String Hoppers (Idiyappam) ෴ ඉඳි ආප්ප
String hoppers or Idiyappam replicate tiny noodle nests that are used in main meals ideally for breakfast and dinner. The string hopper press and mats are widely available in Sri Lanka and now even other countries too. Roasted Rice Flour (red or white) mixed with warm water and salt makes the ideal meal with finger licking sambals and curries. Variations of string hopper Pilaf are also available here while you can add a little food colouring to your white string hopper mix to make it a colourful affair. The process of making a string hopper is a bit arduous but the wait is always worth it.
- Toast the flour in a pan on low heat for 6 to 8 minutes while stirring regularly. (optional)
- Add the flour and salt to a bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer.
- Start adding water slowly and work into a soft dough.
- Add water or adjust with more flour if necessary. The dough should detach from the sides of the bowl and not be sticky.
- Place the dough into a string hopper press.
- Press the dough onto string hopper mats (or directly onto a bamboo steamer lined with banana leaves) in a circular motion.
- Place the mats in a steamer, over a wok or steamer on medium flame with boiling water.
- Steam until the string hoppers are fully cooked. (about 8 to 10 minutes)
- Serve hot with Coconut Milk gravy (kiri hodi), Coconut Sambal (pol sambal) or even a Spicy Chicken or Fish Curry of your choice.