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Egg hoppers with green sambol and coconut gravy

Hoppers are thin bowl-shaped pancakes found in Sri Lanka. Made with rice flour, they're excellent for someone with gluten intolerance and their shape makes them perfect to hold an egg and tasty curry gravy. Start this recipe a day ahead to ferment the hopper batter. 

You'll need

Melted coconut oil, for frying 16 eggs Coriander sprigs and lime wedges, to serve Hopper batter 100 ml coconut water (from 1 young coconut) 1 tsp dried yeast 300 ml coconut milk 200 gm rice flour 100 ml soda water   Coconut gravy 400 ml coconut milk 1 onion, thinly sliced 1 tbsp finely grated ginger 8 fresh curry leaves 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped 2 green chillies, thinly sliced 1½ tsp ground turmeric 1 cinnamon quill ½ tsp each fenugreek seeds and brown mustard seeds 30 gm yellow split peas Juice of 1 lime, or to taste   Green sambol 100 gm finely grated fresh coconut 1/3 cup coarsely chopped coriander 3 long green chillies, finely chopped 1 red shallot, finely chopped Juice of 1 lime, or to taste


  • 01
  • For hopper batter, warm coconut water in a saucepan to lukewarm, remove from heat and whisk in yeast. Set aside in a warm place until foamy (4-5 minutes), then whisk in coconut milk. Combine rice flour and a generous pinch of salt in a bowl and whisk in yeast mixture to form a thin, smooth batter. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside at room temperature overnight to ferment. Whisk in soda water – batter should be the consistency of a thin crêpe batter. Add a little extra soda water if necessary.
  • 02
  • For coconut gravy, combine ingredients except lime juice in a saucepan and add 250ml water. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until well flavoured and split peas break down completely (20-25 minutes). Season to taste, add lime and keep warm. Gravy can be made 2-3 days ahead and reheated.
  • 03
  • For green sambol, combine ingredients in a bowl, season to taste with salt and set aside.
  • 04
  • Preheat oven to 160C. Heat a hopper pan (see note) or small frying pan over medium-high heat. Dip a scrunched-up piece of paper towel into the melted coconut oil, wipe around pan, then add 60ml hopper batter and swirl pan to thinly coat sides. Crack an egg on top, cover pan and cook until egg is just cooked and pancake is crisp (2-2½ minutes). Run a small palette knife around sides of pan to loosen hopper, slide hopper onto a baking tray lined with baking paper and repeat with remaining batter and eggs. Transfer to oven to warm through (4-5 minutes). Top with coconut gravy and coriander sprigs and serve hot with green sambol and lime wedges.

Note A hopper pan is a two-handled roundbased pan, available from Indian and Sri Lankan specialist shops. A small non-stick frying
pan also works nicely - the ideal size is 18cm diameter.

At A Glance

  • Serves 6 - 8 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 6 - 8 people

Drink Suggestion

Toasty, lime-juicy bottle-aged riesling.

Featured in

Mar 2016

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