Have you ever tried Hoppers?
Also known as Appas, they are the Sri-Lankan version of thin pancakes with crispy edges, and we love them!
Their funny bowl-shape is a result of their cooking in a wok-like pan called appachatti, which allows to softly heat the ingredients that fall to the bottom while achieving crispy edges on the top.
Their versatility lets anyone enjoy them both for breakfast or dinner. Perhaps egg-hoppers are more common in the morning, and plain hoppers a better match for rice and curry at night. They are soft and light and infused with the homey aromas of coconut milk and rice.
But how do you eat a yummy hopper?
You know in Sri Lanka we believe food must be eaten with your fingers in order to really savour the soul of the recipe. And not just any fingers: you should use your right-hand fingers. And how are you supposed to eat an egg hopper then? Well, folding it, exactly like that!
The running egg yolks and coconut milk through your fingers will subtly stick together thanks to the magic rice flour, and this is the secret to it all.
And so you ask, can anyone cook a proper hopper at home?
Well, the answer is YES! And here goes the recipe. But beware, hoppers are best enjoyed in the company of the loved ones, and if possible, by the edge of the sea. Nothing says happy breakfast like a table by the seafront with a breath-taking view and a darling plate of egg hoppers, next to your loved one. Breakfast has never been more romantic, and deliciously messy.
HOW TO PREPARE DE BEST SRI LANKAN HOPPERS
* A handful of Rice flour
* A cup of Coconut milk
* An Egg yolk
* 1 tsp. of Salt
* 1tsp. of Sugar
* A pinch of Yeast
* A cup of Coconut water
* A bit of Soda water
* An appachatti.
- PREPARE THE BATTER:
Heat the coconut water until tepid. Whisk in the yeast and sugar, then leave to stand for 15 minutes. Mix with the coconut milk, then pour it into the rice flour in a large bowl. Whisk until you have a smooth batter. Cover and leave overnight.
- ADD WATER:
Add the soda water to the bowl and whisk well, adding a pinch of salt. Leave to stand for an hour before using. It should be thinner than a traditional pancake batter.
- COOK IN THE PAN:
Heat your appachatti, then, as it heats, drip in some drops of oil to avoid the batter from sticking. Slowly pour a ladleful of the batter into the pan, tilting it so the batter cooks up the edges of the pan and is distributed in a thin layer.
- ADD THE EGG:
Quickly crack an egg into the base of the pan and cover. Leave to cook for about 2 minutes, or until the egg is just cooked and the edges of the pancake are starting to brown. Run around the edges with a palette knife and ease onto a plate.
Don´t forget to swirl into sweet and spicy sambols!
- SHARE AND INSPIRE OTHERS:
Let us know how it went! Sent us your comments and pictures! We´d love to hear all about it! Perfect or not, we are sure your dish will be unique!
TIP: If you do not have an appachatti at home, don´t despair, you can very well use your wok or frying pan. It will be a big hopper though; you might want to invite your neighbours for Sunday breakfast this time!
For the extra little piece of joy, book a table at The Runcible Spoon Restaurant, and let our chef pamper you with his trickery in the kitchen. Because, as pretentious as it may sound, we never lie and no one gets egg hoppers like our lovely Anthony D´Costa…