My Treasure…My Pleasure

Authentic Kerala Cuisine & much more…

Pesaha Appam/Indari Appam and Pesaha Paalu

Posted by Annita on April 4, 2007

Maundy Thursday– the Thursday before Good Friday is celebrated by Christians,with great significance. It was on this day,Jesus celebrated the Passover(Pesaha) with his 12 discipes,he washed his disciples feet and then shared the last meal before crucification with them ,which is named ‘Last Supper‘.During the meal,he also commanded his disciples to break and eat bread, and drink wine in his memory ,which is still followed by the christians throughout the world,and this is called Holy Eucharist or Mass.On this day,the priests in catholic churches carry out a ceremonial washing of the feet of 12 men,following the Christ’s act.

In Kerala,catholics follows another tradition of Pesaha Appam and Pesaha Paalu in their houses,the whole family gathers in the dining hall,and the head of the family cuts the appam into pieces,dips in the prepared Pesaha paalu and then gives to other members,starting from the oldest.In my family,we never prepares this Pesaha appam on any other occasion,other than on Holy Thursday.

Indari Appam
Indari Appam/Pesaha Appam

Pesaha Paal
Pesaha Paalu

This is the first time we are celebrating Pesaha,here in U.S.I didn’t know how to prepare these traditional dishes,but as my amma is here now she prepared these.The recipe follows..


Ingredients :-
Roasted rice Flour – 2 and 1/2 cup
Urad dal (Uzhunnu)- 1/4 cup
Grated coconut – 1 cup
Cumin seeds(Jeerakam) – 1/2 tsp
Garlic pods (Veluthulli alli)- 3
Shallots (Kunjulli)- 10
Salt – to taste

Indari Appam

Method :-
Soak urad dal for 2-3 hrs.Grind together soaked dal,coconut,cumin,garlic and shallots into a coarse paste.Add luke warm into the rice flour,mix it well to make a thick batter which looks like idli batter.Add this batter to the ground paste,add salt and again grind it to a smooth batter.The final batter should also be the same consistency as of idli batter.Line a flat steel plate with banana leaf,grease it with a little oil,and pour this batter onto it.

Indari Appam

Make a cross of the Palm leaf you get from church on Palm Sunday,and place it on top of the batter .Steam cook it until done,you can use an idli cooker for steaming.Remove it from the banana leaf and serve with Pesaha paalu.

Indari Appam

You can also prepare it without banana leaf,just pour it into a greased plate and steam.


Ingredients :-
Jaggery (Sharkkara)- 1/2 kg
Coconut milk thin (Randam paalu)- 2 cup
Coconut milk thick (Onnam paalu)- 1 cup
Raw rice – 1/2 cup (Rosematta rice (Kuthari) / Parboiled rice is the best)
Dry Ginger(Chukku) – a small piece
Cumin seeds(Jeerakam) – 1/2 tsp
Cardamom (Elakka)-2

Break the jaggery into small pieces,add 1 and 1/2 cup water into it and boil it slowly until it is completely melted.Drain it,and discard any soild particles in the jaggery.Dry roast the raw rice till it crackle,and turn brown in color.

Rose Matta Rice
RoseMatta Rice

Roasted rice
Roasted Rice

Grind together roasted rice,ginger,cumin seeds and cardamom into a fine powder and mix it with the thick coconut milk and keep it aside.

Add thin coconut milk into the jaggery syrup and let it come to a slow boil.Now add the ground spices mixed in thick coconut milk into the jaggery and allow it to boil again.

Pesaha Paal

Stir continuosly for 2-3 minutes or until thickened.Remove from the heat.

Pesaha Paal

See Inji’s Pesaha Appam here .

Learn Anupama’s tip for crumbling jaggery here.

59 Responses to “Pesaha Appam/Indari Appam and Pesaha Paalu”

  1. sia said

    thats a interesting story anita. thanks for sharing the story with recipe. everyday i get tolearn so many things with different recipes.

  2. jisha said


    when i saw ur post i am missing my home..This year we couldn’t able to go to church on palmsunday.So i am not making this .anyway this snaps made me happy.atleast i saw appm on thursday.And u know in my place they usually keep a turmeric peice in this and the one who gets that is the Judas.But in my hus place they don’t keep..humm thanks

    Thats interesting jisha..i’m hearing it for the first time..I think i can pass this on to my family and they can also play this…:))

    • Nilaavu9 said

      Thanks for the receipe. I keep forgetting how to make it…
      We usually make the cross with “kurishu oola” and who ever gets that is the judas… :)
      At my husband’s place who ever gets the “kurishu oola” is the lucky one… :)

      • Nami said

        may be you mis understood kurishola and judas.when u drink pal u get kurisola u luckey and those who get ginger or turmeric is called judas

  3. Nimmy said

    Thanks a lot for the receipe and pictures..arranged in an interesting manner…as being away from India, every year I used to check the receipe from my mom or mom-in-law, this year yours one helped…Thanks..

