Egg Hoppers are a popular breakfast dish in Sri Lanka, where they are served with or without eggs, but nearly always with sambols, curry, dhal and coconut gravy.
400ml light coconut milk (with 100ml set aside)
1 teaspoon easy fast-action dried yeast
1 teaspoon jaggery (or Demerara sugar)
150g white rice flour
100ml fizzy water such as Perrier or soda water
salt and black pepper
6 to 8 free range eggs (depending on size of hoppers)
Egg Hoppers are a popular breakfast dish in Sri Lanka, where they are served with or without eggs, but nearly always with sambols, curry, dhal and coconut gravy. You can also have spinach and beetroot hoppers.
Mix the easy fast-action dried yeast with the 100ml of coconut milk and the crushed jaggery or Demerara sugar, and leave to "ferment" for 30 minutes. Add the remaining coconut milk and mix well.
Put the rice flour and cornflour into a bowl and pour the coconut milk and yeast mixture over the flour, whisk until you have a smooth batter then cover it (with cling-film) and leave overnight.
An hour before you intend to cook and serve the hoppers, add the fizzy water (soda water) and whisk to thin the batter - it will be similar to a pancake or crepe batter. Season to taste with salt.
Heat your hopper pan(s) over a medium heat and add a teaspoon of coconut oil, heat until smoking and add a ladle of the hopper batter mixture slowly into the pans; tilt the pan and swirl the batter around, so it comes right up to the rim of the pan. Break an egg into the pan, and then cover the pan and cook for about 2 to 3 minutes until the egg has set and the hopper batter is lacy and golden brown around the edges.
Carefully ease it out with a palette knife, or with the metal implement that comes with the hopper pans, and keep warm whilst you continue to make more hoppers with the remaining batter and eggs. You can also add lightly mixed eggs instead of a whole egg.
Season with salt and pepper and serve with assorted sambols such as luni miris (chilli onion relish), pol sambol (coconut and lime sambol), onion and chilli chutney and/or kiri hodi (a coconut gravy). Sri Lankans will also add curry, fresh fruit and dhal to their breakfast hoppers too.
NB: If you have any batter left over, you can use it for egg-free and gluten-free pancakes or for plain hoppers. If you don't have a hopper pan, which is a small deep bowl pan with a lid, use a small wok instead with a lid that fits.