How to make watalappan in a microwave?

Watalappan (or wattilappam or vattilappam) is a popular in Sri Lankan desert seemingly with a Malay in origin. It is more like a custard or pudding made with “jaggery“, coconut milk and eggs as the main ingredients. Traditionally this is steam cooked and would normally take about 45 minutes to 1 hour to prepare.

Here is my take on the same recipe with a little twist where I cook it in a microwave, which takes about 5 minutes for preparation and 5-8 minutes of cooking time. This is a quick and easy recipe for a delicious dessert, even for a guy like me.

Watalappan - Made in a microwave


  • 5 Eggs
  • 250 ml Coconut milk, thick
  • 250 g “Jaggery
  • 1 Cinnamon quill, broken
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 1/4 tsp Ground cloves (Optional)
  • 1/4 tsp Grated nutmeg (Optional)
  • 1/4 tsp Ground cardamom seeds (Optional)
  • 1/4 tsp Vanilla extract (Optional)
  • Butter, to grease
  • Raisins and roasted cashew nuts, to serve


  • Add the eggs to a bowl and whisk them well
  • Add “jaggery” and all the spices and mix them well
  • Add the mixture into a greased microwave-safe bowl
  • Cook it in microwave covered for 5-8 minutes
  • Sprinkle some raisins and roasted cashew nuts
  • Let it cool before serving


  • “Jaggery” is an unrefined sugar typically made from sugar cane or date palm sap and often used in Indian and Sri Lankan recipes. You can substitute it with grated dark palm sugar
  • Cooking time can vary on depending on the microwave power or amount of the mixture. I would suggest start at 5 minutes and increase by a minute each time while checking if it is cooked.

My Riding Log: The Pretext

It all started about a year ago when I decided to buy a scooter to commute to work. The idea was to buy a 50cc scooter as it can be driven with a car licence in Brisbane and it was the only licence I had. I had never ridden a motorcycle or scooter before, so a 50cc scooter sounded easy to start with. I had the money and I should have bought one straight ahead, instead I opted to delay.

Scooter in Paris 1991
Photo taken by Barbara Mürdter

Time is the enemy for any thoughts, especially mine, and 50cc was not enough for me anymore for no clear reason. Now I wanted a bigger scooter, may be a 100cc. The problem was I didn’t have a motorcycle licence, and you need to one to ride anything above 50cc in Queensland.

Motorcycle Learning

So I decided I should get a motorcycle licence, and then came the new problem. The car licence I had was from Sri Lanka, and can get a motorcycle licence only if I convert that to a Queensland licence. This would have been straight forward, if the original licence is from the US or Singapore or few other countries. For a Sri Lankan licence, the only option is to do written and practical driving tests.

Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads, Wynnum

Somewhere towards the end of 2011, I did the written test and passed on the second attempt (the first blind attempt didn’t go well). Then I had to go for the practical test. By that time, I might have driven on road for about 18 months and 4,000kms, but I have never driven regularly. So I thought doing some lessons with a driving instructor might help, and it did. After few hours of training I had my Queensland car licence in the post box.


Now I could get a motorcycle licence in Queensland. There were two options. You could go straight for a practical test if you can ride a motorcycle as for cars. But it was not an option for me. So I decided to go the Q-Ride way. It is a specially designed program to learn to ride and get the licence at the same time. It took me another couple of weekends of training and one epic fall before I had my Queensland motorcycle licence in the post box.

Yamaha Virago XV250

What started as a simple wish for a 50cc scooter was now a motorcycle licence after nine months in early 2012. Then I went and bought a Yamaha Virago XV250 cruiser, a 250cc motorcycle, not a 50cc scooter. Now I’ve been riding it to work/uni almost every day and I think I’m enjoying it. I hope to keep on writing on this blog my experiences of riding as ‘My Riding Log’. I won’t be regular or informative, just another random log.

Nimal's Virago 250

Everything changes around us every day, our thoughts, our perceptions, and our likes and dislikes. I always want to think ‘I’m living in the moment’ and I try to do so.

Setup QUT Student, Staff Email on Android Devices (and IMAP/SMTP)

[The information on this post was last updated on July 1, 2014. Most of these will become obsolete with the migration of HDR and Staff emails to the cloud (Microsoft Office 365). For details on setting up with the new system head on to this update: Setup QUT Cloud Email. Thank you.]

