Pesaha Appam or Inriyappam or Kurisappam is the unleavened Passover bread made by the Saint Thomas Christians of Kerala, India to be served on night of Maundy Thursday. The white-ish Pesaha appam is a firm rice cake. It is made from rice batter like Palappam, but is different from palappam in that it is not fermented with yeast in its preparation. The meal also includes small banana variants in Kerala such as Poovan Pazham or Njalipoovan Pazham. The brown palkurukku is made mainly using jaggery and coconut milk. A cross is made using the palm leaves from Palm Sunday and placed it on the middle of the batter.
|Created by||Jewish diaspora |
|Serving temperature||Served as dinner|
|Main ingredients||Rice batter|
|Variations||Pal appam (fermented bread for festivities and other days), Injera (Ethiopian yeast risen flatbread), lahoh (לחוח) in Yemenite Jewish Cuisine |
|Other information||Cultural cuisine of the Nasrani community and Malabar Jewish community. It is not prepared on any other day except on Passover. The leftovers are to be finished by the next day and any other left over on the third day if at all is to be burned according to the rules in Leviticus.|
Traditionally, Pesaha Appam is served in a ceremonial manner on Passover night in Saint Thomas Christian households. The head of the family cuts the appam, dips it in paalukurukku (syrup) or Pesaha Pal (Passover milk), and serves it to the other family members.
The Pesaha Appam is derived from the ancient bread of Jewish tradition. During Passover the bread is prepared without yeast in accordance with the commemoration of Pesaha or Passover in Old testament. This unleavened bread is prepared only for Passover and is called as Pesaha Appam or Passover unleavened bread.
Pesaha celebration of Saint Thomas Christians strictly falls on Western Maundy Thursday and lasts only for a single day unlike Jewish passover which lasts for 7-8 days.
Pesaha pal (passover coconut milk [പെസഹാ പാൽ]) is served along with Pesaha Appam on the night of Passover. Some families have the custom of singing traditional Kerala Nasrani Christian songs on passover night. This tradition of Pesaha appam was observed by the entire Nasrani people as well as the Cochin Jews.
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- T. K. Velu Pillai, (1940) The Travancore State Manual; 4 volumes; Trivandrum)
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Media related to Pesaha Appam at Wikimedia Commons