Sri Lankan String Hoppers

A famous and popular dish in Sri Lanka is called Indiappa or string hoppers. It is mainly eaten for breakfast or dinner although variations are consumed at all mealtimes. String hoppers are light lacy little pancakes made of rice flour that take the place of rice, and is eaten with a light coconut based curry and sambol. Traditionally string hoppers were made by mixing dough to the right consistency, and squeezing it through a wooden handpress onto a round mat made of rattan. The extruded mixture of very fine strings is then steamed for a few minutes.


  • 500 g steamed wheat or rice flour
  • 1/2 litre boiling water
  • salt

Wrap the flour in a clean cloth and place in a bamboo steamer for 1 hour. While hot, transfer it and break it up. Sift the steamed flour into a bowl. Bring the water to boil and let it cool slightly. Mix the sifted flour and salt in the bowl and gradually add the water, mixing it quickly into pliable dough. When the dough is well mixed, put a little of the dough into a string hopper mould or press, and squeeze the mixture out onto a string hopper mat in a circular motion. Place four or five mats in a steamer and steam over a pan of boiling water for about five minutes. Once the string hoppers are cooked, remove them from the mat and place on a dish. Repeat the process until the dough is complete.