Pesaha appam

Pesaha appam or Kurisappam[1] is a firm rice cake made by the Saint Thomas Christians of Kerala, India to be served on the night of Maundy Thursday (Pesaha).[1] It is made from rice batter like palappam,[2] but is not fermented with yeast in its preparation.[3] A cross is made using the palm leaves from Palm Sunday and placed in the middle of the batter.[3][4]

Pesaha appam
Pesaha appam and Pesaha milk made during Holy Week by Christians of Kerala, India.
Alternative namesKurishappam
Serving temperatureDinner[1]
Main ingredientsRice batter
VariationsPalappam (fermented bread for festivities and other days)
Other informationCultural cuisine of the Nasrani
Pesaha Appam of another variant.


The Pesaha celebration of Saint Thomas Christians falls on Western Maundy Thursday and lasts for a single day.[5][6][7] Traditionally, Pesaha appam is served in a ceremonial manner at night in Catholic households across Kerala.[8] The head of the family cuts the appam, dips it in paalukurukku (syrup) or Pesaha pal (coconut milk), and serves it to the other family members.[2][8] The brown palkurukku is made mainly using jaggery and coconut milk. The meal also includes small banana variants in Kerala such as poovan pazham or njalipoovan pazham.[1] Some families have the custom of singing traditional Kerala Nasrani Christian songs during this meal.[9]

The Pesaha appam is said to derive from traditional Jewish matza.[10][11][12][13][14][15][8][16] Like matza, it is prepared without yeast.

See also


  1. "Pesaha of Mar Thoma Nasranis". Nasrani Foundation. Archived from the original on 17 April 2019. Retrieved 17 April 2019.
  2. Amprayil, Kuruvilla Cherian (16 March 2008). "Kerala Nazranee Pesaha Receipes [sic]". Nasrani Syrian Christians Network. Retrieved 22 August 2009.
  3. "Pesaha Appam and pal, the toast of Holy Thursday". Manorama. Archived from the original on 17 April 2019. Retrieved 17 April 2019.
  4. "Pesaha Appam". Mathrubhumi. Archived from the original on 17 April 2019. Retrieved 17 April 2019.
  5. Nagarajan, Saraswathy (30 March 2021). "'Pesaha' appam is a must on Maundy Thursday in many Christian households in Kerala". The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 21 June 2021.
  6. Waring, Olivia (29 March 2018). "What is Pesaha Appam and why is it eaten on Maundy Thursday?". Metro. Retrieved 21 June 2021.
  7. "പെസഹാ അപ്പം വീട്ടില്‍ തയ്യാറാക്കാം". Mathrubhumi. Retrieved 21 June 2021.
  8. Koder S. "History of the Jews of Kerala". The St. Thomas Christian Encyclopaedia of Indial ed. G. Menachery, 1973.
  9. Chummar Choondal (1983) Christian folk songs, Kerala Folklore Academy pp 33-64
  10. Menachery, G., ed. (1973) The St. Thomas Christian Encyclopedia of India, B. N. K. Press, vol. 2, ISBN 81-87132-06-X, Lib. Cong. Cat. Card. No. 73-905568; B. N. K. Press
  11. Menachery, G. (ed.) (1982) The St. Thomas Christian Encyclopedia of India, B. N. K. Press, vol. 1;
  12. Menachery, G. (ed.) (1998) The Indian Church History Classics, Vol. I, The Nazranies, Ollur, 1998. ISBN 81-87133-05-8.
  13. Podipara, Placid J. (1970) The Thomas Christians. London: Darton, Longman and Todd, 1970. (is a readable and exhaustive study of the St. Thomas Christians.)
  14. Leslie Brown, (1956) The Indian Christians of St. Thomas. An Account of the Ancient Syrian Church of Malabar, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1956, 1982 (repr.)
  15. Thomas Puthiakunnel, (1973) "Jewish colonies of India paved the way for St. Thomas", The Saint Thomas Christian Encyclopedia of India, ed. George Menachery, Vol. II. Trichur.
  16. T. K. Velu Pillai, (1940) The Travancore State Manual; 4 volumes; Trivandrum)

Media related to Pesaha Appam at Wikimedia Commons

This article is issued from Wikipedia. The text is licensed under Creative Commons - Attribution - Sharealike. Additional terms may apply for the media files.