How to Make Hopper: A General Guide

When it comes to Sri Lankan cuisine, one cannot ignore the beloved dish of hoppers. Hoppers, also known as appam, are a popular breakfast item made from fermented rice flour and coconut milk batter. These bowl-shaped pancakes are crispy on the edges and soft in the middle, making them a delicious treat any time of the day.

Making hoppers may seem intimidating, but with the right steps and techniques, anyone can master this art. In this article, we will guide you through the process of making perfect hoppers at home. So let’s dive in and learn how to make hopper!

Steps how to make hopper

Step 1: Soak the Rice
The first step is to soak the rice in water for at least 4 hours or overnight. This helps to soften the grains and make them easier to grind. Drain the water and rinse the rice thoroughly.

Step 2: Grind the Rice
Grind the soaked rice in a blender or wet grinder until it forms a smooth batter. Add water as needed to achieve a thin, pouring consistency.

Step 3: Ferment the Batter
Transfer the rice batter to a large bowl and mix in coconut milk, sugar, and yeast. Cover the bowl and let the batter ferment for 6-8 hours or overnight, depending on the temperature.

Step 4: Prepare the Laddle (Appachatti)
In the meantime, heat a hopper pan or non-stick skillet over medium heat. Once it’s hot, grease the pan lightly with oil and pour a ladle of batter in the center. Swirl the pan to spread the batter evenly, making sure the edges of the appam are thinner than the center.

Step 5: Cook the Appam on Low Flame
Cover the pan with a lid and let the appam cook on low flame for 2-3 minutes until the edges turn light brown and crispy, and the center is soft and fluffy.

Step 6: Remove the Appam from Pan
Gently remove the appam from the pan using a spatula. Repeat this process for the remaining batter, greasing the pan every time.

Step 7: Make the Egg Hoppers
For egg hoppers, break an egg into the center of the appam while it’s cooking. Cover the pan with a lid and let the egg cook for 1-2 minutes until the yolk is set but still runny.

Step 8: Make the Milk Hoppers
For milk hoppers, mix together coconut milk, sugar, and a pinch of salt in a small bowl. Pour this mixture onto the center of the appam while it’s cooking and swirl the pan to distribute it evenly. Cover the pan with a lid and let the appam cook for a few more minutes until the milk mixture is absorbed and the edges are crispy.

Step 9: Serve Hot
Serve the hoppers hot with your favorite accompaniments, such as coconut sambal, dhal, or spicy chicken curry.

Step 10: Store the Batter
Any remaining batter can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Remember to bring it to room temperature and give it a good stir before using it again.

Step 11: Experiment with Flavors
Don’t be afraid to experiment with different flavors and ingredients in your hopper batter, such as jaggery instead of sugar, spices like cardamom or cinnamon, or even vegetables like grated carrots or zucchini.

Step 12: Practice Makes Perfect!
Making perfect hoppers takes practice, so don’t get discouraged if your first few attempts don’t turn out as expected. With time and patience, you’ll soon become a hopper-making pro!

Explanation how to make hopper

The key to making delicious hoppers lies in the fermentation of the batter. The longer you let the batter ferment, the more flavorful and fluffy the hoppers will be. You can adjust the fermentation time based on the temperature in your kitchen – in warmer weather, the batter will ferment faster, while in colder weather, it may take longer. Also, make sure to use fresh yeast for best results.

Another important factor is the consistency of the batter. The batter should be thin enough to pour easily, but not too watery. If the batter is too thick, the hoppers will turn out dense and chewy. Adding coconut milk to the batter helps to keep it soft and tender.

When making hoppers, it’s crucial to use a good quality hopper pan or non-stick skillet. A well-seasoned pan ensures that the hoppers don’t stick and come out easily. Also, don’t forget to grease the pan lightly with oil before pouring the batter in.

Finally, the beauty of hoppers is that they can be customized to your liking. You can add eggs, milk, or other flavors to the batter, or serve them with a variety of curries and chutneys. The possibilities are endless!

Tips and Tricks how to make hopper

1. Use fresh ingredients, including rice, coconut milk, and yeast.
2. Soak the rice for at least 4 hours before grinding it.
3. Ferment the batter for 6-8 hours or overnight at room temperature.
4. Heat the pan over medium heat and grease it lightly with oil.
5. Pour a thin layer of batter in the center of the pan and swirl to spread it evenly.
6. Cover the pan with a lid and cook the appam on low flame until it’s crispy on the edges and soft in the center.
7. For egg hoppers, break an egg into the center of the appam while it’s cooking.
8. For milk hoppers, pour a mixture of coconut milk, sugar, and salt onto the center of the appam while it’s cooking.
9. Serve the hoppers hot with your favorite curries and chutneys.
10. Don’t be afraid to experiment with flavors and ingredients to make your hoppers unique and flavorful.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Making Hopper


1. Homemade hoppers are healthier as they don’t contain any additives or preservatives.
2. Making your own hoppers allows you to customize the quality of the ingredients used.
3. Homemade hoppers can be cheaper than store-bought ones, especially if you make them in bulk.
4. Making your own hoppers can be a fun and rewarding experience.
5. You can experiment with different flavor combinations and textures in your homemade hoppers.
6. Homemade hoppers are fresher, as you make them as and when you need them.
7. Making your own hoppers can be a creative outlet and a way to impress your family and friends.
8. You can control the portion size of the hoppers when making them at home.
9. Homemade hoppers are eco-friendlier as you can avoid packaging waste from store-bought Hoppers.
10. Making hoppers at home allows you to enjoy the traditional Sri Lankan dish no matter where you are in the world.


