Hello, Good News! Welcome to another article where we share with you some delicious and authentic recipes from different cuisines. Today, we are going to learn how to make pesaha appam, a traditional Kerala Christian dish that is prepared on Maundy Thursday, the day before Good Friday.
Pesaha appam, also known as indri appam or inri appam, is a type of unleavened bread that is made with rice flour, urad dal, coconut, garlic, onion and cumin seeds. It is usually served with a sweet and thick sauce made with jaggery, coconut milk and rice flour. The appam and the sauce symbolize the body and blood of Christ, and are eaten as a commemoration of the Last Supper.
History and Significance of Pesaha Appam
Pesaha appam is a unique dish that is exclusive to the Kerala Christian community, especially the Syrian Christians or Nasranis. The word pesaha means Passover in Malayalam, and refers to the Jewish festival that celebrates the liberation of the Israelites from slavery in Egypt. According to tradition, Jesus celebrated the Passover with his disciples on the night before his crucifixion, and instituted the Eucharist by breaking bread and sharing wine.
The Kerala Christians trace their origin to the arrival of St. Thomas the Apostle in India in the first century AD. They claim to have inherited the Jewish customs and rituals from their ancestors who converted to Christianity from Judaism. Pesaha appam is one of the evidences of this connection, as it resembles the matzo or unleavened bread that is eaten by the Jews during Passover. The cross made of palm leaves that is placed on top of the appam also signifies the crucifixion of Christ and his triumph over death.
The Preparation of Pesaha Appam
The preparation of pesaha appam is a solemn and sacred affair that involves the whole family. It is usually done by the eldest female member of the household, who observes fasting and prayer before starting the process. The ingredients are carefully measured and mixed, and the batter is poured into a round steel plate or a banana leaf. A cross made of palm leaves that are blessed on Palm Sunday is placed on top of the batter, and a small prayer is said while steaming it.
The appam is cooked in a steamer or an idli maker until it is firm and well done. It is then taken out and kept aside until evening. The sauce or paal is made by melting jaggery in water, straining it, and adding coconut milk, rice flour and cardamom powder. The sauce is cooked until it becomes thick and smooth, stirring constantly to avoid lumps.
The Consumption of Pesaha Appam
The consumption of pesaha appam is also a ritualistic and respectful act that takes place after a special prayer service at home. The head of the family cuts the appam into pieces and dips them in the sauce. He then distributes them to the other members of the family, starting from the oldest to the youngest. The appam and sauce are eaten with reverence and gratitude, remembering the sacrifice of Christ and his love for humanity.
The leftover appam and sauce are stored carefully and consumed on Good Friday as well. No other food items are eaten on these days, as a mark of fasting and penance. Some people also share the appam and sauce with their neighbors and relatives, as a gesture of fellowship and goodwill.
Benefits and Variations of Pesaha Appam
Pesaha appam is not only a religious dish, but also a nutritious one. It is rich in carbohydrates, protein, fiber, iron, calcium and healthy fats. It provides energy and strength to the body, especially during fasting days. It also helps in digestion and prevents constipation.
Pesaha appam can be made in different ways, depending on the preference and availability of ingredients. Some people use raw rice instead of rice flour, soaking it overnight and grinding it with urad dal and coconut. Some people add yeast or baking soda to make the appam soft and fluffy. Some people use wheat flour instead of rice flour for a gluten-free option. Some people add sugar or honey to the batter for a sweeter taste.
Gluten-Free Pesaha Appam
If you are looking for a gluten-free version of pesaha appam, you can try this recipe that uses wheat flour instead of rice flour. Wheat flour is made from whole wheat grains that are ground into a fine powder. It has a nutty flavor and a chewy texture. It is also high in fiber, protein, iron, magnesium and vitamin B.
To make gluten-free pesaha appam, you will need the following ingredients:
- 1 cup wheat flour
- 1/4 cup urad dal (soaked overnight)
- 1 cup grated coconut
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 3-5 shallots
- A pinch of cumin seeds
- Salt, as required
The method of preparation is similar to the rice flour appam, except that you need to roast the wheat flour lightly in a pan before mixing it with salt. You also need to grind the urad dal, coconut, garlic, shallots and cumin seeds together into a smooth paste. Then, you need to combine the wheat flour and the paste, and add water as needed to make a thick batter. You can then pour the batter into a greased plate or a banana leaf, place a cross on top, and steam it until done. You can serve it with the same sauce as the rice flour appam.
Sweet Pesaha Appam
If you have a sweet tooth and want to enjoy a dessert-like pesaha appam, you can try this recipe that uses sugar or honey to sweeten the batter. Sugar or honey adds a caramelized flavor and a golden color to the appam. It also makes it moist and soft. Sugar or honey is also a natural preservative that helps in keeping the appam fresh for longer.
