Pesaha Appam/Inri/Indri appam and Pesaha Pal recipe


Pesaha means Passing over,On that day,Kerala Christians prepare unleavened bread with rice powder and a special jaggery- coconut milk as a dip for appam.As we all know,those who are interested to view this page are Christians,so no need of much explanation.INRI the term comes from the presence of cross in this appam and in some places its called as Indri appam.
Easter is almost near and those who avoided non veg foods for  lent will be counting the days for breaking the lent with delicious Chicken/Mutton stew and palappam.
Myself and my husband likes to follow all catholic principles and feast at home.So after wedding, back in US,i had to make Pesaha appam and pal for the first time in 2012.Only once i prepared this appam with my friend.In 2013,we joined with our friends for Pesaha and i  didn't prepare.Last year,i was back at home for Pesaha with my parents,brothers and relatives and my lit one.Yes,Dion's first Pesaha n Easter.It was a memorable day for me as i have joined them after two years.
Usually in my father's family we used to celebrate all occassions,Onam,Christmas and Easter in each siblings house(my father's) as a rotational manner.But only celebration at tharavade with Echachan n Ammachi(daddy's parents) is Pesaha.
Pesaha means Passing over,On that day,Kerala Christians prepare unleavened bread with rice powder and a special jaggery- coconut milk as a dip for appam.In our family,its women's duty to prepare this appam in a traditional way along with ammachi's instructions.
My mother and her sisters(my aunts) combine together and make this appam.This Pesaha appam should prepare only on Maundy Thursday.I was so happy to being around among them as a helper for grinding coconut or small helps.I was insisted to do such things.Also in our family,an adult male is having the charge of placing the plate with batter in steamer and making of two crosses with palm leaves which we got on Osana,Palm sunday.(i didn't hear this custom from any one.But,this is strictly following in our family)After preparing appam and get ready  things for Pal, we go to  church for Lord's Supper or we can call it as Maundy Thursday special Holy Mass.
After Holy mass,our family unites together at tharavade for appam murikkal starting with family prayers.The eldest member of the family used to cut the Pesaha appam and distribute it to the family members along with Pesaha Pal.In our family,Echachan cut the Appam and everybody line up age wise and collect appam and pal from echachan after greeting him with a lovely kiss.
In our family appam is also preparing in the form of Ela appam or Ela ada.This is in high demand on Good friday since,we are on fast with only 1 meal and having this Ela appam or left over Pesaha appam for break fast and dinner:-) Also in our family special bakery bread is also using with Pal.
Here is the recipe for a small family:4-5 members

For Appam

Rice powder - 1 cup
Urad Dal(uzhunne) - 1/4 cup
Grated Coconut - 1 cup
Jeera - 1 pinch
Shallots - 3-5 nos
Garlic - 1 or 2 small
Water - 1.5 cups
Salt - as needed


  • Soak Urad dal in water for 3 hours and grind it to form a smooth paste with little water.
  • Grind grated coconut,jeera,garlic and shallots with little water and make a good paste.
  • In a heavy bottom vessel,keep 1.5 cups water for boiling.When it starts to boil,add rice powder (little at a time) and stir it nicely with a wooden spoon.
  • Add the full rice powder like this way(little by little) and make a good soft dough without any extra water.Add the paste of Urad dal(uzhunne) and Coconut mixture to the soft dough make a good batter same as like Vattayappam batter.Keep this batter for 1 hour if you have time or steam it directly.
  • Apply some oil or butter to the desired pan/plate/tin and transfer the batter to the plate.Fill 3/4 of the plate.Keep the cross(made up of Palm leaves) and two small turmeric pieces(on both sides,bottom side of the cross which indicates two thieves who crucified along with Jesus).I don't know whether this is doing in all places.(placing turmeric for thieves)..But its there in our family:-)
  • Steam this batter for 15 - 20 minutes in Steamer by using a special plate with lots of hole.In Malayalam its called as appachembu or you can keep this plate in automatic rice cooker,same as we do for steaming plantains.Cover the batter with banana leaves or aluminium foil in order to avoid the water vapor.
  • Remove the plate from steamer after 20 minutes,check it with a tooth pick and allow to  cool.
  • Cook the remaining batter same like this or in banana leaves.

For Pal
Coconut - 1 Grated and make 1st,2nd and 3 rd milk)
Jaggery - 500 gm(make syrup by melting with 1/4 cup water and strain it)
Jeera - 2 Tsp
Dried Ginger - 1 piece
Roasted rice powder - 100 gm

  • In a pan,melt jaggery with a little water.When it is completely melted, strain it. 
  • Add 3 cups of medium coconut milk in heavy bottom vessel and stir continuously.when half of it gets evaporated, add thick coconut milk and stir well. Do not boil once the thick coconut milk is added.
  •  For thickening the paal, add  2 tbsp rice powder with hot water and add to pal and cook for a few minutes.

Here is the ingredient list needed for a big family of 10-20 members

Rice powder - 1 Kg(dry roasted)
Urad Dal(uzhunne) - 150 gm(soak and grind it)
Coconut - 2 nos
Jeera - 1 Tsp
Shallots - 25 gm
Garlic - 1 full 
Salt - as needed

Another Method

  • Sieve the rice powder in a strainer and dry roast the rice powder in a pan.Don't make it brown.
  • Make a good batter by combing it with Uzhunne and coconut ,jeera,shallots and garlic mixture with lit water.Make a good batter same as like of vattayappam without any lumps.
  • Add required salt and keep it aside for 1 hour.
  • Add cross and turmeric to the main Pesaha appam or Cross/Kurish appam.
  • Boil water in a steamer and keep the plate/ tin with batter for 20 -25 minutes for steaming.Check it with a tooth pick and if it comes out clean,transfer the appam plate for cooling.
  • Cook the remaining batter same like this or in banana leaves.

For Pesaha Pal

Ingredients needed:

 Coconut - 1 Grated( and make 1st,2nd and 3 rd milk)
 Jaggery - 500 gm(make syrup by melting with 1/4 cup water and strain it)
 Jeera - 2 Tsp
 Dried Ginger - 1 piece
 Roasted rice powder - 100 gm

  • Combine strained Jaggery syrup  and 2nd & 3 rd coconut milk and bring to boil.
  • Put this in simmer and add thick coconut milk(1st) and don't allow to boil.Stir continuously add powdered jeera and dried ginger(chukke).
  • Add 2 Tb sp rice powder in hot water and combine this rice mixture to the pal.add the cross and simmer it for 5 minutes and remove from fire.

Usually in our home,Pal is making 30 minutes prior to the Appam murikkal ceremony.Just make sure everything is ready for that 1 hour before itself.
In our family,we are cutting the Pesaha appam in the same plate.If you want to replace the appam to another good plate,keep the plate in cold water for some time,and replace it another plate for serving.
You can use any  good quality roasted rice for making this Pesaha Appam.

Hope you all enjoy this detailed explanation.

Happy Easter in advance.
Will update with more Easter recipes in the following days.

Kottayam Kitchen


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