1. It can be time-consuming to make hoppers at home.
2. The process of making hoppers requires practice and skill, which may deter some people from trying.
3. Making hoppers at home may not always yield the same quality as store-bought ones.
4. Some of the ingredients required to make hoppers may not be readily available in certain areas.
5. The equipment required to make hoppers at home can be costly, especially if you don’t have them already.
6. Homemade hoppers may not have the same shelf life as store-bought ones.
7. Making hoppers at home can be messy and require a lot of clean-up.
8. The texture and taste of homemade hoppers may not be to everyone’s liking.
9. Making hoppers at home may not be more convenient than buying them from a store.
10. The process of making hoppers can be physically demanding, especially when making them in large quantities.


What is a hopper?

A hopper is a traditional Sri Lankan breakfast food made from fermented rice flour and coconut milk.

What ingredients are needed to make hopper?

You will need rice flour, coconut milk, yeast, sugar, salt, and water. Optional ingredients include egg, onion, and chili.

What equipment is needed?

You will need a hopper pan, a ladle, a mixing bowl, a whisk, and a grinder or blender (optional).

What is a hopper pan?

A hopper pan is a specialized wok with a curved bottom, used to make hopper over an open flame. It can be made of cast iron or non-stick material.

How do I make the batter for hopper?

Mix 1 cup rice flour, 2 cups coconut milk, 1 tsp yeast, 1 tsp sugar, and 1/2 tsp salt in a bowl. Add water gradually and whisk until the batter is smooth and thin.

How long does the batter need to ferment?

The batter needs to ferment for at least 2 hours at room temperature until it becomes bubbly and increases in volume. You can also leave it overnight in the fridge for a stronger flavor.

How do I cook the hopper?

Heat the hopper pan on high and grease it lightly with oil. Pour a ladle of batter into the center and swirl the pan to coat the sides. Cover and cook for 2-3 minutes until the edges are crispy and the center is cooked to your preference.

Can I add other ingredients to the batter?

Yes, you can add beaten egg, finely chopped onion, and minced chili to the batter for extra flavor and texture.

What are the different types of hopper?

The most common types of hopper are plain hopper (without any filling), egg hopper (with a fried egg in the center), and string hopper (thin noodles made from rice flour).

What is the best accompaniment for hopper?

Hopper is typically served with a spicy coconut sambal, dhal curry, and/or coconut chutney. Squeeze a wedge of lime for a tangy kick.

Can I make hopper without a hopper pan?

No, a hopper pan is the only way to make authentic hopper with its distinctive shape and texture.

Can I make hopper in advance?

Yes, you can make hopper batter in advance and store it in the fridge for up to 2-3 days before cooking. Cooked hopper can also be reheated in the microwave or oven.

Is hopper a healthy breakfast option?

Yes, hopper is a gluten-free, vegan, and low-fat breakfast option that is high in carbohydrates and fiber. However, its nutritional value depends on the accompaniments and serving size.

Conclusion: How to Make Hopper

In conclusion, making hopper can be a fun and enjoyable activity. Whether you are a seasoned cook or a beginner, this Sri Lankan dish is easy to make and has a unique flavor that is sure to impress your family and friends. By using a few simple ingredients and following the steps outlined in this article, you can create a delicious and authentic hopper that will transport your taste buds to the tropical paradise of Sri Lanka.

To recap, the key ingredients you will need to make hopper include rice flour, coconut milk, yeast, sugar, salt, and water. You will also need a hopper pan, which can be purchased at most Asian grocery stores or online. To prepare the batter, mix the dry ingredients together, then add the wet ingredients and stir to form a smooth batter. Allow the batter to rest for several hours or overnight, then heat the hopper pan and ladle in a small amount of batter. After a few minutes, the hopper will become crispy on the edges and slightly soft in the middle.

Remember to experiment with different toppings and fillings to make your hopper more interesting. Some popular options include egg hoppers, cheese hoppers, or even spicy sambal. With a little creativity and practice, you can become a hopper-making pro in no time.

Closing: How to Make Hopper

Thank you for taking the time to read this article on how to make hopper. We hope you found the information helpful and informative. Making hopper is a fun and rewarding activity that is perfect for sharing with friends and family. Whether you are preparing a special meal or just looking for a new and exciting snack, hopper is a delicious and unique option that is sure to satisfy your taste buds.

If you have any questions or comments about hopper, please feel free to leave them in the comment section below. We would love to hear from you and learn about your experiences with this flavorful Sri Lankan dish. Until next time, happy cooking and happy eating!