To make sweet pesaha appam, you will need the following ingredients:
- 1 cup rice flour
- 1/4 cup urad dal (soaked overnight)
- 1 cup grated coconut
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 3-5 shallots
- A pinch of cumin seeds
- Salt, as required
- 1/4 cup sugar or honey
The method of preparation is similar to the regular pesaha appam, except that you need to add sugar or honey to the batter along with salt. You can adjust the amount of sugar or honey according to your taste and preference. You can then follow the same steps of pouring, steaming and cutting the appam. You can serve it with or without the sauce, as per your liking.
Pesaha Appam Recipe Table
| Ingredient | Quantity | Notes |
| Rice flour | 1 cup | Roasted lightly |
| Urad dal | 1/4 cup | Soaked overnight |
| Coconut | 1 cup | Grated |
| Garlic | 2 cloves | Peeled |
| Shallots | 3-5 | Peeled |
| Cumin seeds| A pinch | Optional |
| Salt | As required | To taste |
| Water | As required | To make a thick batter |
| Step | Description |
| 1 | Combine salt and rice flour in a large bowl |
| 2 | Boil water in a kettle or a pot |
| 3 | Add boiling water gradually to the rice flour mixture and stir with a wooden spoon |
| 4 | Knead the dough with your hands until smooth and soft (be careful not to burn yourself) |
| 5 | Grind urad dal, coconut, garlic, shallots and cumin seeds together in a blender or a mixer into a fine paste |
| 6 | Add the paste to the dough and mix well |
| 7 | Grease a round steel plate or a banana leaf with oil or ghee |
| 8 | Pour the batter into the plate or leaf and spread it evenly |
| 9 | Place a cross made of palm leaves on top of the batter |
| 10 | Steam the appam in a steamer or an idli maker for 15-20 minutes or until done (test with a toothpick) |
| 11 | Remove from heat and let it cool slightly |
| 12 | Cut into pieces and serve with sauce |
Pesaha Appam FAQ
What is pesaha appam?
Pesaha appam is a traditional Kerala Christian dish that is prepared on Maundy Thursday, the day before Good Friday. It is a type of unleavened bread that is made with rice flour, urad dal, coconut, garlic, onion and cumin seeds. It is usually served with a sweet and thick sauce made with jaggery, coconut milk and rice flour.
Why is pesaha appam eaten on Maundy Thursday?
Pesaha appam is eaten on Ma.ndy Thursday to commemorate the Last Supper of Jesus Christ with his disciples, where he broke bread and shared wine as a sign of his body and blood. Pesaha appam symbolizes the bread and the sauce symbolizes the wine. It is also a way of honoring the Jewish roots of Christianity, as the Last Supper was a Passover meal.
How to make the sauce for pesaha appam?
The sauce for pesaha appam is made with jaggery, coconut milk and rice flour. Jaggery is a type of unrefined sugar that is made from sugarcane or palm sap. It has a dark brown color and a rich molasses flavor. Coconut milk is the liquid extracted from grated coconut flesh. It has a creamy texture and a nutty taste. Rice flour is the powder made from finely ground rice grains. It helps in thickening the sauce and adding body.
To make the sauce, you will need the following ingredients:
- 1 cup jaggery
- 2 cups water
- 2 cups coconut milk
- 1/4 cup rice flour
- A pinch of cardamom powder
The method of preparation is as follows:
- Melt jaggery in water in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally
- Strain the jaggery syrup to remove any impurities
- Bring the syrup to a boil and then lower the heat
- Add coconut milk and stir well
- Mix rice flour with some water to make a smooth paste
- Add the rice flour paste to the sauce and stir continuously to avoid lumps
- Cook until the sauce becomes thick and glossy, stirring frequently
- Add cardamom powder and mix well
- Turn off the heat and let the sauce cool slightly
- Serve with pesaha appam
How to store pesaha appam and sauce?
Pesaha appam and sauce can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. They can also be frozen for up to a month. To reheat, microwave them for a few seconds or steam them until warm. Do not reheat them more than once, as they may lose their texture and flavor.
What are some variations of pesaha appam and sauce?
Pesaha appam and sauce can be made in different ways, depending on the preference and availability of ingredients. Some of the common variations are:
- Gluten-free pesaha appam: This is made with wheat flour instead of rice flour, which gives a nutty flavor and a chewy texture.
- Sweet pesaha appam: This is made with sugar or honey added to the batter, which gives a caramelized flavor and a golden color.
- Vegan pesaha appam and sauce: This is made with plant-based milk instead of coconut milk, such as almond milk or soy milk.
- Spicy pesaha appam and sauce: This is made with red chili powder or black pepper added to the batter and the sauce, which gives a spicy kick.
- Fruity pesaha appam and sauce: This is made with dried fruits or nuts added to the batter and the sauce, such as raisins, dates, cashews or almonds.
What are some dishes that go well with pesaha appam?
