Sri Lankan Hoppers – For Those Who Live In Cold Climates


Beautiful hoppers, soft in the middle, crispy and golden at the edges are a memorable culinary delight in Sri Lankan cuisine!

Never get discouraged with a couple of failures!💚

Although our mums and grandmothers are quite efficient in making these, the new generation finds it a great challenge to get the right proportions of ingredients to ferment the dough into perfection.  They easily give up after a couple of attempts with utter disappointment.  So,  I share this perfect recipe with you all, which was passed on to me by a dear friend, concentrating more about those who are living abroad, with a promise that you will be making such beautiful hoppers following this recipe to impress everyone in the family.

How to ferment the batter in cold climates💙

The obvious trick in getting the batter fermented in cold climates is that you place the batter close to the stove in the morning hours.  All the cooking during the day on the stove generates enough heat for it to rise and the batter will be ready by the evening, for you to make perfect hoppers for dinner. The good news is, that you can store the leftover batter in the refrigerator for up to 3 days and it will, indeed, make even better quality hoppers due to further fermenting while in the fridge.

So, good luck friends! Enjoy your perfect hoppers with a spicy chicken or fish curry, not forgetting a tongue burning ‘lunu miris’ (chili chutney)

So, let’s make hoppers for tonight’s supper;

 What you need :

 Rice flour3 cups
Strong white bread flour (available in supermarkets)1/4 cup
Maggi coconut milk powder5 tbsp
Dried yeast1 tsp
Sugar(preferably brown sugar)2 tsp
Salt1 tsp
warm water 2 cups

 Method :

  • Place  rice flour and bread flour into a wide bowl
  • Into a jug, add yeast and sugar.
  • Pour  warm water and stir rapidly until yeast and sugar dissolves. Cover and keep for 5-10 mins. (By this time, the yeast would have bloomed properly
  • Mix it with the flour
  • Now in a jug pour 2 cups of  hot water and mix 2 tbsp of Maggi coconut milk powder.
  • Add this milky liquid to the flour and stir with a wooden spoon.
  • Add more hot water very slowly while string until the flour becomes a soft dough but not runny. (The picture below will show you the right consistency at this stage)  If any coconut milk is left, leave it for the next step.
  • Now cover the bowl first with a tea towel and place a heavy lid on top.  You need to place this bowl closer to the stove for 5hrs.  Meanwhile, get on with your normal cooking. (If you do not plan to cook on the stove, light one burner very low for at least 2 hrs and let it supply enough heat for the dough to rise.)
  • After 5 hrs, open the lid,  mix  another 3 tbsp of Maggi coconut milk powder and salt into a cup of hot water and pour onto the batter and stir thoroughly with a wooden spoon until the batter turns into a thick yet runny liquid.  You can add more hot water if the batter is too thick. (Note : you add salt only at this time)
  • Cover and leave for another 1 hr closer to the stove or any warm place
  • Bubbles on the surface indicates the batter is ready to use
  • Now that your batter is ready, Let’s make hoppers;
  • Heat up your typical non-stick  hopper making pan on medium flame

  • Pour a ladle full of batter to the pan and rotate it twice quickly, place back on flame and cover.  If you see the bubbles / holes similar to the picture below, your batter has risen up to perfection
  • One hopper will take 5 min to be baked until crispy
  • Once ready, slowly loosen from edges with a flat wooden spatula and take out the hopper.  Return the pan quickly on to the flame as it should be ready to bake the next one
  • Repeat until you make the desired amount of hoppers
  • For egg hoppers, you must break the egg right on to the hopper as soon as you circle the pan with batter. Cover and cook.  Sprinkle salt and pepper on to the top.  Your egg hopper is ready!!
  • For a sweeter version at the tea time, grate some juggery on to the hopper, once it is baked and fold in half.
  • You can store any extra batter in the fridge and before making hoppers from it, you must warm it up in the microwave for 30 seconds.

You cannot go wrong anywhere with this recipe as it has been tested many times and has never let me down.

Enjoy !!

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