The Lightness of Yam

One of my absolute favourite sweet dishes from Sri Lanka where it’s served as a dessert or as a snack.  The vivid violet of the inside of the yam and deep purple of the skin is in itself enticing.  Perception of yams is one of being stodgy and solid, but made the way described below gives you fluffy lightness that glides down your throat.

Like potatoes, it takes in flavours really well so I have kept the sweetness and fragrances light.  So you can taste this purple glory in all its yumminess.

Rasa Valli/Purple Yam Pudding

Serves 6 if serving warm in ramekins or 12 set in moulds, cold.


 550g rasa valli/purple yam, peeled and cut into cubes of each size

1 teaspoon salt

100g sugar

250ml coconut milk

2 teaspoon of rose water (optional)

To decorate:

 50g coconut flakes

50g fresh/dried rose petals


Place the peeled and cut rasa valli/purple yam and salt in a large saucepan and add just enough water to cover and bring to the boil.

Purple Blush

Purple Peel

Reduce the heat and simmer until the rasa valli/purple yam is soft.  Remove from the heat, drain and mash the rasa valli/purple yam.  I don’t mash all of yam and leave some whole pieces to give the pudding some texture.

Soften and Drained

Return the pan to a low heat and slowly stir in the sugar and coconut milk until dissolved.  Keep an eye on the pan and continuously stir since the yam has a tendency to catch at the bottom of the pan

Remove from the heat and stir in the rose water.

The pudding can be served hot or cold.  If serving cold, use a mouldto set the yam.

Rasa Valli served warm with Coconut Flakes

As Light as a Flower