Pesaha appam is usually eaten as a standalone dish, but it can also be paired with some other dishes for a more satisfying meal. Some of the dishes that go well with pesaha appam are:
- Kadala curry: This is a spicy curry made with black chickpeas, coconut, onion, tomato and spices. It adds protein and fiber to the meal.
- Vegetable stew: This is a mild curry made with mixed vegetables, coconut milk, ginger, garlic and curry leaves. It adds vitamins and minerals to the meal.
- Fish molee: This is a tangy curry made with fish, coconut milk, green chilies, lemon juice and spices. It adds omega-3 fatty acids and calcium to the meal.
- Egg roast: This is a dry dish made with boiled eggs, onion, tomato, green chilies and spices. It adds protein and iron to the meal.
- Beef ularthiyathu: This is a dry dish made with beef, onion, coconut slices, curry leaves and spices. It adds protein and zinc to the meal.
What are some health benefits of pesaha appam?
Pesaha appam is not only a religious dish, but also a nutritious one. It has the following health benefits:
- It is rich in carbohydrates, which provide energy and strength to the body, especially during fasting days.
- It is rich in protein, which helps in building and repairing muscles, tissues and organs.
- It is rich in fiber, which helps in digestion and prevents constipation.
- It is rich in iron, which helps in transporting oxygen to the cells and preventing anemia.
- It is rich in calcium, which helps in maintaining strong bones and teeth.
- It is rich in healthy fats, which help in lowering cholesterol and improving heart health.
What are some tips and tricks for making pesaha appam?
Pesaha appam is a simple dish to make, but it requires some care and attention to get the best results. Here are some tips and tricks for making pesaha appam:
- Roast the rice flour lightly in a pan before mixing it with salt. This will give a nice aroma and flavor to the appam.
- Use boiling water to make the dough. This will help in cooking the rice flour partially and making it easier to knead.
- Knead the dough well until smooth and soft. This will help in making the appam fluffy and spongy.
- Grind the urad dal, coconut, garlic, shallots and cumin seeds into a fine paste. This will help in blending the flavors well and making the appam moist.
- Grease the plate or leaf well with oil or ghee. This will help in preventing the appam from sticking and making it easy to remove.
- Place a cross made of palm leaves on top of the batter. This will help in creating a steam vent and making the appam cook evenly.
- Steam the appam for 15-20 minutes or until done. Do not overcook or undercook the appam, as it may affect its texture and taste.
- Cut the appam into pieces and serve with sauce. Enjoy the appam while it is warm and fresh.
What are some common mistakes to avoid when making pesaha appam?
Pesaha appam is a delicate dish that can be ruined by some common mistakes. Here are some mistakes to avoid when making pesaha appam:
- Burning or under-roasting the rice flour. This will affect the color and flavor of the appam.
- Using cold water or too much water to make the dough. This will make the dough sticky and hard to knead.
- Not kneading the dough well or adding too much flour. This will make the appam dense and dry.
- Not grinding the urad dal, coconut, garlic, shallots and cumin seeds well or adding too much water. This will make the batter watery and runny.
- Not greasing the plate or leaf well or using a thin plate or leaf. This will make the appam stick or tear.
- Not placing a cross on top of the batter or placing it too deep. This will make the appam crack or collapse.
- Oversteaming or understeaming the appam. This will make the appam rubbery or raw.
- Cutting the appam too soon or too late. This will make the appam crumble or harden.
How to celebrate Pesaha with family and friends?
Pesaha is a special occasion that can be celebrated with family and friends in a meaningful and joyful way. Here are some ways to celebrate Pesaha with your loved ones:
- Gather together at home or at church for a prayer service that includes reading from the Bible, singing hymns, sharing testimonies and thanking God for his grace and mercy.
- Eat pesaha appam and sauce together as a sign of fellowship and communion. Share your thoughts and feelings about the significance of this dish and its symbolism.
- Watch a movie or a documentary that depicts the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Discuss how his sacrifice has impacted your life and faith.
- Play some games or activities that are related to Pesaha or Easter, such as trivia, crossword, bingo, egg hunt, etc. Have fun and laugh together as you enjoy each other’s company.
- Donate some food or money to a charity or an organization that helps the poor and needy. Show your love and compassion to those whoThe article is almost complete, but it needs a H2 conclusion section that invites readers to check out other articles. Here is a possible way to write it:
Pesaha appam is a delicious and nutritious dish that has a deep religious and cultural significance for the Kerala Christian community. It is a way of remembering the Last Supper of Jesus Christ and his sacrifice for humanity. It is also a way of celebrating the Jewish heritage of Christianity and the Passover festival.
We hope you enjoyed learning how to make pesaha appam and sauce, and also learned some interesting facts and tips about this dish. If you try this recipe at home, please let us know how it turned out and share your feedback with us. We would love to hear from you!
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