Here is a recipe for a different kind of pancake, a Sri Lankan hopper. Mostly these are served savoury, often with an egg cracked in the middle. But they can also be eaten as a sweet dish, in fact they are usually served this way in Malaysia, with palm sugar and lime juice.
It’s easier if you can get hold of a hopper pan, available in Asian shops or Amazon. But failing that you could try a wok or a normal frying pan but you won’t have the shape. My parents visited Sri Lanka and brought me back one of these small bowl-shaped frying pans.
Here I’ve made it with the traditional British topping of sugar and lemon.
I’ve tried a few recipes but this has been the best so far…
Sweet or savoury Sri Lankan hoppers recipe
Makes 15 hoppers
- 3 tbsps of warm water
- 1 tsp of rapid action dried yeast
- 225 g rice flour
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 400 ml good quality coconut milk, (check the percentage and whether there are too many thickeners)
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- Coconut oil for cooking
- Combine the yeast and warm water, leaving it for a few moments to froth up.
- Mix the rice flour, sugar, salt together.
- Add the coconut milk and eggs, then the yeast mixture.
- Leave to rise for two hours or in the fridge overnight.
- It's ready when you lift the ladle and there is a continuous stream dripping down with no breaks or lumps.
- To cook:
- Heat up the pan with a little coconut oil. I tend to dip some kitchen paper in the oil and give the pan a wipe with the oil each time. Don't use too much. Expect that your first 'hopper/pancake/crepe' will be a flop.
- Turn the heat up high and scoop in a half ladle of the batter. Swirl it around, 3/4 of the way up the sides, until it forms a bowl shape. Add a little into the centre if necessary. You want a lacy effect.
- Be careful the pan doesn't get too hot (it starts to smoke or the batter will not adhere to the sides). Then remove it from the heat for a few minutes.
- Put the lid on, this helps it to cook more evenly. Check every so often.
- Then remove, plate, and add sugar and lemon juice, or shavings of palm sugar and a squeeze of lime juice.
- For a savoury version, crack an egg in the middle while cooking and garnish with fresh coriander, chilli and coconut.
- Repeat until you have enough hoppers. Remember wipe the pan with fresh oil before each hopper.
Light and delicious, something different for this Shrove Tuesday…