Sri Lankan cuisine is known for its sometimes spicy, sometime tangy and sometimes sweet, yet always flavourful food. Sri Lankan traditional food holds a very special place in the heart of all tourists who are afforded the opportunity to try some and are local favourites! Here in Sri Lanka, you will never have to worry about the things to eat in Sri Lanka, every occasion and time of day has its dedicated and very special food or dish. Of all the dishes available, Hoppers are a local delicacy that are a must try food in Sri Lanka.
What are hoppers?
The main ingredients in Sri Lankan hoppers are rice flour, coconut milk, eggs and a little secret ingredient that makes the edges extra crispy. Both rice flour and yeast are mixed with a blended paste of soaked rice and coconut milk. This needs to sit for a few hours until it doubles in size. The secret ingredient, a Marie biscuit, is added to the dry flour before mixing and it helps give the hopper that crunchy, crispy brown edge. A hopper isn’t authentic if it is not made in a traditional hopper pan, so make sure you grab one of those too!
Types of hoppers?
Hoppers are of three kinds, whilst two look like good old pancakes the other looks like a nest of rice noodles and is famous for its texture. The third type of hopper is crispy around the edges and has a soft core in the center. An egg hopper is the same as a hopper, but with a steamed egg on top. These always taste better with a generous sprinkle of salt and ground black pepper on top.
The same batter that is used for hoppers is sometimes used to make flat crepe-like pancakes. They are then rolled with grated coconut mixed with coconut treacle and lime.
How to eat hoppers?
Hoppers are usually a breakfast meal, but it can be enjoyed at any time of day! Sweet or spicy, the choice is yours! If you prefer to have hoppers, there will most probably be a mix of both kinds, regular hoppers and egg hoppers that will arrive at your table. The bowl-shaped hopper is perfect for topping with side dishes. These hoppers are almost always enjoyed with seeni sambol, a sweet and spicy caramelized onion concoction that captures the hearts of many. Another classic addition to hoppers is pol sambol, which is grated coconut mixed with chilli and lime. For more elaborate hopper meals, there will be some kind of curry. It might be fish or chicken curry in a roasted curry base and juicy coconut milk sauce.
You just may have to leave out the cutlery and dig in with your fingers, in a truly Sri Lankan fashion!
Where to eat hoppers?
Nuga Gama is a themed Sri Lankan Restaurant, set around a 200-year-old banyan tree situated right at the heart of Colombo at Cinnamon Grand Colombo. Head on over to Nuga Gama at the Cinnamon Grand Colombo to taste this local staple which is perfectly customizable to your preference, either sweet or spicy! The perfect village experience and the yummiest hoppers awaits you!