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Wattalappam (Watalappan)

Cooking Method ,
Difficulty Intermediate
Prep Time: 5 mins Cook Time: 30 mins Total Time: 35 mins
Servings 3
Best Season

Watalappan is a custard dessert served in Sri Lanka, similar to the Spanish flan but, in my opinion, way much flavourful. And better🤭 It contains coconut milk, eggs, jaggery (it’s refined-sugar free!) and spices: commonly cardamom and nutmeg, but cloves can be added too.

It is believed that this dessert was brought to today’s Sri Lanka territory in the 18th century, once the Sri Lankan Malays came from Indonesia to Ceylon during the Dutch time.

The name “watalappan” comes from the Tamil (the language spoken in Sri Lanka) “vattil” (cup) and “appan” (cake)

  • 1 cup thick and creamy coconut milk
  • 115 grams jaggery/dark molasses
  • 1 teaspoon cardamom powder
  • 1 pinch grated nutmeg
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 500 milliliters water for steaming
  1. Start by mixing the jaggery with some boiling water (2-3 tbsp) until you get a nice and thick paste.

  2. Add the eggs and keep mixing. Don’t mix too hard, we don’t want air bubbles. Add the cardamom and mix well. Add the coconut milk and mix everything well. 

  3. If you want, you can give it a few pulses in the blender just to ensure everything gets mixed together.

  4. Pour the mixture into 3 ramekin cups. Add them to a tray filled with hot water and bake until set. Enjoy!