Egg Hop­pers

Travel Bulletin - - FOOD & WINE TRAVEL -

Th­ese bowl-shaped pan­cakes made from a mix­ture of fer­mented rice flour, co­conut milk and co­conut wa­ter are a break­fast sta­ple in Sri Lanka. At each ho­tel and re­sort I stayed in through­out the is­land, my first move at break­fast was to join the ‘hopper line’. It’s fas­ci­nat­ing just watch­ing the lo­cal chefs ex­pertly la­dle the bat­ter into a small pur­posedesigned wok, swirling it to coat the sides of the pan be­fore a fresh egg is cracked in the cen­tre. The lid is then briefly placed over the top to lightly steam the hopper. Then it emerges, crispy around the edges, thicker at the base with a runny egg yolk in the cen­tre. To tie the whole dish to­gether a sam­bal of onions, chilies, lemon juice and salt is sprin­kled over the top as a flavour­some gar­nish. They can also be served plain or with a range of dif­fer­ent top­pings such as dessert hop­pers filled with fresh buf­falo curd and trea­cle.

For break­fast by the trop­i­cal coast­line in Galle. shaped wedges of pressed rice soaked in co­conut milk are of­ten one of the first solid foods fed to ba­bies. It is a sta­ple dish at ma­jor cer­e­mo­nial oc­ca­sions like wed­ding cer­e­monies, New Year’s Eve and re­li­gious fes­ti­vals. Kiri­bath can be eaten any time of the day from break­fast buf­fets ac­com­pa­nied with sam­bal and cur­ries to dessert time dished up with jag­gery or de­li­cious trop­i­cal ba­nanas. At a tra­di­tional Sri Lankan celebration, such as Sin­halese New Year.

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