Monday, July 28, 2014

Que Sera, Sera ...Wat-al-appan will happen...

Watalappan (Sri Lankan style creme caramel)- cheats version, cooked in a microwave!

Traditionally watalappan is steamed in a oven on a low temp for a much longer period of time.. this version cuts the cooking time down to less than half.  Some people like to add crushed cashews or sultanas to theirs, but I personally prefer it without all the extras. Simple creamy syrupy custardy goodness.


500g jaggery  (Palm sugar)

½ cup water

8 Eggs – thoroughly beaten

1  & 1/2 can coconut cream. (600ml) 

The seeds from 1 vanilla pod  or 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

4 - 6 cardamom pods to taste– opened, seeds taken out and ground into a powder (Don't add outer pods to the mixture)

1 tsp ground nutmeg


1.      Melt jaggery in water on a very low heat in a pan into a syrupy constancy. You've got to be careful at this stage as it can burn easily. If you are worried about it burning you can use a bain marie method to melt it down into a syrup.  Set aside to cool down a little.
Cutting up the jaggery makes it easier to melt.

2.      Into another mixing bowl add the eggs, coconut cream, vanilla and ground spices.  Beat until combined.  Then gradually pour in the jaggery syrup while constantly beating. Pouring needs to be gradually or the warn syrup will turn your mixture into scrambled eggs.

3.     Once all combined pour it all into a microwave safe dish and place that dish into another dish, filling it with water to come 1/3 to 1/2 way up the outside. Microwave on high for between 15-25 min. Its best to check it every 5 min once you hit the 15 min mark as cooking times can vary depending on your microwave.  Allow dish to cool down fully for a few hours or overnight in the fridge before tucking in. 

The end result -  delicious sweet custard with little pockets of caramel throughout. 


*Make sure spices are ground super fine as they tend to settle at the bottom of the dish once cooked and if ground fine enough you'll avoid any gritty texture.

*There are various varieties of jaggery. I prefer the dark molassesy richness of pure palm sugar.  Make sure to check the list of ingredients on palm sugar you purchase as some palm sugars are blended with varied amounts of cane sugar etc, which to me anyway, is an inferior tasting product.