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
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