Saturday, 19 April 2014

Pesaha paal, Kalathappam, Kurisapam and Indri appam | Unleavened Passover Bread | Maundy Thursday Special | Kukskitchen

We have been on lent for Easter. Being on lent keeps things in perspective for me. It is a time I use to reflect about things that makes me better, in faith.

The last week of lent is called the Holy week and then the celebrations begin. There are many traditional specialties that we make at home starting with kozhukatta (recipe to come soon).  We make it the saturday before Palm sunday. I did not make it this year, since we were travelling. The next big event is Maundy thursday  or Pesaha when pesaha paal and pesaha appam are made to commemorate passover. Pass over is celebrated by Jews and Christians equally. however, in addition to the Exodus from Egypt under the leadership of Moses, Christians also celebrate the last supper which is the last meal Jesus Christ shared with his disciples before his crucification.

Pesaha appam is traditionally a bread that is made from non-fermented batter. In my part of Kerala, pesaha appam is called kalathappam and it is shallow fried in oil with coconut cuts and onion. In my dear D's part of Kerala, pesaha appam is made in two different styles, both steamed and called Kurisappam and Indriappam.

I feel traditions should be kept, to help our kids understand the culture that their parents and ancestors grew up in. It is traditional to narrate the story of Exodus to the kids in the house together with the story of the holy week before cutting the appam.

I made kalathappam this year and will try to make Kurisappam and Indriappam next year.

 A few things before we start:

  • The Paal tends to thicken a bit on resting, so make it to a runny consistency. 
  • I didnot have jaggery and used dark muscavado sugar instead. It tasted the same to be honest.

Pesaha Appam / Indri Appam / Kurisappam and Pesaha paal
പെസഹ അപ്പം  / ഇനട്രി അപ്പം / കുരിശു അപ്പം പെസഹ പാൽ 
Serves: 5-6


1- Roasted rice flour – 1 cup
2- Urad dal (uzhunnu) – ¼ cup
3- Coconut – 1 cup, heaped
     Garlic – 2 medium sized cloves
     Pearl onion (chuvannulli) – 4
     Cumin – a pinch
4-  Water – 1 – 1½ cups

5- Additional ingredients for kalathappam
     Coconut cuts - a handful
     Pearl onion - a handful
     Oil - 3 tbsp

6- For paal
    Jaggery – 400gm
    Coconut milk – 3 cups
    Dry ginger / chukku  - 1/2 tsp or to taste
    Cumin powder - 1/2 tsp
    Rice flour - 2 tbsp
    Water - 4 tbsp


For Appam:
  • Soak urad dal for about 2 hours.
  • Drain the soaked urad dal and grind it to a smooth paste by adding as little water as possible. I add about 1/4 cup of luke warm water.
  • Grind (3) to a smooth paste.
  • Add urad dal paste and coconut paste to rice flour together with a pinch of salt. Combine everything well to make a smooth thick batter similar to idli batter.
  • For Kalathappam, heat one tbsp of oil in a pan, pour one ladle-full of the batter to the heated oil in the pan. Once the sides start to turn light brown, sprinkle a teaspoonful each of  coconut cuts and thinly sliced pearl onions and press so they sit in the batter. Now turn the appam over, and the coconut and pearl onion will now face the oil. Add a few more drops of oil if the pan is dry. The appam is done when the bottom turns light brown. Allow to cool before serving.
  • For Kurisappam, transfer the batter to a well greased steaming tin. Alternatively, line the tin with banana leaf. Place the cross made with palm leaves you got from church on Palm Sunday at the middle of the batter. Cover the tin with aluminium foil. Let the water boil in steamer and steam in for 25-35 minutes. Let it cool before transferring to a serving dish. 
  • For Indriappam, steam wrapped in banana leaves.
For Paal:
  • Melt jaggery in half a cup of water. Once completely melted, pass through sieve to get rid of impurities,if any. 
  • Mix 3 cups of coconut milk and melted jaggery, stirring continuously over low flame. Add dried ginger and cumin and mix well.
  • Mix rice flour with luke warm water to form a paste. Add this to the coconut milk, cook the rice flour stirring constantly and the mix starts to thicken. This step gives the method it's traditional name (paal kurukkal, പാൽ കുറുക്കൽ ).

Happy Easter!

Recipe by Sherin Deepu of KuksKitchen

Also try


Chicken Stew


If you found this post useful, I would really love for you to pin it or share it with your Facebook fans or Twitter followers or Google+ circles please using the buttons below and keep me motivated.

Thank you xx

Sherin Deepu


  1. so many diff appam recipes .looks good .

  2. looks really yumm..happy easter..

  3. Am in love with that pesaha paal, very delicious, belated Easter.


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 I'm Sherin, aka kukku. 

An excited mum, a  responsible doctor , a friend's friend , a thankful daughter, a thankful sister and a passionate singer,  an enthusiastic cook, food writer and food photographer . That's me in a nut shell.

A doctor in my day job and a food writer and food photographer by night. I came in to cooking because of the people around me, be it the women in family who are amazing cooks or the men who luv to eat. My son is my best critic. :) Started cooking while I was at school, my first attempt being a sweetie, no surprise there for people who know me. I got interested in cooking more after marriage, as most girls do. My experiments with food blossomed after coming to the UK, where the grocery stores opened up a variety of foodie opportunities for my hungry tum.

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