A few of my favourite things in the kitchen are ready made spice blends. I think every Mangalorean has at least some stock of Bafat powder in his/her kitchen pantry at any given time and I think the people who value such spice blends the most are those who live outside Mangalore and have to lug around a precious few kilos back home after their vacation in their home town. As many of my readers tell me, its a nightmare to run out of such blends. Gosh! What do you do when you plan to make Pork Bafat for a party and have just 1 tsp of the precious masala staring back at you? Well, you gotta make some then. But of course, sometimes making a whole batch at home is not possible unless you have very reliable and powerful dry grinding gadgets or better still, a flour mill round the corner. I have neither - so I decided to make a tiny batch of this lovely vegetable masala powder - my own recipe, largely adapted from the book Ranpi. Actually I scaled down the ingredients to 1/10th of what was mentioned and followed the method to a T.
This aromatic spice blend is put together using a lot of ingredients, but don't be daunted by them as you need just a fraction of most of them and can easily grind them in the smallest jar of your mixer grinder. The yield is good enough to last you a couple of months (or depending on your usage) and won't occupy much space in your pantry. While the Bafat powder is often associated with meats and fish preparations, the veg masala powder is well suited for dry stir fries garnished with coconut. However, do not restrict yourself to using this only for vegetables, you can use it along with any other spice blend of your choice as it lends that extra aroma and flavour to your curry.
There are a hundred recipes out there for every spice blend so feel free to alter the quantities of the ingredients slightly.
Mangalorean Vegetable Masala Powder
Prep time: 10-15mins | Cook time: Nil | Yield: 100gm (approx)
- 50gm long dry red chillies (I used Byadgi chillies)
- 25gm coriander seeds
- 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
- 5 peppercorns
- 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
- 12 gm mustard seeds
- 1 pinch carom seeds (omam/ajwain)
- 1 pinch fenugreek seeds (methi)
- 1/4 tsp split black gram dal (urad dal)
- 1/4 tsp bengal gram (chana dal)
- 1/4 tsp split green gram (skinless) (moong dal)
- 1/4 tsp pigeon peas (toor dal)
- 12 gm boiled rice (ukda chawal)
- 1/2 tsp oil
Heat oil in a tawa/skillet and roast each of the ingredients one by one and remove on a plate. Allow to cool a bit before powdering them together in a dry grinding jar of your mixer grinder. Store in an airtight container and use as required.