complements the natural flavours of fish, prawns, or crab, creating delicious and aromatic seafood curries or gravies.

Bafat Masala in Vegetable Preparations:

Vegetarians can also enjoy the magic of bafat masala by incorporating it into their vegetable dishes. It adds depth and complexity to vegetable curries, making them more enticing and satisfying.

Bafat Masala in Pulao and Biryani:

Bafat masala can elevate the taste of rice-based dishes such as vegetable pulao or biryani. Adding a pinch of this spice blend to the rice while it is cooking infuses the dish with a delightful aroma and taste.

Bafat Masala in Snacks:

Bafat masala is not limited to main dishes; it can be used to spice up snacks as well. Sprinkle some of the masala on roasted nuts, popcorn, or homemade potato chips for a zesty and savoury twist.

Bafat Masala in Pickles and Chutneys:

The tangy and spicy flavours of bafat masala make it an excellent addition to pickles and chutneys. It can be used to season mango pickles or add a kick to coconut chutneys, enhancing the overall taste experience.

It's important to note that bafat masala can be quite potent and spicy, so it's best to start with a small amount and adjust it according to your taste preferences. The combination of spices in bafat masala makes it a key ingredient in coastal culinary traditions, adding a burst of flavours that truly exemplifies the richness of Indian cuisine.

Here's How You Can Make Bafat Masala At Home:


 15-20 dried red chillies (Kashmiri or Byadagi chillies)

 1/2 cup coriander seeds

 1/4 cup cumin seeds

 1 tablespoon black peppercorns

 1 tablespoon of fenugreek seeds

 1 tablespoon mustard seeds

 1 tablespoon turmeric powder

 1 tablespoon cinnamon powder

 1 tablespoon of cloves

 1 tablespoon cardamom seeds (from green cardamom pods)

 1 tablespoon of fennel seeds

 1 tablespoon poppy seeds

 1 small piece of dried ginger (about 1 inch)

 1 tablespoon garlic powder (or 10–12 garlic cloves)

 1 tablespoon onion powder (or 1 medium-sized onion, finely chopped and dried)


 Start by roasting the spices to enhance their flavours. In a dry skillet or pan, roast the dried red chillies, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, black peppercorns, fenugreek seeds, mustard seeds, and fennel seeds. Roast over low to medium heat until the spices release their aroma and turn slightly darker. Be careful not to burn them, as it can make the masala bitter.

 Allow the roasted spices to cool completely before proceeding to the next step.

 In a spice grinder or a powerful blender, add all the roasted spices along with the cinnamon powder, cloves, cardamom seeds, poppy seeds, dried ginger, garlic powder, and onion powder. If using fresh garlic and onion, make sure they are dried and devoid of any moisture to ensure the masala's longevity.

 Grind all the ingredients into a fine powder. You may need to grind the spices in batches to achieve a smooth consistency.

 Once ground, add the turmeric powder to the spice mix and give it a final mix to combine everything evenly.

 Your homemade Bafat Masala is now ready! Store it in an airtight container in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight. When stored properly, the masala can retain its flavour for several months.

Note: Bafat masala can be quite spicy, so adjust the number of dried red chillies to suit your taste preferences. You can also reduce the quantity of peppercorns if you prefer a milder version of the masala.