S. H. Fernando Jr.'s Hoppers

[Photograph: Susan Now]

Hoppers, a Sri Lankan roadside snack are delicate sourdough crepes made with coconut milk and rice flour. Cooked in a high-sided spherical pan, the batter is swirled around during the cooking process making for lacey-crisp edges and a tender center. S.H. Fernando Jr., author of Rice & Curry says that they're a wonderful vehicle for scooping up saucy curries, or if you're a fan of all things eggy, feel free to crack an egg in the middle of one of these guys for a Sri Lankan breakfast of champions.

What Worked: These coconut milk rice flour crepes make for great curry scoopers, and are even better with an egg cracked into the center.

What Didn't: Not quite sure where to acquire that traditional appachatti, the spherical pan used to make hoppers, we subbed in the trusty nonstick and although the presentation wasn't quite as dramatic, they tasted damned fine.

Suggested Tweaks: If you don't have rice flour on hand you can easily use all-purpose.

Reprinted with permission from Rice & Curry by S.H. Fernando Jr.. Copyright © 2011. Published by Hippocrene Books. Available wherever books are sold. All rights reserved.

S. H. Fernando Jr.'s Hoppers

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About This Recipe

Yield:makes 10 to 12 hoppers
Active time:30 minutes
Total time:3 hours 30 minutes
This recipe appears in: S. H. Fernando Jr.'s Hoppers

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup (65ml) lukewarm water
  • 1 pound (454 g) all purpose or rice flour
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/8 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 1/2 cups (625 ml) coconut milk (slightly more if using rice flour)
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 tablespoons oil

Procedures

  1. 1

    Dissolve yeast in the lukewarm water. Sift flour into a bowl. Add salt, sugar, yeast mixture and mix well to form a stiff dough. Set aside to rise for 2 to 3 hours.

  2. 2

    Add the coconut milk and a pinch of baking soda to the dough and set aside for another hour. Mix well.

  3. 3

    Oil a hopper pan (or similar spherical pan) and heat over medium flame. Pour in a spoonful of batter and rotate pan so whole surface is covered. Cook until hopper is crispy around the edges (about 2 minutes). Continuing making hoppers, oiling pan after each hopper is made.

    Variation: For an egg hopper, after pouring batter into pan, break an egg in the center and cover and cook until done.

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