Monday, 16 February 2015

Pancake day: Sri Lankan hopper recipe with sugar and lemon

Here is a recipe for a different kind of pancake, a Sri Lankan hopper. Mostly these are served savoury, often with an egg cracked in the middle. But they can also be eaten as a sweet dish, in fact they are usually served this way in Malaysia, with palm sugar and lime juice.
It's easier if you can get hold of a hopper pan, available in Asian shops. But failing that you could try a wok or a normal frying pan but you won't have the shape. My parents visited Sri Lanka and brought me back one of these small bowl-shaped frying pans. 
Here I've made it with the traditional British topping of sugar and lemon.
I've tried a few recipes but this has been the best so far...

Sweet Sri Lankan hopper recipe

Makes 6 to 8 hoppers

3 tbsps of warm water

1 tsp of rapid action dried yeast
225g rice flour
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp sea salt
400ml good quality coconut milk, (check the percentage and whether there are too many thickeners)
4 large eggs

Combine the yeast and warm water, leaving it for a few moments to froth up.

Mix the rice flour, sugar, salt together.
Add the coconut milk and eggs, then the yeast mixture.
Leave to rise for two hours.

To cook:

Heat up the pan with a little groundnut oil. I tend to dip some kitchen paper in the oil and give the pan a wipe with the oil each time. Expect that your first 'hopper/pancake/crepe' will be a flop. 
Turn the heat up high and scoop in a half ladle of the batter. Swirl it around, up the sides, until it forms a bowl shape. Add a little into the centre if necessary. You want a lacy effect.
Put the lid on, this helps it to cook more evenly. Check every so often.
Then remove, plate, and add sugar and lemon juice, or shavings of palm sugar and a squeeze of lime juice.
For a savoury version, crack an egg in the middle while cooking and garnish with fresh coriander, chilli and coconut.

Light and delicious, something different for this Shrove Tuesday...


  1. Looks delicious! I have always wanted to try making asian pancakes and now I definetely will!

  2. Now I need Bowie and pancakes!

    1. Haha, I wonder if Bowie ever thought Sound and Vision would be used as pancake inspo?


I would love to hear what you think of this post! I try to reply to every comment (if there is a delay, I am probably away from an internet connection or abroad)