Appa known as Hoppers is one of the traditional foods from Sri Lanka. Appa are wafer thin, cup-shaped pancakes which are made from a fermented Batter of rice flour, coconut milk and a dash of palm toddy. Appa is crispy on the outside, yet soft and spongy in the centre, is best eaten with Curry dishes and Sambols while still streaming hot.
Appa is Sri Lanka's version of the French Crepe and America's Pancake.
Appa is made in various ways in the country, based on the ingredients that goes with the basic ingredients of rice, yeast, coconut shavings and sugar and salt to taste:
The various types of Appa in Sri Lanka are: Plain Hoppers, Egg Hoppers, Milk Hoppers, Honey Hoppers and String Hoppers (Indiappa). Sweeter varieties are called Vanduappa and Paniappa
1. Plain Hoppers are bowl-shaped thin pancakes made from fermented rice flour.
2. Egg Hoppers are the same as Plain Hoppers, but an egg is added into the pancake as it cooks.
3. Milk Hoppers have an additional spoonful of thick coconut milk which is added to the doughy centre. When cooked, the centre should be firm to the touch, but the interior remains soft. It is more sweet than other types of Hoppers with the addition of coconut milk.
4. Honey Hoppers are crispy pancakes cooked with a generous amount of Palm Treacle. Some people also like to add some Jaggery just before serving to make it extra sweet.
How to prepare the Hoppers (Appa) in Sri Lanka
1) 2 cup(s) raw rice soaked for 4-5 hours
2) 4 cups coconut shavings
3) A pinch of yeast granules dissolved in some coconut water or little hot water
4) salt and sugar to taste