Baffad (pronounced buff-aad) is a versatile coconut curry that can feature either chicken or prawns. It is made by grinding chillies and a variety of spices with a splash of vinegar. The pungent aroma while grinding the spices takes some getting used to but even a tiny batch like this one can last for 2-3 uses.
We always knew visitors were expected when we smelt this masala (spice paste) being made. It was mum’s go to dish – the rich flavourful curry was always a hit with baffad novices and veterans alike.
I have tamed it down to suit a 6 year old’s palate. Feel free to turn up the chilli-meter to a level you like.
Ingredients for the spice mix:
6-8 red Kashmiri chillies
1 tsp cumin seeds
8-10 pepper corns.
6-10 flakes garlic
1 inch piece of ginger.
2 tbsp vinegar
1 tbsp cooking oil
1 large onion finely chopped
salt to taste
1.5 – 2 cups coconut milk
400 gram chicken, cut into cubes
1/2 tsp turmeric
- Grind all the ingredients for the spice mix with a splash of water. This should take about 5 minutes, in intervals of 1-2 minutes. You are looking for a smooth and velvety paste.
- Marinate the chicken with salt, 1/2 tsp turmeric powder and 1 heaped tablespoon of the spice mix. (You can also use chicken on the bone.) Keep aside for 20 minutes or longer.
- Heat 1 tbsp oil in a pan.
- Add chopped onions & fry well till light pink.
- Then add marinated chicken and saute for a few minutes.
- Add some water and cook till chickenis almost cooked.
- Add the coconut milk and bring to a gentle boil.
- Turn down the heat and simmer for 2-3 minutes stirring constantly so that the coconut milk does not separate. Turn off the heat and let it rest for about 20-30 minutes.
- Serve hot with steamed rice and some fried prawns on the side.
- I used white wine vinegar and that works just fine. The standard version used is the dark malt vinegar.
- Freeze the extra masala for the next time you would like to make this. It stays well for about 304 months in the freezer.
- You can adjust the quantity of the spice mix, depending on how many chillies you have used and how spicy you like your curry. Remember that the coconut milk will temper it down anyway.
- I sometime like to add curry leaves when I fry the onions but to the purists that is sacrilege. So take your pick. 🙂