Jeerem Meerem Masala: A Konkani Spice Blend To Know About
Image Credit: La Flower Spices And Herbs

Within the expansive treasure trove that is Indian cuisine, it can be fascinating to explore and find unique elements that define any kind of regional cuisine. Whether it is flavoured salts, condiments, preservation methods or even spice blends – these elements add a characteristic identity to a community’s delicacies. That being said, on a closer look at the coastal cuisine of the western parts of India, certain ingredients are found to be common across various sub-cuisines. Like coconut, seafood and different types of freshly ground masalas, spice blends like the goda masala, kala masala and bottle masala have an integral role to boost the taste of many preparations.

Much like this, the jeerem-meerem – a Konkani spice blend made with cumin seeds (jeerem) and black peppercorns (meerem), has been known to provide earthiness and spice to many a curries, marinades and cutlets. Made by dry-roasting the said spices until they develop a heady aroma, whole spices like cinnamon and cloves also add complexity to the blend. Typically, large batches of this seasoning is made beforehand and stored in air-tight containers, to sprinkle in fish curries, add to chicken and even pork. Although most coastal preparations are fairly light on the stomach, this spice blend is known to improve digestion and prevent flatulence, while also contributing an intense aroma to delicacies.

Unlike the garam masala or any kind of robust spice blend which is used in pinches, the jeerem-meerem is often times added as per personal preferences. Used widely in Goan and Maharashtrian cooking, certain versions of the spice blend also use what is known as the Canacona chilli or kholchyo. While most versions of the jeerem-meerem masala develop an earthy brown colour, the addition of this mildly-spicy chilli gives the ground spice mix a red undertone which works better to add to the bright orange regional curries.

Most often, one can find the jeerem-meerem masala prepared at home, due to the simplicity of the process. Ideally, the spices are sun-dried for a couple of days in the summer, before they are ground to a fine powder consistency. What this does, apart from extending the shelf life of the blend, is also save the laborious process of dry toasting or burning them, if made in large batches. If you plan on experimenting with a recipe at home, be sure to try the one given below.

Also Read:

Metkoot, A Spice Blend From The Maharashtrian Kitchen


  • ¼ cup cumin seeds
  • ¼ cup black peppercorns
  • 1-inch piece cinnamon stick
  • 2-3 cloves


  • Toast the cumin seeds and black peppercorns separately in a dry pan, until they release their aromas.
  • Cool on a plate while you toast the cinnamon and cloves.
  • Once the spices have reached room temperature, blend all of them into a fine powder and store in an air-tight jar for up to 30 days.