Makes 15 hoppers
1 large coconut, water reserved
1 large slice sourdough, crusts removed
400mL second extract of coconut, made from grated flesh
500g rice flour, sifted
1 tsp caster sugar
1/4 tsp bi-carbonate of soda
Pinch of salt
200mL first extract of coconut
Vegetable oil for greasing
To make coconut milk, crack the coconut, reserve the water and grate the flesh to use for the coconut milk extracts. Set aside.
Place crustless bread, reserved coconut water and the second extract of coconut in a bowl and blend until smooth. Mix together rice flour, sugar and bicarbonate of soda over the liquid mixture and whisk until a smooth but thick batter forms.
Cover the bowl and stand in a warm place for 6-8 hours, or until the batter mixture is frothy and increased in volume. The standing time will vary considerably depending on room temperature – the warmer, the better. Remember it is nearly always 30 C and 90% humidity in Sri Lanka.
Just before cooking, stir in a pinch of salt and the first extract of coconut.
Heat a small non-stick frying pan over high heat, wipe the pan lightly with oil, then pour in a 60mL ladleful of mixture. Swirl mixture to coat the sides of the pan, leaving a small pool of mixture in the centre.
Cover the pan with a lid and steam the hopper for 2-3 minutes, or until the centre is firm and the sides are golden and crisp.
Slide out and keep cooked hoppers warm. Repeat the process until all the batter has been used.