The Ultimate Guide to Making Sri Lankan Hoppers at Home

Ever tried to recreate the delicious Sri Lankan Hoppers at home, only to end up with a gloopy mess? This classic dish, made from a blend of fermented rice flour and coconut milk, is a staple in Sri Lankan cuisine and creates mouthwatering bowl-shaped pancakes.

This article will provide you with an all-inclusive guide on how to make authentic Sri Lankan hoppers right in your kitchen – no street food vendors required! Ready for a culinary adventure into spicy island delights? Let’s dive in.

Key Takeaways

  • Sri Lankan Hoppers, also known as Appa, are bowl – shaped pancakes made with rice flour and coconut milk.
  • There are different methods to make the batter for hoppers, including traditional fermentation or using instant hopper mix.
  • Special equipment needed includes a hopper pan, ladle, blender or mixer, spatula, mixing bowls, and whisk.
  • To make hoppers at home: prepare the batter by combining rice flour, coconut milk, yeast, and salt; cook the batter in a greased pan until golden brown and crispy on the edges; serve warm with sambols or curries.
  • Troubleshooting common issues like thick or thin batter can be solved by adjusting ingredients accordingly.
  • Variations of hoppers include egg hoppers, vegetable hoppers, cheese hoppers etc., allowing customization to personal taste preferences.
  • Stored leftovers should be layered with parchment paper to prevent sticking together and can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.

What are Sri Lankan Hoppers (Appa)?

Sri Lankan Hoppers, also known as Appa, are delicious bowl-shaped pancakes made with a rice flour batter and coconut milk.

Ingredients needed

To make Sri Lankan Hoppers, you will need some things. You will use about two cups of rice flour. Add this to a cup of thick coconut milk. Also, get some sugar, about one tablespoon is enough. The recipe calls for a half teaspoon of active dried yeast too. In addition, gather three cups of thin coconut milk and a bit of salt. Here are the items:

  • Two cups of rice flour
  • One cup of thick coconut milk
  • One tablespoon of sugar
  • Half teaspoon of active dried yeast
  • Three cups of thin coconut milk
  • A pinch of salt

Different methods of making Appa batter

There are different methods you can use to make Appa batter, the base for Sri Lankan Hoppers. Here are some options to try:

  1. Traditional Fermented Batter: This method involves fermenting a mixture of rice flour, sugar, coconut milk, and water overnight. The batter is then ready to be used the next day.
  2. Instant Batter Mix: If you’re short on time, you can use an instant hopper mix that is readily available in stores. Just follow the instructions on the packet to prepare the batter quickly and easily.
  3. Oatmeal Variation: For a healthier twist, you can make Appa batter using a combination of rice flour and oatmeal. Mix them together with coconut milk and water until you get a smooth consistency.

Special equipment required

You’ll need a few specific tools to make Sri Lankan hoppers at home. Here’s what you’ll need:

  1. Hopper Pan: This bowl-shaped pan is essential for creating the distinctive shape of hoppers. You can find hopper pans online or in specialty kitchen stores.
  2. Ladle: A ladle will help you pour the batter into the hopper pan and spread it evenly.
  3. Blender or Mixer: You’ll need a blender or mixer to combine the rice flour, sugar, and coconut milk to create the batter.
  4. Spatula: A spatula will come in handy for flipping the hoppers as they cook.
  5. Mixing Bowls: Use mixing bowls to hold and prepare your batter before cooking.
  6. Whisk: A whisk can be used to mix all your ingredients thoroughly and get rid of any lumps in your batter.

Step-by-Step Guide to Making Sri Lankan Hoppers

First, prepare the batter by combining rice flour, coconut milk, yeast, and a pinch of salt.

Preparing the batter

To make Sri Lankan Hoppers, the first step is to prepare the batter. The batter is made from fermented rice flour, sugar, and coconut milk. You can easily find rice flour at your local grocery store.

In a bowl, combine the rice flour, sugar, and coconut milk until you have a smooth batter. It’s important to let the batter ferment for about 4-6 hours or overnight. This fermentation process gives the hoppers their unique flavor and texture.

Once the batter has fermented, it will be ready to use for cooking delicious Sri Lankan Hoppers at home!

Cooking the hoppers

To cook the hoppers, start by heating up a hopper pan or a non-stick skillet on medium heat. Once hot, lightly grease it with oil or butter. Next, give the batter a good stir and pour about 1/4 cup of it into the center of the pan.

Immediately tilt and rotate the pan to spread the batter evenly in a circular motion. It should form a bowl shape with thicker edges and a thinner middle.

Cover the pan with a lid and let it cook for about 2-3 minutes until the edges turn golden brown and crispy while keeping its softness in the middle. You can adjust cooking time based on your preference – longer for crispy hoppers or shorter for softer ones.

Once cooked, gently remove the hopper from the pan using a spatula and transfer it onto a serving plate. Repeat this process with the remaining batter until you have made as many hoppers as you desire.

Serving suggestions

To enhance your Sri Lankan Hopper experience, there are various delicious ways to serve them. You can enjoy them plain or with a variety of toppings and accompaniments. Popular options include sambols like coconut sambol (a mixture of grated coconut, chili peppers, onions, and lime juice), seeni sambol (caramelized onions cooked with spices), or lunu miris (a spicy onion and chili paste).

Another great option is to serve hoppers with curry dishes like chicken or fish curry. The combination of the soft hopper pancake and the flavorful curry is simply mouthwatering. Additionally, you can pair hoppers with chutneys made from coriander leaves or mint leaves for an extra burst of freshness.

