Bafat Masala Powder - The Flavour Packed
Mix Enjoyed in Southern Indian Cooking

Bafat masala is a flavourful blend used in Mangalorean cooking. Often used to flavour pork, it's super versatile and can be used with various other meats and also doubles up as a general seasoning for many other dishes. (See the bottom of the page for more recipes)

What You'll Need: (makes about 13-14 tablespoons)

Half a cup of birds eye chili peppers (or other variety - see note below)
4 tbsp coriander seeds
2 tbsp cumin seeds
1 tbsp brown mustard seeds
1 tbsp turmeric
1 tbsp cayenne pepper
4 tsp white peppercorns (or black)
4 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp ginger powder
2 tsp nigella seeds
1 tsp grated nutmeg
1 tsp whole cloves
1 x 3 inch piece cinnamon
6-8 star anise
20-30 saffron strands (optional)

tbsp = tablespoon
tsp = teaspoon


  • Break up the cinnamon 
  • Grind the cinnamon pieces along with the chili peppers, peppercorns, cumin, coriander, mustard, nigella, cloves and star anise
  • Sieve into a bowl
  • Stir in the cayenne, nutmeg, ginger, garlic and turmeric powders
  • And, if using, crumble in the saffron strands and stir again

Store in an airtight jar out of direct sunlight. Use within 3 months.

Note: I recommend dry toasting the whole peppers, cumin, coriander, peppercorns, star anise, cloves and mustard seeds before grinding and combining. The heat releases the most fantastic flavours and superb aromas.

Click here for step-by-step tips, photos and a slideshow of how to toast and grind. (Link opens in new window)

Chili Pepper Note: I used birds eye peppers for this mix. However, these are fairly hot, so if you prefer, you can use a milder variety.

Bafat masalaBafat Masala

Note: For the best flavours, and if you have them, try and use a few whole ingredients for this bafat masala recipe. However, if you only have pre-ground spices use these and reduce the quantities by about half. So for 2 tablespoons of whole cumin you use 1 tablespoon of pre-ground cumin. Reduce any other ingredients you don't have whole by half as well and stir in with any other powders when making.

After Making Your Bafat Masala Powder You May Like to Try...

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