These Sri Lankan hoppers – pancakes, cooked in a bowl shaped pan with an egg – are a great breakfast or brunch dish, especially when made with oat flour, as we have here.
Hoppers are a traditional Sri Lankan pancake made with coconut milk and rice flour, cooked in a bowl-shaped hopper pan; traditionally, an egg is cracked into the pancake during cooking. The cooked hopper will have a thick spongy base and thin crispy sides. They are traditionally served with chilli, coriander, spring onions and chutneys.
I’ve given the hopper an oaty makeover and replaced the rice flour with fine oatmeal. You can buy a hopper pan very cheaply from any Sri Lankan or South Indian supermarket. The best way of eating these is straight from the pan: add your favourite toppings and tuck in. As a result, this is very much a dish for social, relaxed breakfast or brunch, with everybody having a go at cooking their own Sri Lankan hoppers. They’re not the best breakfast option if you’re in a hurry, as the yeast needs time to raise the batter to give delicious, light pancakes – but you could give the batter a slow overnight rise in the fridge.
If you don’t have any fine oatmeal, it’s not a problem; just put rolled oats into your blender and blitz them into a fine flour. Of course you can make these gluten free by using gluten free oats.
Benefits of eating oats
- Oats contain a type of soluble fibre called beta-glucans, which slow the absorption of carbohydrates into the bloodstream.
- This slower digestion means no sharp spikes in blood sugar levels: no sugar crash!
- And by making you feel fuller for longer, you’re less likely to snack during the day.
- They’re a rich source of vitamins and minerals, particularly magnesium. There’s evidence that a diet with many magnesium rich foods reduces the likelihood of developing type 2 diabetes.
These are equally good made without the eggs, and served with sweet toppings. The hollow shape makes them great recipients for all sorts things: fruit topped with some yoghurt, honey, syrup or even chocolate sauce.
Oatmeal Sri Lankan Hoppers
- 1 cup/ 240ml warm water
- 1 tsp instant yeast
- 1 heaping tsp sugar
- 1 cup/ 240ml canned coconut milk
- 1/2 cup/ 125g fine oatmeal
- 2 Tbs rice flour
- pinch salt
- 2 Tbs sunflower oil
- 12 eggs
For the Toppings:
- spring onions, (shredded)
- finely sliced chillis
- fresh coriander
- chilli sauce
- Pour the water into a large bowl, add the yeast and sugar and leave to stand for 10 minutes until you see a few bubbles on the surface.
- Whisk in the other ingredients (shake the can of coconut milk well before opening), cover and leave until the batter has risen by about 50% (about an hour to 90minutes). Gently whisk again.
- Heat the hopper pan over a medium flame add a drizzle of oil, swirl and then wipe any excess away with some kitchen paper.
- Add a ladle of batter to the pan, swirl a few times to coat the sides with batter. Crack an egg into the centre of the pan, put the lid on and allow to cook for about 5 – 6 minutes. Once the egg white is solid, use a spatula to carefully remove the hopper from the pan.
- Serve immediately with your choice of toppings.
More ideas with oats
For more ways of adding oats to your diet, try our leftover porridge loaf
or our Coconut & Maple Apple Porridge with Cinnamon
Recipe for oatmeal Sri Lankan Hoppers originally commissioned by Mornflake.
I’ve never heard of these but they look and sound great.
They are so good! It is well worth seeking out a hopper pan!
Sarah @ Champagne Tastes
I’ve never heard of hoppers, but I love savory breakfasts like this!!! And it looks so simple and delicious! Yummm
I adore savoury breakfasts – or breakfasts that you would also eat for dinner or lunch!
I just love this! Such a fabulous way to serve up eggs…I would love to make these for my family. Pinning for later! xo
so good, and so easy!
sara | belly rumbles
Firstly I love your tip about blitzing rolled oats in a blender if you don’t have oat flour, that is something quite handy I will keep up my sleeve. Your hoppers would make a fantastic weekend breakfast, something a little left of centre, and I do love the addition of spice and chili.
I blitz a whole jar and add the oat flour to smoothies and when I make bread. Adds a little protein. Eggs and chilli is the best pairing!
I’m completely intrigued by these! I’ve never made anything quite like them before but they looks simple enough to make, delicious and would be a perfect breakfast when entertaining!
Thanks Sarah, we love them, once you have the pans they are so easy.
I’ve not heard of these before but they look really good
so good, we are addicted.
Never heard of these but they look so good im definitely going to give them a try!
so good and worth investing in the pan for them.
I love using coconut milk in cooking and didn’t know about these which look absolutely delicious so will definitely give these a try!
I love coconut milk, so so good.
I love egg hoppers with bacon – intrigued to give these oat ones a try …
Oh – I love the idea of adding bacon!
five little doves
I’ve never heard of these either but they look DELICIOUS!! Id love to try them!
so so good!
Newcastle Family Life
I have never heard of Sir Lankan Hopers before, they look amazing x
they are so good! They are a regular here.
I have never heard of Sri Lankan Hoppers and now I just want to try them big time as they look absolutely divine and delicious
They are wonderful – get the pan and make them!
I love pancakes, so I would be interested in trying those Sri Lankan hoppers! They look delicious! :)
These are amazing. Well worth seeking out the hopper pan.
Jayne @ Sticky Mud and Belly Laughs
Oh now I’m intrigued! As I have never heard of these before. They look amazing, will be giving these a go :) x
They are amazing. Well worth seeking out the pan!
I’ve never heard of these but they look delicious. I’m always up for trying different things for breakfast.
they are so good. You do need the pan, but it is well worth it.
How unusual, but these look and taste yummy! Beautiful pictures too
We are hoppers converts – finding the pan is a pain, but well worth the effort.
These are so appealing, Helen! I love Sri Lankan food (my daughter’s housemate is from Colombo and is a great cook) but have stuck to making SL curries. I really must give this recipe a try, and I like the idea of using Mornflake oats very much. Must track down the hopper pan first.
We love hoppers here. The perfect brunch.
I really like the sound of this recipe Helen. It’s right up my street. I need to get myself one of those pans and give them a try
The pan is well worth the investment!
Thanks for the recipe. I am a Srilankan ;-) I love hoppers but since I am watching my weight I don’t make them anymore. Never thought of using oatmeal in place of rice flour. I eat oatmeal for breakfast so I am going to make this tomorrow. :-) Thanks again.