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
Recipe for oatmeal Sri Lankan Hoppers originally commissioned by Mornflake.