Bafat a traditional south Indian spice mix is a 5 letter word my mum swear’s by in her kitchen. It is probably the most famous masala ( a mix of spices) that comes out of Mangalore, a coastal city situated in the south west part of India. It is where my family is originally from and even though I’ve never been to the city myself I grew up being surrounded with its many flavors, textures and aromas.
This particular spice mix recipe is one my mum learnt by watching her mom cook with and so as tradition goes it was passed down to my sister and I. Bafat can be used in many ways for a number of recipes and is most famously regarded as a pork seasoning however it is also used to season other meats, fish and sometimes vegetables. Today I’m sharing my mums easy fish or seafood marinade recipe.
How to make Bafat powder?
30 Dried red chillies preferably byadagi chilli or alt (Kashmiri chillies these are the spiciest)
2 tbsp. Cumin seeds
4 tbsp. Coriander seeds
2 Cinnamon stick (finger long)
2 tsp. Peppercorns
2 tsp. Cloves
1 1/2 Star anise
Dry roast all of the above in a hot pan for 15 minutes until the spices release their own oil, aromas & flavour.
Leave to cool down
Mix in grinder into fine powder.
To store – use an airtight container and leave in a dry place.
*Note – to make a large batch of the mix multiply the quantity of each ingredient. Similarly to make a smaller batch use half the quality than listed above. The shelf life of this mix is long as long as it’s stored correctly.
To make the marinate – for ½ kilo shrimps / prawns or fish
1 tbsp. of bafat mix
1tsp. of salt
½ tsp. of turmeric powder
1 tbsp. of vinegar
Squeeze half a lime
Mix well and add the shrimps / prawns in and leave to marinate for half hr.
Fry for 3 to 4 minutes or until the prawns have curled up and are opaque.
– For the wrap I used rocket leaves, pita bread & yogurt.