Pesaha Appam and Pesaha Paal

Yields: 1 Serving Difficulty: Medium

Pesaha Appam and Pesaha Paal is an unleavened bread made on Maundy Thursday by Kerala Christians. Maundy or Holy Thursday is the day before Good Friday. This is a traditional recipe handed down from generation to generation. Pesaha stands for Passover in Malayalam. This dish is therefore made to commemorate the Last Supper of Jesus Christ  with his disciples and also the Jewish passover tradition. This dish is very popular among the St. Thomas (Nasrani) Christians, who trace their origins to 1st Century AD. That is when St. Thomas the apostle arrived in Kerala, to evangelize the community. Nasrani means origins linked to Nazareth.

Pesaha Appam is unleavened in that it is made without any rising agents like yeast and is not fermented such as the Pal appam

This dish made with rice flour, urad dal, shallots, garlic, cumin and coconut. The Pesaha Paal is made  of coconut milk and jaggery. Pesaha appam is also known as Indri appam or Kurishappam. Kurish means “cross” and it is so named because this appam is adorned with a cross made out of palm leaf. Palm Sunday falls right before Maundy Thursday and all church goers and handed with palm leaves during the Sunday mass.

Pesaha Appam and Pesaha Paal is only made once in a year -on Holy (Maundy) Thursdays. It is a solemn event and the head of the family usually blesses and serves the appam. The Lord’s Prayer (Our Father…) is recited and the pesaha appam dipped in pesaha paal is given to all family members.



0/15 Ingredients
    For the Pesaha Appam
  • For the Pesaha Paal


0/11 Instructions
    For Pesaha Appam
  • Soak Urad dal in water for 2 hours. Then drain and grind it adding about 1/4 cup water.
  • Boil 1 cup of water, add salt to taste and gradually add in the rice flour, mixing in well with a spatula.
  • Grind coconut, cumin, garlic and onion into a smooth paste.
  • Using a whisk, combine the rice dough, dal and coconut paste into a smooth batter, without lumps. The consistency should be like idli batter.
  • Grease a steel plate with a little coconut oil. Then pour the thick batter evenly onto the plate. Place the cross made out of palm leaf over the top of the batter.
  • Boil water is a large vessel and place the plate of batter in the vessel Steam for about 20 minutes until done.
  • For Pesaha Paal
  • Melt jaggery is 1/2 cup of water.
  • Strain and keep in a sauce pan.
  • Mix 1 tbsp. rice powder with 1/4 cup of warm water. Blend and add this to the sauce pan.
  • Add cardamom and ginger powder.
  • Now add in the canned coconut milk, and boil for about 2 to 3 minutes, stirring constantly.


##appam  ##keralarecipes  #rice  

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