Egg Hoppers. The name alone should intrigue you. It worked for me. But if that didn’t do it, the mere mention of eggs should. Oh, no? Not an egg person, huh? You don’t have to have eggs in them, but then they would be called appams, instead. To be more accurate, appams or hoppers can be used interchangeably for these. Appams if you are in the Southern states of India such as Kerala and Tamil Nadu, and hoppers if you’re in Sri Lanka. (Actually, Ahila, who is an expert in Sri Lankan cuisine, mentioned in the comments that they are in fact called both appam and hoppers in Sri Lanka.)
These pancakes are a specialty of those regions mentioned. Made with a fermented batter of rice or rice flour and coconut or coconut milk, they are delicious eaten with curries. My experience with them was limited to the plain ones, but a quick googling reveals many kinds, including sweet varieties and the one that caught my attention, the egg ones. How completely intriguing!
They can be made with or without yeast, but since I’ve bought such a supply of yeast in anticipation of the yeast & herb challenge, and this being the last week of the challenge, naturally I made my appams/hoppers with yeast.
After trying several recipes and figuring how each ingredient affects the texture and consistency of the pancakes, as well as what overnight fermentation does to the final result, I’ve found the one I like the best. It just so happens it is also the easiest and most straight-forward recipe, with ratios that are easy to remember.
Egg Hoppers (Appams)
1 cup raw basmati rice, soaked in water overnight
1 cup cooked basmati rice
1 cup grated coconut, fresh, or frozen that has been thawed
1 cup warm water
1 tsp active dry yeast
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
Chopped cilantro (optional)
Black pepper (optional)
1. Drain soaked rice, and place in a blender or food processor.
2. Add the rest of the ingredients, except eggs, cilantro, and black pepper.
3. Grind until completely smooth. Batter should be the consistency of a thick pancake batter.
4. Let batter stand and ferment until it bubbles up and doubles in volume, about 2-3 hours. (Overnight fermentation will result in a looser batter and slightly sour hoppers.)
5. Stir down batter and prepare your appam pan or a small wok by greasing it with a paper towel that has been dipped in oil.
6. On medium-heat, cook hoppers by pouring about 1/3 cup of batter. Swirl batter in a circular motion (similar to how you make crepes), to create a thin edge around the pancake. Let the rest of the batter pool in center of pancake. Kerala cuisine specialist Indu@Indu’s International Kitchen has how-to photos here.
7. Cover pan for 2-3 minutes, or until hopper/appam/pancake is cooked. Hoppers will have dry, crisp edges and soft and spongy centers when cooked.
8. To make egg hoppers, after swirling the batter, crack an egg in the center and then cover and cook for 3 minutes, or until egg reaches the desired doneness.
9. Sprinkle with chopped cilantro and black pepper (optional).
The plain hoppers are great served with chicken curry. Or as my kids found out, a drizzle of caramel sauce. Non-traditional way of enjoying these hoppers, I’m sure, but every bit as delicious. The egg hoppers can be eaten with curries, too, but try them with these spiced roasted tomatoes. I thought they were a complete hit!
Roasted Spiced Tomatoes
1 pint cherry tomatoes
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp raw (demerara) sugar
1 tbsp olive oil
Salt & pepper
1. Toss tomatoes with olive oil and the rest of the spices and sugar.
2. Place in an oven-proof skillet.
3. Set on middle rack of oven, and broil until tomatoes are slightly blistered and charred.
4. Remove from oven and sprinkle chopped cilantro.
Check out the hopper recipe on Ahila@A Taste of Sri Lankan cuisine for a slightly different version.
Fiesta Friday #17 is now under way, a day early, because I am way too excited. We have 3 very special co-hosts, so I expect this party to be off the charts. And since they live in 3 different time zones, we’re going to party 24/7. Maybe I should call this
and all you night owls out there can party on all night long if you want.
Our co-hosts are Jhuls@The Not So Creative Cook, Selma@Selma’s Table, and Alex@Dinner Daydreams. Jhuls and Selma hardly need an introduction. They’re The Hyper & The Calm duo that everybody loves to party with. Alex, however, is a first-time co-host. She is super sweet and super cute (just look at her gravatar). She is the kind of person that everybody wants to hang out with. She has not a mean bone in her body, and is always so kind and happy. Please give her a warm welcome!
And now, features from FF16:
Apple Cinnamon Scones from Jess@Cooking Is My Sport. In Stacey’s words, “[Jess] is at a crossroads in life. A stroke in either direction and a different story will be written. …This is a turning point in her life and she is offering us… a very good scone. We must at least take a bite.” Not only is Jess’s scone recipe a must-try recipe (simple, easy, and full of crowd-pleasing flavors), her post offers a look into her heart, and most importantly, her dream. There’s nothing as delightful, refreshing, and inspiring as a young person’s hopeful dream. We want to cheer you on, Jess. Go reach for your star!
Ginger Bug DIY Soda Pop from Sue@Birgerbird. This one caught everybody’s attention early. First, that name, Ginger Bug. No bugs involved, just ginger. Then, it’s a DIY soda pop. I can’t speak for anybody else, but if there’s a way for me to eliminate soda (the mass-produced kind) from my diet, I’d try it in a heartbeat. As it is, I’m addicted to Diet Coke. Who knows, if I start on this Ginger Bug, I might get that addiction cured. Pretty sure I’m not the only one who wants to try this. Sue, remind me!
A Home for Bees from Sherry@The Unfettered Fox. Elaine said it simply, “Such a thing of beauty for such a good cause.” And I will add to that my own word, “Cool!” Yah, I know, I’m very articulate, but this one just hits home for this novice gardener. Especially in light of a recent visit by a Terminix man offering a discounted service to get rid of the bees around the house. Is he freaking out of his mind? I’ll tell you more next time.
Lemon and Olive Oil Cake from Nell@I Need a Feed! Isn’t it a bit strange that lemons are a Fall fruit? Somehow, its bright flavor and color make me think of Spring or Summer, instead. When it starts getting warm is when I most think of adding lemons in my cooking. This cake from Nell, who is from Australia, may be more in keeping with the season she is in right now, but it’s also very much in tune with the Spring-feverish mind of mine at the moment. Nell, we’re in sync. Plus, this one is gluten-free and dairy-free. For those leading GF and DF lifestyle, this one is for you.
Alex, Selma, and Jhuls have been chomping at the bit to open the Fiesta Friday #17 door open. It is now! Click on the button below to join the party. If you’re new to the party, please read the guidelines.