  4. Seema said

    Thanks a lot… the pictures are a great help… Some people also add fried sesame seeds(“ellu”) to the pesaha palu…

  5. SUSAN said

    Hi Annita,
    Indeed a great help at the right time.Thanks……..Happy easter in advance………SUSAN

  6. Roopa said

    Thats an interesting recipe!.
    Haven’t heard of the story too! Thanks for sharing

  7. shaheen said

    i guess u must be looking forward to the end of lent and to celebrate easter. Wish you and ur family a very happy Easter.

  8. Denny said

    Thank you for the recipe … Do you have a recipe for the sweet version of the appam. As far as I know, we have always prepared the sweet version of the appam and hence we never used any dips :)

    no,Denny..i haven’t even heard of a sweet version of Appam..So i’m really sorry..

  9. Sukanya said

    Thanks for such an excellent recipe. I tried this appam and every one at my home love this

  10. KF said

    Happy Easter to U and Ur Family..Thamks for sharing the recipe..

  11. Jyothsna said

    Happy Easter to you and your family!

  12. Kavitha said

    Happy Easter Annitha !!

    thanks and same to u,Kavitha

  13. Reena said

    Annita, Hope your family and you had a great Easter. I didn’t know about the dishes made on Maundy Thursday and Friday. I thought it was ‘kanji’ and something bland. Last supper trivia was useful.

    thank you Renna..we celebrated easter pretty well this time..hope you also had a great easter..

  14. Helen said

    I was thinking if you have any Raita(yogurt) recipes. I mean the yogurt serves with the meal. Thanks a lot!!!

  15. reena said

    Dear Anitha,

    I have a quesetion about the malabar chicken biriyani masala. How big should be the cinnamon stick? Please answer.

    It has to be around 1 inch length,reena

  16. Dennis Mathew said

    Dear Anita,

    I must thank you for the appam recipe. In the past my wife Caroline used banana bread mix to make this appam on Holy Thursday. We are here in a small community in Michigan and we too have a two and half year old son Vincent who is keeping both of us busy along with a 13 year old daughter Christna.


    You’re very welcome,Dennis..I’m soo happy to know that it helped you…
    Convey my regards to Caroline & Vincent..

  17. Dr FX said

    well the “Pesaha palu” has one missing element.In central Travancore ripe plantain cubes are also put.That fruit component blends the jaggerry sweetness to fructose combination.That is good for the digestive enzymes to work easy
    This was a nostalgic mouth watering trip.Thanks

  18. Manjumol said

    very good………
    anitha, thanks a lot….

  19. Anna said

    thanks a lot Anitta.your blog is a life saver for me.I didnt know even how to cut veggies when i came to US after marriage.Then i start refering ur site and the one by Shaheen Shn etc and u guys really turned me to a good cook.Now i really love cooking and try out new things.Thanks a bunch.

    This is my first Pesaha and easter away from home.Thanks a lot for posting this.Now I can tell my Amma even I made appam and paalu.In my home amma makes another appam too,one wrapped in vazhayila and steam cooked.Any idea about that?

    I wonder how u get time to run such a beautiful site and take care of ur kid and family so well!! Hats off for you Anitta.


  20. Annie said

    Thank you for caring enough to have these recipes posted ; of good help to me too :)

    So good to think back to those biblical days of Exodus ..and to note that much of the ingrediants we use may be the same ones our ancestors used – how they mention missing the shallots and cumin , in a moment of ingratitude !
    Happy Easter to all !
    May trust in our Lord help us all, to rise above our human weaknesses , with mercy and forgiveness !

  21. Deepa said

    Thank You. I regularly called up Mom 9for the last 10 years) for this recipe. This time I am depending on your one . Thanks a lot. Your blog is amazing

  22. Nimitha said

    wow!!!!! reminds me of grandmother’s house and childhood when our neighbours used to give us this. I dont remember the name though.I think our neighbours used to prepare if for Xmas also :) The other day I was telling my would-be about this special dish.. thanks to you now i can prepare it for him :)

  23. shaistha said

    hey Anitha,
    Pls can u share with me the recipe for aapam??


