Wattalapam is one of those dishes that has been lingering inside my head for the last…oh say eight years. I had dibble dabbled with a bit of Sri Lankan cooking over that time but the Wattalapam was one that I had avoided for various reasons. Wattalapam is basically like a spiced egg custard. Soft and subtle the added spices let this simple dessert do the talking.

Recently I had come across the book “Sri Lankan Flavours”, and skipping straight to the back (as that’s where the good stuff is to be found, and that’s the sort of gal I am.) There it was…Wattalapam.  No more encouragement needed, I had to give it a crack.

Now just as I had had the name Wattalapam rattling around in my head for the past eight years, I had also not eaten it for eight years. So my memory taste buds for this dish were probably not as a sharp as they could have been. I remembered I loved it, the aromatic spices made it, and also thought it was quite sweet. I wasn’t sure whether I wanted it that sweet this time around though. Even though there is a full cup of two different sugars in there, I think it could be upped if you like things on the sweeter side. I also thought it was at it’s tastiest once chilled, (rather than at room temperature.)


* adapted from Sri Lankan Flavours- Channa Dassanayaka

600mls coconut milk

1/2 cup muscavado sugar

1/2 cup grated palm sugar

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp cardamom

1/2 tsp nutmeg

cloves optional

7 eggs beaten

Large handful of roughly chopped toasted cashews.

Over a medium heat, dissolve the two sugars in the coconut milk and then cool. In another bowl beat the eggs and add spices. Pour in cooled coconut milk, gently mix together and pour into baking dish, (approx 20cm).  Sprinkle with roughly chopped cashews. Then place dish within another pan of water. Water should come up to at least half. Bake at 160C for about an hour or until firm. Serve room temp or chilled.


For some other Sri Lankan dishes I have played around with see

Godambah or stuffed roti

Sourdough Hoppers

Love Cake


30 thoughts on “Wattalappam

  1. I would love to drop wattalappam into casual conversation 🙂 I love the dish for that alone – but it also looks wonderful. I had a little chuckle at the 7 eggs too. You don’t often see recipes like that any more! Congratulations on bringing this to life after 8 years of thinking on it.


    • Now usually I avoid any recipes that call for seven eggs, but for this one I had some fresh local free range back yard jobs and with the book whispering it’s sweet nothings to me, well I had to do it didn’t I.
      And go on I dare you, drop that word into a conversation or two 🙂


  2. this is a word I have never come across before – I was actually wondering what an earth you were making with a tree (wattle)! I should look at trying some Sri Lankan recipes 🙂


  3. So what happened 8 years ago that made you want to tackle this? A perfect tasting? A trip to Sri Lanka? I haven’t tried Wattalappam. I might have to track some down. Will think of you x


  4. What an interesting recipe, Brydie! I’ve never heard of it before, although I’m looking forward to learning more about Sri Lankan cooking with the new show on SBS…


  5. Hello, well, that’s a new one! I’m also wondering where I’d find palm sugar. An Indian supermarket?? Where’s my nearest I wonder? Hmmm… I’ve been making yoghurt from old yoghurt after reading your post about that, my mum used to make it that way with evaporated milk all the time but I’d forgotten. Have a lovely weekend.


    • Have a look in the asian food aisles in the every day supermarkets for the palm sugar Seana or just an Asian supermarket will definitely have it. It’s used a lot in Thai cooking as well.
      Glad to hear you are making yogurt too 🙂


  6. Palm sugar is easy to buy here in Australia. You can buy it at all the major (and minor) supermarkets. This is a lovely looking recipe. I have a Sri Lankan friend and would like to cook this for him.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s