Beautiful hoppers, soft in the middle, crispy and golden at the edges are everyone’s favourite in Sri Lanka. Also, it is a memorable culinary delight to those who come from abroad. Delicious with a spicy chicken curry or any type of fish curry, these hoppers could be enjoyed as a breakfast choice or as dinner.
Although our mums and grandmothers are quite efficient in making these, new generation finds it as a great big challenge to get the right proportions of ingredients to ferment the dough into perfection. They easily give up after a couple of attempts but the craving for them remain deep in the heart. So, I share this perfect recipe with you all , concentrating more about our friends living in abroad, with a promise that you will be making such beautiful hoppers to impress everyone in the family.
In cold climates, in order to ferment the batter to perfection, you need to place it closer to the stove. All the cooking on the stove generates enough heat for it to rise beautifully and the hopper batter will be ready by supper time. The good news is, that if you make a larger quantity, you can store the left over amount 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, let’s make hoppers for tonight’s supper;
What you need :
|Rice flour||3 cups|
|Strong white bread flour (available in supermarkets)||1/4 cup|
|Maggi coconut milk powder||5 tbsp|
|Dried yeast||1 tsp|
|Sugar(preferably brown sugar)||2 tsp|
|warm water||2 cups|
- 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 mins
- Mix it thoroughly 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.