    I’ve different appam recipes in my blog…i dont know if that is different from Aapam…Jusst check out the menu section…

  24. ann said

    isn’t the pesaha appam a knanaya tradition?

  25. […] Also check Indri Appam & Paal at Annita’s place. […]

  26. No Ann, It is the tradition by all Syrian Christians in Kerala. I think other christian groups also celebrating the same thing.

  27. Nancy Rajesh said

    Thanx dear I’ll definitely try this. Makes me nostalgic……….

  28. Jojo said

    Thank you for your help.Great help for NRIs.

  29. Teena said

    Thank you for the pessaha appam and pallu details. It is very timely for us. Wish you a happy easter.

  30. rose raj said


  31. Dinah said

    thank you soo much.very timely .getting ready to make this…:)

  32. Rupa said

    Today is Mondy thursday. I’ve many christian friends and happen to talk to two of them while driving home from work. Both were done making appam and paalu and were getting ready for the church.Upon reaching home, I shared this news with my husband. He commented that no one is inviting us to have it.Apparently, when he was young his neighbour “amma” used to give him “indri appam” every year.:Most of the time amma was all by herself since her kids and grandkids were living abroad. Many times he has slept at her house just to give her company.Being a hindu, I’ve never made it. My hubby has gone out with my son to his school, I am planning to surprise him with “appam and Paalu”. Thank you so much for the recipe.

  33. Deepa said

    Thanks…. we called home for the recipe but our parents had gone to Church… Thanks for your recipe which helped us to cook it. CHeers.. Happy easter..

  34. Zian said

    Very good recipe. we used to make an appam just like this. But its called “Kalakkathappam”. Thanks for your post.

  35. Sreeja said

    Thanks..i tried it..came out very well..thanks again..

  36. Simi said

    Thanks a lot. nice description.

  37. julie said

    Thanks annita for this lovely recipe. I used to always depend on my mom fo the recipe . Think I will try yours this time.
    Wish you and your family a Happy Easter!!

  38. Deepa Riju said

    Thnks a lot…though im not an NRI…living in bangalore i can make appam n paalu with out calling any1


  39. […] Check the steamed version of Pesaha Appam here – Marias Menu, My Treasure My Pleasure […]

  40. Prabha Cecil said

    Thanks a lot. I am going to do it for the first time.. I think it should come out very good. The pics look great. Advance Happy Easter to all..

  41. E Balan said

    Today is Pesaha. Pesaha appam and pal I am making with your receipe. Thank you so much for such a wonderful receipe.
    Prayerfull greetings for 2010 Pesaha and easter
    Warm regards from San Antonio Texas

  42. greeshma said

    Thank you so much for your recipe at this time………wish you a happy easter in advance……god bless……

  43. Google TV looks seriously impressive. I don’t know if I want to buy a hdtv with it built-in or maybe a separate box.

  44. clyde said


  45. Nisha Saju said

    Thanks dear,

    thanks for the nice recipe u kept in the site. this is a great help for us who are here alone without parents to assist in making special dishes like this. In fact I am asked to make Pesaha Appam to our church, I was a bit scared to try out my own way which went little hard to eat last time when I tried. Hope this time I will make it more soft and tasty with your help.

  46. im surprised to see that Ive commented before!!! – from 2008 – this is one site I refer to prepare – Pesaha appam :)

  47. Tria said

    Thanks a ton Anitha. I have been following your recipes for the last 3 years. You ROCK!!! Happy Easter.

  48. Hello may I quote some of the content here in this post if I link back to you?

  49. mebel anak said

    mebel anak…

    […]Pesaha Appam/Indari Appam and Pesaha Paalu « My Treasure…My Pleasure[…]…

  50. ria said

    It was so simple and exactly just like my amma cooks.thanks dear for sharing this to the whole world.God bless

  51. Nami said

    I think indriappam is the appam without Kurisola and with kurisola it is called kurisappam.Kurisappam will not give non christians and the indriappam give to non christian friends that day.

  52. Liz said

    Gr8 recipe, will definitely helpful for this year.
    In our area, we add a few pieces of “palayamkodam pazham” also in the paal.
    Would like to agree with “Nami” regarding kurisappam / indriappam nomenclature.
    AND kurisappam & paal shall not be carried over to the next day.

  53. mary rajan said

    plese send me the kalathappams so that i can make it tomorrow..

  54. Karkotagan said

    after a long search I am happy to get this link and recipe. Thanks to you. God Bless you.

  55. Ajayan said

    Who is catholics you mean to say ? Say christians. Who observe peseha thursday all makes this way only. Do not give patent to catholics only

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