Hopper (Appam/Appa) is a dish made in every corner of Sri Lanka. From street vendors to homes, it is one of the most popular dinner meals served around the country. In our house, my mother finds it the most frustrating dish to make as she has her good hopper days when she is proud of her creations and her bad hopper days when she faults her temperamental “hopper” pan. Today, I will share my mother’s recipe for her hopper batter.
Cooking time: 30 mins + preparation time: 6 hours
- Raw rice – 1 cup
- Bread – 2”x1” piece
- King Coconut or plain Coconut water – ¼ cup
- Wheat flour – 1 tbsp
- Freshly scraped coconut – 1 tbsp
- Water – 1 cup
- Salt – ¼ tsp
- Sugar – 1 tsp
- Baking powder – 1 tsp
- Soak the rice in water for 3 hours. Simultaneously, soak the bread piece in the coconut water for about 3 hours.
- Grind both the soaked rice and bread together.
- Add a tbsp of wheat flour and a little water to the ground rice and bread to make a thick, yet smooth batter.
- Cover and let the batter rest and ferment for about 3 hours.
- Blend the freshly scraped coconut in a cup of water and extract a cup of coconut milk.
- Mix the coconut milk in the batter. Add a ¼ tsp salt, a tsp sugar and a tsp baking powder to the batter.
- Stir in the contents and the batter is ready for the hopper pan.
- Place the hopper pan on the stove on low heat.
- Pour a spoonful of the batter on to the pan and rotate the pan so that the batter covers the entire pan. Cover the pan with the pan lid. Let the hopper cook for about 2 mins before removing from pan.
- Serve hot with seeni sambol or lunu miris or basically any sambal. Any other curries, vegetarian or non-vegetarian, are optional.
Recipe source: Raji Thillainathan.