Eggs, right? They’re just so good. So versatile. So quick to make. You can put them on toast, on a muffin with hollandaise sauce, scramble them or have them in a tasty Shakshuka. But recently, I made an egg curry with my grandma’s hoppers recipe and the exact phone call I had with my boyfriend was as follows:
Me: “I’m making egg curry”
Boyfriend: “Is that a thing?”
Me: “It’s a thing.”
Boyfriend: “Not sure it’s a thing”.
Simply said, it’s a thing. My grandma used to make an omelet and then slice it up and put that in a tasty turmeric-y, coriander seed-y sauce with curry leaves and ground black pepper. I normally do it like that, but when I’m kinda in a rush, I just fry an egg, and make a spicy curry sauce with coconut milk and pop it in a hopper (appam). Delish.
Hoppers are round, crispy, whitish pancakes made from rice flour, coconut milk, yeast, and water – so they’re gluten and dairy free while remaining highly irresistible. The batter needs to be ever so slightly fermented with yeast, so ideally it needs 2 hours before frying.
If you don’t have a round appam or hopper pan, just use the most curved non stick frying pan or wok you have and make sure the pan is really hot – or the appams will go soft and floffy instead of crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside. So, here is my grandmas hopper recipe – it’s super simple! Some people use baking soda in their hoppers recipe instead of baking powder, but I find it gives it a weird baking soda taste, so I use baking powder.
- 350g rice flour
- 1 tsp. active dry yeast
- pinch sugar
- larger pinch salt
- 450ml coconut milk
- 300ml warm water
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- coconut oil
- 3 handfuls spinach
- 8 cherry tomatoes
- 1 heaped tsp tumeric
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 100ml coconut cream
- 1 onion
- 2 cloves garlic
- ground black pepper
- 3 tbsp water
- coriander leaves & red chilli (optionals)
- 1. In a bowl mix the warm water and yeast. Stir to dissolve. Then add all the other hoppers ingredients into a bowl and stir until smooth. Cover with a tea cloth and allow to ferment for 2 hours.
- 2. In a pot, fry chopped onion, garlic and halved cherry tomatoes in a tsp of coconut oil. Once golden and fragrant add in the coconut milk, turmeric, salt, pepper and cumin and stir until it starts to bubble. Add in the water and put on a medium low heat until it reduces. Throw in the spinach, stir slightly and then take off the heat.
- 3. Heat a non stick frying pan until it is very hot. Ladel in some if the hoppers mixture and "swish" the pan around so that the batter gets evenly spread up the sides of the pan to corm a curve. Add a tiny, tiny bit more of the batter to the middle, as the middle should be ever so slightly thicker than the rest. Fry until little holes form on the batter and the edges are crispy and browning.
- 4. Fry an egg - and place the eggs, spinach curry as well as some red chillies and coriander leaves.
- DIG IN!
So there you have it. Sri Lankan hoppers. Keep your eyes peeled for more savoury recipes and Sri Lankan recipes. Here’s the most amazing vegan aubergine curry recipe – this is the one my friends ask for the most. So good – that even a meat lover like me, doesn’t need any meat!