Having access to my work/school email on my smart phone is important for me when I am ‘working from home, away from home’. I recently switched to my Nexus S and upgraded the OS to the latest Ice Cream Sandwich. But when I tried to add my emails, there aren’t many guides on the QUT website on setting up exchange email accounts on Android devices. As always, after a bit of Googling and guess-work I was able to set up my two accounts on my Nexus S. And this is how I did it…

  1. Undergraduate Student E-mails
  2. Staff E-mails
  3. Research Student E-mails
  4. IMAP/SMPT Settings for QUT Hosted Email
  5. How to connect to a QUT Wireless?
  6. Additional Notes

Undergraduate Student E-mails

For all QUT undergraduate and non-research degree students who have email addresses,
Android Outlook Exchange Email Settings for QUT Connect Student

  • Username:
  • Server:

Note: These settings can sometimes vary based on account settings. The best place to find the latest settings is the options tab on the web mail page at:

Staff E-mails

For QUT staff email accounts that end with,
Android Outlook Exchange Email Settings for QUT Staff

  • DomainUsername: qutadUSERNAME
  • Server:

Research Student E-mails

I’m doing my PhD at QUT, and all HRD (ie PhD and Masters Research) students have a different type of email account (similar to staff emails) which end with,
Android Outlook Exchange Email Settings for QUT HRD Student

  • Domain\Username: qutad\USERNAME
  • Server:

IMAP/SMPT Settings for QUT Hosted Email

For staff and research students whose email are hosted internally within QUT, the following IMAP/SMTP server settings can be used for setting up using email software other than Outlook, such as Thunderbird in Windows or Linux environments, or alternative email apps on your phones.

  • IMAP setting:
    • Server name:
    • Port: 993
    • Encryption method: SSL
  • External SMTP setting:
    • Server name:
    • Port: 587
    • Encryption method: TLS
  • Authentication
    • Mode: Normal Password
    • Username: qutad\USERNAME
    • Passowrd: QUT Login Password

Note: POP access is limited to QUT internal networks only, so IMAP would be the best option if you are setting it up on your personal devices.

How to connect to a QUT Wireless network from Android?

QUT wireless networks offers two different Wi-Fi access points to connect across all campuses. The ‘QUT’ access point is usable for all students and staff, while the ‘eduroam’ access point can additionally be used by visitors from participating institutions. Setting up the ‘eduroam’ network can enable us use our devices when travelling to other participating institutions.

QUT & Eduroam Wi-Fi Settings for Android

  • Menu -> Settings -> Wireless -> Wi-Fi
  • Choose a network: QUT (or eduroam)
  • EAP Method: PEAP
  • Phase 2 authentication: MSCHAPv2
  • CA Certificate: [Leave Unspecified]
  • User Certificate: [Leave Unspecified]
  • Identity: USERNAME (or for eduroam)
  • Anonymous Identity: [Leave Blank]
  • Password: PASSWORD
  • Connect!


The settings pages and options may sightly vary depending on the device, OS version, and applications. The USERNAME is what you would normally use to login to a QUT computer. We should use only to connect to the ‘eduroam’ network. The following pages on the IT Services web page can give latest and more details.

Brisbane Festival 2011 – Jack Charles v The Crown

Today I had the opportunity to attend Jack Charles v The Crown, a moving performance by Jack Charles, at Brisbane Powerhouse. This powerful one-man show tell a sad tale with some though provoking moments.

Jack Charles is one of Australia’s highly regarded performers. An Aboriginal elder who pioneered Koorie Theatre in the early 1970s, he founded the first Aboriginal theatre company in Australia, Nindethana. Jack is an actor, musician, potter and gifted performer, but in his nearly 70 years, he has also been homeless, a heroin addict, a thief and a regular in Victoria’s prisons. A member of the Stolen Generation, Jack has spent his life in between acting gigs, caught in the addiction/crime/doing time cycle. In Jack Charles v The Crown, Jack returns to the stage to tell the story of his life with humour, warmth, song, truth and forgiveness.

I was thinking this show could be about Aboriginal culture, but rather it’s about the contemporary lifestyle of Aboriginal society. Jack Charles puts forward some strong points towards the Australian society, and I could see similarities within the Sri Lanka society and problem of total denial of any social issues.

Jack Charles v The Crown will be performed at Powerhouse Theatre, Brisbane Powerhouse daily till September 10. Go to the event page for tickets and more details.

Brisbane Festival 2011 – Mortal Engine

Today I had the opportunity to attend a unique contemporary dance performance by Melbourne based dance company Chunky Move at Brisbane Festival 2011.

Mortal Engine is not just another dance performance. It is a dance, video, music and laser spectacular. More than the intriguing performance, I was amazed by the perfect marriage between art and technology.

Mortal Engine uses cutting-edge technology for movement detection and sound responsive projections. This triggers light and sound patterns based on dancers’ movements, and creates kaleidoscopic patterns and optical illusions. In this interview on Mortal Engine’s Artistic Director Gideon Obarzanek explains the inner mechanics of the show.

Mortal Engine will be performed at Playhouse, QPAC daily till September 10. Go to the event page for tickets and more details.