This is a special sweet milk which is prepared only on Maundy Thursday night to commemorate the Last Supper of Jesus and the Passover. This is prepared in Syro Malabar Christian families of Kerala.
1. Coconut Milk – 2 Cups – 1st Milk (Onnam Pal)
2. Coconut milk – 2 Cups – 2nd or thinner milk (Randam Pal)
3. Cumin seeds powder – 2 Teaspoon
4. Rice flour – 2 Tablespoons
5.Jaggery – ½ Cup (Melted) or according to each one’s taste
6. Salt – 3 Pinches to balance the sweetness
Since I am too lazy in scraping coconut, I just cut them into pieces and blend in mixer grinder without water and I get scraped coconut in a minute. I took 1 big coconut to make more milk because we all love to drink this even the next day. If you want it to be pure white just scrape off the brown portion of the coconut before slicing. Grind the coconut and add 2 cups water. Squeeze off the thick milk and keep aside. Add 2 cups of water again and take the milk and keep aside. Get the jaggery melted with ¼ cup water. Strain and keep aside. If you have a juicer jar can use that.
Keep a mud pot or steel pot on low flame with the 2nd cups of coconut milk. Add the jaggery and keep stirring till steam comes up.
Once steam comes out take the rice flour and add some water and make a loose paste then add into the coconut milk stirring continuously so that no lumps will be formed. When this is cooked well add the 1st milk, cumin seeds powder and a little salt to balance the sweetness. Be careful in stirring continuously, don’t let it boil without stirring otherwise the coconut milk will be spoiled. Once steam comes out very well and the milk is cooked switch off the fire and keep to cool a little. Christians make 3 Crosses with the Palm leaves which they received from Church on Palm Sunday and put into the Milk at this time and keep covered.
The Crosses represent the Cross of Jesus and the 2 thieves who were hung with him on either side.
In my childhood days my parents and Grandparents and all the old generation believed this milk to be something sacred and treated it with reverence. They would wash the vessels which were used to take this milk and pour in Cows drinking water and wouldn’t pour anywhere where people would stamp.
Non Christians would ask for this milk, they believed that this could cure stomach pain and other ailments.
My parents used to make one full pot (it was made in new mud pot) of milk because on good Friday no breakfast for adults. So as kids we used to enjoy the left over milk and unleavened bread.
On Maundy Thursday night after dinner at 7.00 pm, the elders in the family would clean the kitchen and then prepare the unleavened bread and this milk.
Then the dining table would be set with lots of fruits, bananas, buns, Mutton roast, Vattayappam, Kinnathappam, unleavened bread and this milk.
The Father or oldest person in the family would gather all the family members and neighbours, then cut the unleavened bread with Cross (Kurishappam) after praying; then would distribute to all the members of the family along with a glass of this sweet milk in which the unleavened bread is dipped and eaten. All would enjoy the total meal and then go to the next neighbours house to share their meal.
When we were small kids we used to enjoy going from house to house with the elders. In those days our houses were very far since each family had acres of lands. We would go with gas lights, torches, candles and dry coconut leaves torch burning with fire. It was really memorable and enjoyed to the core. We would be waiting eagerly for Maundy Thursday every year which was a time of family and neighbourhood reunion.
Now all that is gone and the custom has almost died off.
This year Covid 19 has restricted every one to their own family. Yes at least let the family ties become strong and let the kids get more attention from their parents who have no time otherwise to spend with their kids and elders.
Today as we enjoy this Pesaha lets thank God for giving us good health to enjoy this and remember all those who are suffering because of Covid 19. Let us support each and everyone who are leaving their family and working day in and day out to fight Corona virus.