Tuesday, April 16, 2024


Hoppers - அப்பம் –

also known as Vellayappam.




Special equipment:

Hopper pan or Appa chatti - a small round bottomed frying pan with handles on either side and non stick surface on the inside and with a suitable lid, a rounded spoon with a capacity of 2 to 4 tablespoon of liquid, a non stick curved spoon to lift hoppers from the pan. Available as a hopper pan in most Sri Lankan shops.

Method 1


White rice 2 ½ cup
Yeast 2 tsp
Sugar ½ tsp
Baking powder ¼ teaspoons
Semolina 2 tablespoons
Coconut milk or Milk 2 cup
Salt to taste


Soak rice for 3 hours, drain the water completely, dry on kitchen towel and grind to a fine powder.

Sieve this powder and remove the granules and grind the granules again to a fine powder.

Sieve again and retain the granules.

Boil little water in a pan and add the semolina (Ravai) and immediately remove pan off the fire.

Mix the sugar in ½ cup warm water and add the yeast and let it rest for 10 minutes.

Wait till semolina is cool and add rice flour to this with salt, yeast sugar mixture and mix with water to a firm consistency.

Cover and leave the batter in a warm place to ferment for 8 - 10 hours.

After the mixture has risen, add one cup milk and baking powder and mix well. The batter should be slightly runny but not too watery.

Leave for further one hour and then it is ready to cook in a hopper pan.

When the hopper pan is warm, moisten the inner surface with little oil with a piece of cloth, pour two tablespoonful of dough and by holding to one handle lift the pan and twist it round in order that the dough coats the inner surface of the pan.

Cover and cook in low flame until the edges turn brown. This gives a plain hopper.

Carefully lift the edges and remove hopper from the pan with the curved spoon.

Moisten the inner surface with oil before the next hopper is made.


1) Egg hoppers -
Once the dough coats the inner surface, add one egg in the middle and cover and cook.
When the edges have turned brown and the egg is cooked remove the egg hopper carefully.

2) Milk hoppers- When the hopper is being cooked, add one tablespoon of coconut milk in the centre of the hopper cover, allow to cook before removing the milk hopper.

3) Seeni Hoppers - Add some sugar or jaggery to the coconut milk to make it sweeter and this gives a sweet hopper.

Serve with: plain hoppers and egg hoppers with seeni sambal, coconut sambal.

Milk and sweet hoppers generally do not require any accompaniments as they are sweet.


Hoppers - Method 2

This method uses slightly different ingredients.


White rice 1 cup
Rice flakes (Aval) 1 tablespoon
Full cream milk ¾ pint
Yeast 1 tsp
Sugar 1 tsp
Baking Powder ½ tsp
Salt to taste
Egg 1 optional


Soak rice overnight, and soak rice flakes for one hour.

When ready, grind them with milk to a sandy consistency. Do not add too much milk and make the mixture too watery.

Add the sugar and yeast to this mixture and let it ferment for 6 to 8 hours.

30 minutes before cooking, add salt and baking powder and enough milk and mix well.

The batter should be slightly runny but not too watery.

The dough is ready to cook hoppers in half an hour.

Make hoppers when ready as described before.

Variations and serving method are as in Method 1


Hoppers Method 3

This method is slightly easier


2 Cups rice flour
3 tbsp Semolina
1 tsp Sugar
1 Coconut
1 tsp Yeast
Salt as required


Roast the rice flour, set aside.

In a small glass vessel add lukewarm water and add the yeast and sugar and keep it till it rises, do not use hot or boiling water.

In a cooking dish, combine the semolina with water and boil till it becomes thick, let it to cool.

When the semolina has cooled, add this to the rice flour and add the yeast solution and mix well.

Add minimum amount of water while mixing the flour and mix well until it becomes very soft dough.

Keep it covered in a warm place overnight for the dough to rise.

Take the dough and add coconut milk and salt and mix well until it gets a loose consistency.

Make hoppers as described earlier.

Variations and serving method are as in Method 1