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Sweet or savoury Sri Lankan hoppers recipe

Makes 15 hoppers
Course: Main Course, Starters
Cuisine: Sri Lanka
Keyword: Hoppers, Mardi Gras, Pancake Day, Sri Lankan cuisine
Servings: 15


  • Hopper pan or small wok with lid if aluminium, it will need to be seasoned by spraying oil on it, heating it up, then polishing the inside of the pan with a kitchen towel or clean piece of cloth. Repeat twice more.


  • 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.