Sweet Sri Lankan Watalappan Dessert Recipe

Watalappan Sweet Dessert
Sri Lankan sweet dessert watalappam

Watalappan is a unique Sri Lankan sweet dessert. Some people also call it a watalappam. It’s made from thick coconut milk, egg, sugar, or jaggery with cardamom. If you can’t easily find the thick coconut milk you can use condensed milk for this Watalappan Recipe.

Some people call this a coconut custard pudding or jaggery pudding. Because it contains both coconut milk and jaggery syrup. If you can’t easily find jaggery, you can use only sugar. It makes it more attractive if you use caramel sugar. Which means melting sugar until it becomes a brown color thick liquid. For better results, use brown sugar. If you can’t easily find it, you can turn white sugar to dark by using this easy watalappan recipe guide.

If you are living outside of South Asia, you may not know this small paradise. It’s a small island close to India. This unique Sri Lankan sweet dessert has a very long history and it’s believed that it originated in the 18th century. If you ever visited Sri Lanka, you may taste this. This custard pudding has dark brown color and cardamom intensely aromatic give better mouth-watering flavor and attractiveness. If you are suffering from diabetes, this is not good for you.

This sweet dessert made from steaming. You can use a pressure cooker or rice cooker. For serving idea it is better to serve after lunch or dinner as a dessert. It approximately takes 1 to 1.5 hours to prepare. Watalappan recipe is a good dessert idea.

This custard pudding made from steaming. This is a better dessert idea for special occasions or surprises your kids. You have to find a suitable stand. Because when steaming, the water level should not touch the watalappam mold.

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Few Questions regarding Watalappan Recipe.

  • How to make watalappan in pressure cookers?

Place a proper stand inside the pressure cooker and place the mold on top of it. Then fill water and the water level should be below the mold. Water should not touch the mold.

  • How to make watalappan in rice cookers?

Just like the pressure cooker, place the mold at the top of the suitable stand and fill the water. The water should not touch the mold.

  • Is there any substitute for thick coconut milk?

You can substitute condensed milk for thick coconut milk. If you use condensed milk as a substitute, you have to use 1.5 times of water. For an instance, 1 cup of condensed milk needs 1.5 cups of water.

  • Can make watalappan without jaggery?

Yes, you can prepare it without jaggery. Using sugar caramel you can prepare it. By using jaggery it receives a dark brown color, but using sugar caramel you can get the same result. Below guided recipe, include the sugar caramel preparation step, so you don’t need to worry.

Dessert serving ideas
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4.75 from 4 votes

Sweet Sri Lankan Watalappan Recipe

Watalappan is rich in sweets. This custard pudding made from steaming. For better results, use brown sugar. If you can't easily find it, you can turn white sugar to dark caramel with this guide.
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time1 hour
Total Time1 hour 20 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Sri Lankan
Keyword: Sweet Dessert
Servings: 6
Calories: 1068kcal
Author: Chathuranga


  • Mixing Bowl
  • Beater - Electric or hand
  • Teaspoon 
  • Rice Cooker or Pressure Cooker
  • Small Cooking Pot
  • Mixing Spoon
  • Stand


  • Prepare 1 cup of thick coconut milk from grated coconut. Don't use a blender. Or prepare 1 cup of condensed milk.
  • Heat the cooking pot and add ¼ cup of sugar and keep mixing it.
  • When the sugar melting and turn to brown color add ¾ cup of water and mix it well. Then add the remaining ¾ cup of sugar and mix the syrup.
    Hot sugar syrup
  • Mix the egg yolk and egg white together. If you use an electric mixer, beat it at high speed around 5 minutes. If you use a hand mixer, beat it for around 10 minutes.
    Egg beated
  • Chop the cardamom and add it to the coconut milk or condensed milk.
  • If you can find jaggery syrup, add it to the mixture.
  • Now mix egg mixture with coconut milk or condensed milk. Then add sugar syrup, vanilla essence, and beat the mixture. If you use an electric beater, mix it for around 8 minutes. For hand mixer users, beat it for around 10 minutes. Now you can see a creamy milky foam.
    Watalappam mixture
  • Add the watalappan mixture to the mold. You have to place this mold at the top of a suitable stand. The water level should not touch the mold and while steaming water should not be dried up.
  • Add enough water to a rice cooker or pressure cooker and heat it. When its water started to boiling place the watalappam mixture.
  • Steam around 1 hour and check the mixture set. Its middle part is very shaky like jelly pudding. Using a small stick, check it set. If it has liquid then you have to bake it.
  • When the mixture properly set, turn off the rice cooker or pressure cooker and keep it at room temperature to cool down.
  • For garnish ideas, add cashew nuts at the top.


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