Think of wattalappam as a tropical cream caramel. This is a perfect custard for those with milk allergies. It is a a popular Sri Lankan custard made with eggs, coconut milk and jaggery. Jaggery gives it more earthy, caramel like flavors and the brown color. Coconut milk and jaggery are a typical dessert pairing found in many of desserts from that region, and works beautifully here.
Cuisine Sri Lankan
Keyword Dairy Free Custard, dessert
Prep Time 10 minutesminutes
Cook Time 1 hourhour
Resting/Cooling Time 40 minutesminutes
Total Time 2 hourshours
200 - 250 gGrated Kithul JaggeryNotes
1 ½CupCoconut milkThick (Notes)
Pre heat the oven to 350°F (170°C). Lightly grease 4 one cup custard molds. Place them in an oven proof container . Heat about 4 - 5 cups of water.
Mix ¼ C of coconut milk with the jaggery (notes) and mix into a smooth paste. Add the eggs and the yolks into the jaggery mix and beat until mixed well. The mix should look uniform and seems to have thickened and bulked a bit without air pockets in it.
Powder the cardamom seeds (about 1/2 Tsp powder) and grate the nutmeg a few times to make about ¼ tsp powder . Mix the spices with the jaggery egg syrup.
Add the coconut milk and mix with a spatula. Strain the mix and portion into the prepared custard cups. Cover the tops of the cups with foil.
Pour hot water about into the pan holding the custard cups. Add enough water into the pan to reach half way up the sides of the cups. .
Place in the preheated oven and bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour (if using different size pans adjust baking times).
Open the oven and slightly jiggle one cup. The custard should set but have a little give in the center. If too wiggly, bake for another 10 to 15 minutes before testing again.
Remove from the oven and cool on the counter for at least 30 minutes before serving. Alternately after 30 minutes , transfer the custards to the fridge for at least 3 hours . Take out of the fridge just before serving.
Kithul Jaggery is made by processing the sap of Kithul palms. Dark brown sugar, Indian Jaggery, Piloncillo are all good substitutes.
Premium canned coconut milk (not lite) can be used in this recipe, or use the first extraction of freshly prepared coconut milk.
Traditionally jaggery is melted over heat with a little water added to it. Once completely melted it is strained to remove impurities before. Follow this process if you are not sure about the quality of the jaggery.
Wattalappam can also be steamed. Place the containers covered on a steamer rack and steam at medium heat for 30 to 40 minutes. Test and steam longer if necessary.
The cooking times vary depending on the container used as well. Thinner custards take much less time than the thick ones.
Optionally raisins and cashew nuts are added as garnishes or to the custard mix.
For detailed instructions go to https://oventales.com/wattalappam/ .