Pesaha Paalu (Maundy Thursday Recipe)

In another day, we enter the Holy Week. Holy Week is the week leading up to Easter. It starts with the Palm Sunday and ends with Easter. During this week, we recall the events leading up to the crucifixion of Jesus on Good Friday and His resurrection on Easter Sunday. The Thursday in the Holy Week is called Maundy Thursday and on this day, Christian families remember the last supper that Jesus had with his disciples. In memory of this, we make unleavened bread and serve it with a sweet milk. In Malayalam, this bread is called Pesaha Appam or Indri Appam and this sweet milk is called Pesaha Paalu.

Tradition is that after dinner on Maundy Thursday, the eldest male member of the family says a small prayer, cuts the Indri Appam, dips it in the Pesaha Paalu and gives it to every family member, starting with the oldest. Since Good Friday is observed as a day of prayer, fasting and abstinence, most of the time, this Pesaha Paalu and Appam is served as breakfast for all who are not observing a fast and having their breakfast.

After making the Pesaha Paalu, two small pieces of the blesses palm leaves received from the church on Palm Sunday is put on top in the shape of a cross. Kitchen is usually cleaned properly before the pesaha paalu and indri appam is cooked on Maundy Thursday.

The recipe I am sharing here is how I have seen my mom making it and what I love. There are different ways of making this pesaha paalu that Christians across Kerala follow. Check out my recipe for Indri Appam too. Hope all of you have a blessed Holy Week!

Pesaha Paalu (Maundy Thursday Recipe)

Course: DessertCuisine: Indian, KeralaDifficulty: Easy


Cooking time


Total time



Pesaha Paalu recipe the way my mom makes!


  • Jaggery Powder/Grated jaggery – 250 gms

  • Coconut Milk – 400 ml

  • Dry Ginger Powder – ½ tsp

  • Red Rice – 2 tbsp, roasted and powdered


  • In a pan, dry roast some red rice (unpolished rice) till it pops. Let it cool down and then powder it. If you do not have red rice, then you can use regular rice powder instead. The roasted red rice powder does make a difference to the flavour of the pesaha paalu.
  • In a sauce pan, add the jaggery and a little water so that it melts.
  • Once melted, jaggery can be strained before bringing it back onto heat. Alternatively, you can use jaggery powder also which is cleaned and doesn’t contain any impurites.
  • Add half of the coconut milk to the jaggery and let it come to a boil. Add the ginger powder to this.
  • Mix the rice powder with a little coconut milk properly and add it to the jaggery and coconut milk mixture. Let it come to a boil and it will start thickening.
  • Finally, add the remaining coconut milk and let it come to a single boil and turn off the heat.
  • This pesaha paalu is served with the indri appam on Maundy Thursday.

Recipe Video

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