Although eaten throughout Sri Lanka, this is the one recipe nobody can agree on. I like to add eggwhites as I feel they add to the crispness. The best breakfast hopper is made by cracking an egg into the centre just before steaming the hopper (as pictured).
- 400 ml coconut cream
- 20 gm fresh yeast (see note)
- 500 gm rice flour
- 3 eggwhites
- For greasing: vegetable oil
- 1Place coconut cream, yeast and sugar ina bowl, stir to combine and stand in a warm place until mixture is risen and frothy (45 minutes). Sift rice flour into yeast mixture and whisk until a smooth batter forms. You may need to add 1-1½ cups water to achieve a good pouring consistency. Cover bowl with a damp tea towel and stand in a warm place for 3-4 hours or until the batter mixture has doubled in size. The standing time will vary considerably depending on the room temperature – the warmer the better. Remember it’s nearly always 30C and 90 per cent humidity in Sri Lanka. Just before cooking, lightly beat eggwhites with a fork until foamy, then stir into coconut mixture with 1 tsp salt.
- 2Heat a small (about 10cm) non-stick frying pan over high heat, wipe pan lightly with oil, then pour in 60ml of mixture. Swirl mixture to coat sides of pan, leaving a small pool in the centre. Cover pan with a lid and steam until centre is firm and sides are golden and crisp (2-3 minutes). Remove from pan, keep warm and repeat until all batter has been used.
Fresh yeast is available from select health-food shops. If unavailable, substitute 10gm dried yeast. This recipe is from
by Peter Kuruvita (Murdoch Books, $59.95, hbk). In editing these recipes for publication, we have made minor changes to bring them into