Experimenting with different serving suggestions will help you discover new flavors and create a unique dining experience that complements your taste preferences.

Tips and Variations for Making Hoppers

Learn the best techniques for troubleshooting common issues, explore different variations of hoppers, and discover the best ways to store these delicious Sri Lankan treats. Plus, find out how to customize your hoppers with unique flavors and ingredients.

Don’t miss out on this ultimate guide to making Sri Lankan hoppers at home!

Troubleshooting common issues

Having trouble making Sri Lankan Hoppers at home? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! Here are some common issues that people face when making hoppers and how to fix them:

  1. Batter too thick: If your batter is too thick, add a little water or coconut milk to thin it out until it reaches a pourable consistency.
  2. Batter too thin: On the other hand, if your batter is too thin, add more rice flour to thicken it up. Gradually add small amounts until you reach the desired consistency.
  3. Hopper sticking to the pan: Make sure your hopper pan is properly seasoned with oil or ghee before cooking. You can also try using a non-stick pan or spraying some cooking spray on the surface.
  4. Hopper not getting crispy: If your hoppers are turning out soft instead of crispy, make sure you’re cooking them on medium-high heat and allowing them enough time to brown and crisp up.
  5. Hopper breaking apart: This could be due to not letting the batter ferment enough before cooking. Make sure to let it sit for at least 4-6 hours (or overnight) to allow fermentation to occur.

Different variations of hoppers

There are different variations of hoppers that you can try making at home. Here are some ideas:

  1. Egg Hoppers: These are a popular street food in Sri Lanka. They have an egg cracked into the center of the hopper while it is cooking, creating a delicious combination of flavors.
  2. Vegetable Hoppers: You can add finely chopped vegetables like carrots, onions, and bell peppers to the batter before cooking. This adds texture and nutrition to your hoppers.
  3. Cheese Hoppers: For cheese lovers, you can sprinkle some grated cheese onto the hopper while it is cooking. The heat will melt the cheese into gooey goodness.
  4. Oatmeal Hoppers: If you want a healthier option, you can replace part of the rice flour with oatmeal in your hopper batter. This adds fiber and nutrients to your dish.
  5. Sweet Hoppers: Instead of adding sugar to the batter, you can make sweet hoppers by adding jaggery (a type of sugar made from palm sap) or honey for a natural sweetness.
  6. Spicy Hoppers: To give your hoppers a spicy kick, you can add chopped chilies or chili powder to the batter before cooking. This is perfect for those who enjoy a little heat in their food.

Storing hoppers

Once you’ve made your delicious Sri Lankan hoppers, you may be wondering how to store them properly. The best way to store hoppers is by stacking them on a plate or in an airtight container with parchment paper between each layer.

This will prevent them from sticking together and getting soggy. You can keep stored hoppers in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. When you’re ready to eat them, simply reheat them in a steamer or microwave until they are warm and crispy again.

Storing hoppers allows you to enjoy this tasty dish even when you’re not able to make it fresh.

The History and Health Benefits of Hoppers

Hoppers, also known as appa, have a rich cultural history in Sri Lankan cuisine and South Indian cuisine. These bowl-shaped pancakes were traditionally made using rice flour batter fermented overnight with coconut milk and yeast.

This fermentation process not only adds flavor but also enhances the nutritional benefits of hoppers. They are often served alongside various sambols and curries, providing a balanced meal that is loved by locals and tourists alike.

Cultural significance and origins

Sri Lankan Hoppers, also known as Appa, have a rich cultural significance and interesting origins. This traditional dish is loved by Sri Lankan people and often enjoyed during gatherings with friends and family.

Hoppers are part of a larger family of similar foods found in South India and Sri Lanka called “appam,” which are essentially fermented rice flour pancakes. The unique bowl shape of hoppers comes from shaping the thin pancake batter into this form while cooking.

They can be served with various accompaniments such as sambols or curries, adding to their versatility. The popularity of hoppers extends beyond Sri Lanka, with global recipe swaps highlighting its appeal worldwide.

Nutritional benefits of hoppers

Sri Lankan Hoppers, known as Appa, not only taste delicious but also offer some nutritional benefits. They are made from fermented rice flour and coconut milk, which provide a good source of carbohydrates and healthy fats.

The fermentation process helps make the hoppers easier to digest and can enhance their nutrient content. Additionally, hoppers can be customized with various toppings and fillings like vegetables, eggs, or meat, adding more nutrients to the dish.

So when enjoying these traditional Sri Lankan pancakes, you’re not only treating your taste buds but also getting some nourishment along the way!


Now you have all the information you need to make delicious Sri Lankan Hoppers right in your own kitchen. With our step-by-step guide and helpful tips, you can enjoy this traditional dish without leaving home.

So grab your ingredients, get cooking, and savor the flavors of Sri Lanka with homemade Hoppers!


1. What are Sri Lankan Hoppers?

Sri Lankan Hoppers are a traditional breakfast dish made from fermented rice flour batter cooked in a round, bowl-shaped pan or hopper mold.

2. Can I make Sri Lankan Hoppers at home without any special equipment?

Yes, you can make Sri Lankan Hoppers at home using a regular non-stick frying pan as a substitute for the traditional hopper mold.

3. How long does it take to make Sri Lankan Hoppers?

The process of making Sri Lankan Hoppers typically takes around 4-6 hours, including the time needed for fermenting the batter.

4. What can I serve with Sri Lankan Hoppers?

Sri Lankan Hoppers are often served with coconut sambal, chutney, curry, or egg for a delicious and satisfying meal.

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