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/Pesaha Appam
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..
PESAHA APPAM/INDARI APPAM
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
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.
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.
You can also prepare it without banana leaf,just pour it into a greased plate and steam.
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
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.
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.
Stir continuosly for 2-3 minutes or until thickened.Remove from the heat.
See Inji’s Pesaha Appam here .
Learn Anupama’s tip for crumbling jaggery here.