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This Sri Lankan hoppers recipe is extracted from Peter Kuruvita's book Serendip: My Sri Lankan Kitchen (£16.99, Murdoch Books). Find out more about Sri Lankan food with Peter's guide, then check out our Sri Lankan mutton rolls, coconut sambal, Sri Lankan chicken curry and more delicious Sri Lankan recipes.

Find out more about Sri Lankan food with Peter's guide, then check out our Sri Lankan mutton rolls, egg hoppers, Sri Lankan chicken curry and more delicious Sri Lankan recipes.

This dish is eaten throughout Sri Lanka. The sought-after result is one where the sides are crisp and the centre is aerated and soft – and the best breakfast hopper is made by cracking an egg into the centre just before steaming. Hoppers are traditionally made in a special pan which is essentially a small bowl-bottomed wok with handles. Alternatively, use a small non-stick frying pan.

Ingredients

  • 400ml coconut cream
  • 20g fresh yeast, or fast-action dried yeast 7g
  • 1 tbsp caster sugar
  • 500g rice flour
  • 3 egg whites
  • for the pan vegetable oil
  • to serve (optional) eggs

Method

  • STEP 1

    Stir the coconut cream, yeast and sugar in a bowl and leave in a warm spot for 45 minutes or until risen and frothy.

  • STEP 2

    Sift the rice flour into the mixture and whisk until a smooth batter forms. Cover the bowl and leave in a warm place for 3-4 hours or until the batter has doubled in size – the rising time will vary considerably depending on the room temperature (the warmer, the better). Just before cooking, lightly beat the egg whites with a fork until they are foamy, then stir into the hopper mixture with 1 tsp of salt.

  • STEP 3

    Heat a hopper pan or a small non-stick frying pan over a high heat, wipe the pan lightly with oil, then pour in a 60ml ladleful of the mixture. Swirl to coat the sides of the pan, leaving a small pool of mixture in the centre. Crack in an egg (if using), then cover the pan with a lid and steam the hopper for 2-3 minutes or until the centre is firm and the sides are golden and crisp. Keep the cooked hoppers warm and repeat the process until all the batter has been used.

*This recipe is gluten-free according to industry standards


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