52 week project – Sri Lankan Cookbook – Potato Aluwa

This week was a busy one with lots of work with the kiddos alone as my other half was out at a conference in Portland! Hence posting this way late in the week. I decided to try my hand at the Sri Lankan sweets, as I have had many and they are very delicious. Maybe when I was younger I tried this sweet and really liked it though it could have been something else? Anyway this recipe seemed fine but there is definitely a knowledge to sweet making and that is something I have to practice. This weeks recipe was somewhat of a fail!

I took a small sample to my daughters Sri Lankan teacher to see if I could get any hints on what I had to do to get it right. The thing is with this recipe is that you have to cook and stir and stir until the mixture crystallises. Also she told me that it can be very hard to get the right consistency and it takes a lot of practice and time!

Here is the recipe from the book Ceylon Cookery – which requires some tweaking so references can be found here

Bubble bubble toil and trouble – this is only red due to the food colouring

Cashews toasting away

Potato Aluwa

How the potato aluwa should not look…

1 lb potato
1 1/2 lb sugar
1 cup coconut milk
handful of toasted chopped cashews

Food Colouring


1. Boil potato and use a mixer to make the potato smooth – I mixed with a bit of coconut milk.

2. Mix coconut milk with the sugar and bring to the boil until the sugar has slightly thickened. Add food colouring – this is all because I think this sweet was green when I was younger!?!

3. Add the mashed potato. Cook on medium until the mixture comes off the sides of the pan. This part you have to stir and stir until the mixture crystallise on the sides of the pan. It is best that you focus on trying to get the right consistency and stirring so you don’t burn the bottom of the pan –  the pan should have a thick base to prevent burning. 

4. Add the toasted, chopped cashews along with cardamom powder and rosewater.

5. Spread on a greased board or plate and cut into squares.

Too overcooked with the recipe from the Ceylon Cookery Book 

Well to sum this experience up is that I have to practice on other Sri Lankan sweets so I can get the hang of the way this should turn out, plus a candy thermometer would be a great help!

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