Mmmmm, look at these beauties! Since it is Valentine's Day today - Happy Valentine’s to you all! I will be making these Sri Lankan hoppers again tomorrow morning to treat the whole crowd around this household - weekend treats are the best!
What are Sri Lankan hoppers?
Hoppers describe the pancakes made from fermented rice and coconut milk batter, a popular breakfast dish in Sri Lanka and South India.
Hoppers apparently it’s the British way of pronouncing “Appam” - which ….. errrr, whichever way you try and turn or pronounce would never sound any close to hoppers but hey.....they are delicious so, who really cares?
Appam or Sri Lankan hoppers are yummy and healthier savoury pancakes that are made with coconut milk and rice or rice flour that needs fermenting - ideally, overnight.
It is such a great dish to start the day with... we have it mainly at the weekend but truthfully you can keep the batter in the fridge and have them any morning before going to work or school in literally minutes.
I do like to believe it originates from Sri Lanka where it makes a common breakfast or even dinner.
How to make Sri Lankan hoppers?
I don’t always go the traditional way on making appam as nowadays the ready-made rice flour it’s so great and cuts a bit of time if you do not fancy soaking the rice.
Any corner cut it’s great if it works and saves us some time, right? Well... I think so!
The best outcome when cutting corners it’s when the result doesn’t really differ from the traditional or original way of making something.
I am a fan of traditional food, oh yes. The difference’s that we no longer have all that time in hand but still want to have those dishes. Dishes that either bring childhood memories, add to our healthy eating habits or simply enjoy a dish we like.
Ingredients needed and availability:
All the ingredients are easy to find especially if you have an Asian grocery store nearby.
All you need it’s the following:
- Rice - raw and cooked or ready bought or
- Rice flour - I like choosing brown rice but made with white this time
- Coconut milk or
- Fresh coconut
- Sugar |(optional)
- Yeast - fresh or active dry... or
- Beer (to help with the fermentation) leave out if you cannot have yeast or
- Soda bicarbonate
- Eggs (optional but I really like them with that egg in the middle). Yummm.
How to serve appam or these Sri Lankan hoppers?
We love eating these
- with a nice and fairly spicy dry red chilli and coconut sambal,
- with quail eggs,
- with a beautiful egg or potato and cauliflower curry. OMG, too good!
- plain served with jam (my kids' favourite haha)
- with egg curry, a recipe that I need to share with you ASAP - my second top favourite curry recipe after this nice lamb curry which I absolutely adore.
Appam or Sri Lankan hoppers can be served sweet or savoury. I love them served with a few other curries, in particular, this giant potato cauliflower filo-samosa, vegetarian or this beautiful and super tasty monkfish curry.
Served with homemade jam...
Some people might say, what? especially those that know what appam is but please forgive me! I need to share this.
Last weekend I have made them again and a few were the regular savoury ones and a few were served with jam, only because we said.... hmmm, why not?
Oh wow, I’m not sure kids will go for savoury ones again. That will most probably take some persuasive efforts now from my side to make them have the savoury appam version.
I personally like them savoury with the coconut and red chilli sambal which I have to say it’s JUST divine. Different story with my kids, obviously! They clearly said they will never miss making at least one or two with a jam, honey or maple syrup. I have to agree with them though, they are too good to miss - so, so good!
My husband is the real master at making the coconut and red chilli sambal. His is definitely the best. I’m going to put the recipe up for that in a separate post most probably right away, so stay tuned!
The traditional appam ( Sri Lankan hoppers) recipe calls for todi (palm wine) but I have used beer* on a couple of occasions and that’s probably as good. I am saying probably because I have never tasted the ones with todi but will let you know once I do.
There are a few ways to make this Sri Lankan savoury pancake recipe. I sometimes get the rice flour or I soak the raw rice. I’m going to share with you the made-from-scratch version and that’s because everyone has rice in the cupboard.
Let's get making these beauties, shall we?
Appam or Sri Lankan hoppers
- glass bowl
- 2 cups rice raw soaked in lukewarm water *
- 1 cup cooked rice leftover or freshly cooked
- 1 cup of coconut milk or fresh ground one
- 1 teaspoon yeast fresh or active dry *
- 8 eggs I use quail eggs almost always *
- ¼ teaspoon salt or less *
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- Pre task. Soak the raw rice in lukewarm water for about 3 hours or longer. If you don’t have any cooked rice (leftover) boil some now. Boil approximately 50g of rice which will give approximately 1 cup of cooked rice. Set aside for later.
- In a mug combine the yeast with the sugar in warm water and allow it to rest until it’s beginning to bubble up. This should be approximately 10-15 minutes.
- Using a food processor whizz the cooked rice and the soaked rice with coconut milk or the fresh coconut and add a little water until it becomes a thick batter.
- Add salt and the yeast mixture to the rice and whizz continuously until all are combined.
- Take a glass bowl out and transfer the batter. Cover with a lid or clingfilm and allow it to ferment. Ideally overnight. 6-8 hours.
- The batter should be runny but not too watery so adjust its consistency by adding more water and/or some more coconut milk.
- Pour the batter into a jug or a smoothie bottle (I find it easier to handle).
- Place the appam pan or the appachetty (special appam pan) on fire, when this is slightly hot pour in some batter (the amount or quantity of a small ladle or the equivalent of 8-10 tablespoons). Move the pan in a circular motion so that the batter is spread around on the edges as high as this permits.
- Add an egg in the centre (the batter is thicker but don’t worry, it’s as it should be) and cook for about 2 minutes (covered) until the egg it’s cooked. This can be made hard or left soft depending on your preferences. If cooking with one quail egg the time will differ from when cooking with a regular egg. The egg will indicate when it's cooked.
- Serve while hot with sambol, chutney, any curry or a nice dhal (dal).
I prefer eggs only if I have these at breakfast but I make them simple too to have with a nice potato and cauliflower curry or dhal or any meat curry. Oh my! I’m drooling already. * eggs - If you don’t have quail eggs use any small chicken eggs. * the raw rice can be mixed with regular white and brown rice. Sometimes I add a handful of mung beans too for extra goodness. I use lukewarm water but that’s not necessary. * if you want to replace the yeast just add 1 levelled teaspoon soda bicarbonate. If you don’t have yeast, use 100 ml beer which is a small glass. Just add to the batter.