Pesaha Appam and Paal: Traditional Kerala recipe for Maundy Thursday celebrations

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New Delhi: Maundy Thursday is celebrated one day before Good Friday and holds immense significance in the Christian calendar and culture. It commemorates the Last Supper of Jesus Christ with his disciples, where he instituted the sacrament of Holy Communion. In Kerala, India, this sacred occasion is marked with deep reverence and traditional rituals.

This day holds profound significance in Kerala and among many rituals preparing Pesaha Appam and Paal is one of the most important. Pesaha Appam, also known as Inriyappam or Kurisappam, and Paal are integral parts of the Maundy Thursday observance in many Christian households across Kerala. Here are easy and simple recipes to prepare these traditional dishes at home reflecting the rich cultural heritage and culinary traditions of the region.

Pesaha Appam Recipe:


2 cups Rice flour
1 cup Urad Dal
1 cup grated coconut
10 Shallots
1 tsp cumin seeds
3 pods garlic
Salt to taste
Water as needed

Steps to prepare:

Wash gently and soak urad dal overnight.
Grind the soaked dal in a blender and make a thick smooth paste.
Grind coconut, shallots, cumin seeds, and garlic and make a smooth, thick paste.
Now put rice flour in a bowl.
Mix urad dal and coconut mix in rice flour and stir well along with some water.
Keep the mix for one hour.
Pour the batter in a container and let it steam.
Place a cross made from palm leaves on top for the traditional touch.

Pesaha Paal recipe


Jaggery: 150g
Rice Flour: 2 tbsp
Coconut Milk (1st extract): 1 cup
Coconut Milk (2nd extract): 2 1/2 cups
Cardamom: 3 pods
Cumin seeds: 1/4 tsp
Dry Ginger: 1 small piece
Salt: 1 pinch

How to prepare:

Take some jaggery and add 1/2 cup water to it, put it in a pan and let it melt on low flame to form a thick syrup.
In a separate bowl, mix water and rice flour to form a smooth and runny paste.
Take the second extract of coconut milk in a deep-bottomed pan and bring it to a gentle boil.
Add rice flour paste to it and stir well to avoid lumps.
Once the mixture thickens, add the jaggery syrup and continue stirring to combine well.
Add crushed cardamom, dry ginger, cumin seeds and salt to it.
Let it simmer on low flame until it thickens.
Finally, pour in the first extract of coconut milk and mix thoroughly. Let it simmer for a few more minutes.
Garnish with strands of saffron and serve with Pesaha appam for a complete meal this Maundy Thursday.

Prepare these culinary delights at home on this special occasion and pay tribute and respect to Jesus Christ.

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