Watalappan වටලප්පන්

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Watalappan is one of the most popular Sri Lankan desserts among Sri Lankans. This dessert is present in most Sri Lankan parties and weddings. For this recipe, you can either use jaggery or sugar.  I prefer jaggery over sugar, but jaggery isn’t an easily reachable ingredient here in Canada. Therefore, sometimes I do use sugar. This time, however, I have a really fine lobe of jaggery to make watalappan. So, I thought to share this mouth watering recipe with you.

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Half a lobe of jaggery(scrapped) or 1 cups of sugar

¼ cup of sugar

6 whole eggs

600 mL or 2 ½ cups of thick coconut milk (If using condensed coconut milk, dilute it with water at 2:1 ratio (Milk:Water))

1 tsp of finely scrapped nutmeg (Sadhikka)

50g of cashew nuts


If you are only using sugar, it is necessary to make sugar-caramel-coloring to get the dark color of the watalappan. To do this, in a cooking pot over-burn 2 tsp of sugar until it starts to turn dark brown or black, and add 4 tbsp of water. Remember, it is important to put the water as soon as it starts to become black, else it may affect the expected taste of the dessert.

In a mixing bowl, combine jaggery (or sugar), coconut milk and ¼ cup of sugar. Here, you can either hand mix or use an electric-mixer.


Remember, if you are using only sugar, add the prepared sugar-coloring as well. At this point, it is better to start preheating you oven to 350 F. Then in a separate bowl, beat the eggs, really well. Next, pour the jaggery mix onto the beaten eggs and start mixing all together until they all are mixed properly.


Now, pour the whole mixture into a baking tray and add cashews and nutmeg.Remember to gently mix with a spoon in order to nutmeg to spread evenly throughout the mixture.


Now, bake this for 40 minutes and enjoy.

Note: Traditionally, watalappan was made by steaming, but through the last few decades people have started making it in ovens due to convenience. So if you don’t have an oven, you can steam it for about 30 minutes in a large steamer.



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