wattalappam is a favourite dessert comprising of a rich pudding made with eggs, coconut milk, jaggery and cardamoms, This brown pudding is prepared by adding a mixture of heated jaggery, coconut milk and ground cardamoms to a stock of beaten eggs after which the whole is poured into bowls and steamed till it assumes a firm consistency. The term is evidently a corruption of the Tamil vaṭṭil ‘cup’ + appam ‘cake’, hence vaṭṭilappam ‘cup-cake’. The dish is however unknown to the Tamils. Rather it is in all likelihood a borrowing from the Malay world, having derived from that sweet dish known as serikaya among the Malays of Indonesia and Malaysia. Serikaya is a steamed custard made of eggs, coconut milk, palm sugar and pandan or screwpine leaves, though it is also often consumed as a jam. The similarity between the two however suggests a common origin so that we may have to suppose wattalappam to have originated from this Malay dessert.