I know, it looks like there is a lot on the plate. But believe me, this is quite a light meal. Perfect for dinner actually. This dish is a culinary specialty in Sri Lanka. Oddly though, in Sri Lanka, String Hoppers or Idiyappam is even served for breakfast.
The original string hoppers are made from plain rice flour. And over time, this was also introduced with wheat flour for a healthier option which produces a brown hue. More and more people are opting for the latter for health reasons, compromising the divine taste of the original white rice deliciousness. In Malaysia, the string hoppers are called putu mayam and has become somewhat a local delight eaten with grated coconut in brown sugar – something like a desert. This way of eating with sugar is an influence from the Kerala-Indians.
I really don’t want to bore you too much on the origins of the string hoppers. Instead, all I really want to do it tempt you into trying (if you never have) these delicious string hoppers. And if you have tried putu mayam, you should try it the Sri Lankan way. Once you taste the wonderfully steamed rice string hoppers in a sweet and sour coconut curry and a masala fried egg, you’ll never turn back. It explodes a few different taste buds at the same time and that’s why I love this so much!
However, making the string hoppers is not easy. It’s a painful process of kneading the dough in hot water and squeezing it out in this tiny wooden vessel and then steaming it over a water bath for 5~10minutes. The hardest part for me was the “squeezing” as it drained all the energy out of me. Thankfully, the husband lent a helping hand. 🙂 After this episode, I was compelled to look for a more automated options to make this and there were a few and this one I liked best. Maybe, I should invest on this. http://www.oritha.com/naveeno-95-black-and-white-1-set-1.html
String Hoppers (Idiyappam)
- 1 cup white rice flour (or idyappam flour)
- 1 cup wheat flour (or wheat idiyappam flour)
- 3 cups of hot water
- 2 tsp salt
- Mix both flour and salt in a bowl
- Add hot water into the flour while using the back of a wooden spoon, mixing the floor together. You will get a somewhat a crumbly dough
- Using your hands (maybe use plastic gloves), knead the dough a little till it becomes fully mixed and no floury lumps in them. It’s okay if it’s still mushy
- Squeeze out the string hoppers using your gadget to get a rounded shapes over a tray that you will use over your boiler. I used a pizza tray with holes and layered it with a baking paper
- Steam string hoppers for 5~10mins
Sothi (Yellow Coconut Curry)
- 1 tbsp fenugreek seeds
- 1 onion sliced
- 2 cloves of garlic chopped
- 1~2 green chili halved and seeds removed (you can leave the seeds if you want more heat)
- 1 tomato roughly chopped
- 2 cups of coconut milk
- 1/4~1/2 tsp turmeric
- 1 cup of evaporated milk/light cream/milk
- 1 tsp tamarind paste
- 3~4 curry leaves
- 1/2 a lime juice
- Fry the fenugreek seeds, onions and garlic in pan till the aroma is released from the seeds
- Add in the chilis, tomatoes and 1 cup of water. Let this come to a boil
- Then add in the coconut milk, tamarind paste and turmeric. The sothi will start to come together. Add salt and add in the milk. Do not let the sothi boil. Once the sothi has had enough heat, turn off the flame and add in the lime juice to finish off
Masala Fried Egg
- 1/4 tsp turmeric
- 1/2 tsp chili powder
- 1 onion chopped fine
- 1 green chili seeds removed and chopped fine
- 3~4 curry leaves chopped fine
- 4 eggs
- Mix the turmeric and chili powder with little water (~2tbsp) till it is easily dissolved and no longer lumpy
- Break in the eggs in the turmeric and chili mix. Beat it thoroughly with required salt.
- Fry the onions, chili and curry leaves in a pan till softened. Add in the egg batter and fry in omelettes.
Spicy Prawn Fritters
- Similar to the masala egg, coat prawns in chili powder and turmeric and salt. You can add some cajun crumbs if you like.
- Fry them thoroughly