Today is Maundy Thursday/Holy Thursday – the day when the Church commemorates the Last Supper of Jesus Christ with his disciples.
The four events that are commemorated on this day are:-
- Washing of the Disciples’ Feet by Jesus Christ.
- Institution of the Holy Eucharist at the Last Supper.
- Agony of Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane.
- The betrayal of Christ by Judas Iscariot.
The Jewish Passover (Pesaha) falls on Holy Thursday. The Syrian Christians (Nasranis) in Kerala have the tradition of making Pesaha Appam (Unleavened Bread) and Pesaha Pal (Milk) to commemorate the breaking of Bread by Jesus Christ.
According to the Holy Bible (Exodus Chapter 12 &13), the first Passover was instituted by Lord through Moses and Aaron. On Passover day, God delivered the Israelites from Egypt. It was known as The Festival of Unleavened Bread.
According to the New Testament, Jesus celebrated Passover with his disciples on the day before he was crucified. After washing his disciples feet, Jesus broke bread and gave it to his disciples and also offered the cup of wine. Thus Jesus instituted the Holy Eucharist at the “Last Supper”.
Hence on Maundy Thursday, Catholics commemorate the Institution of the Eucharist.
The tradition of making Pesaha Appam and Paalu on Pesaha would have come from the early Jews who came to Kerala. The Jewish tradition is preserved in the consumption of Pesaha pal (passover coconut milk) instead of wine on the night of passover along with Pesaha appam (unleavened passover bread).
Here is the recipe for making Passover Indari Appam and Pesaha Paal.