Egg hoppers are a fabulous Sri Lankan savoury breakfast dish, in which a rich, runny egg and assorted spicy accompaniments are served up in a frilly coconut and rice flour pancake ‘basket’. It’s best to make the batter the day before, and you’ll also need to leave the batter to stand for an hour after adding the soda water and salt in the morning, so be sure you’re up well before breakfast time.
6 Burford brown eggs
100ml coconut water
1 teaspoon yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
300ml coconut milk
200g brown rice flour
100ml soda water
Pinch of salt
Spicy onion relish:
2 small red onions, finely chopped
2 tablespoons red chilli flakes
2 red chillis, finely chopped
Juice of 1 lime
Warm the coconut water in a pan over a medium heat, whisk in the yeast and sugar and remove from the heat. Leave to stand for 15 minutes.
Mix the cooled coconut water with the coconut milk in a large bowl. Add in the rice flour and whisk until you have a silky smooth batter. Cover the batter and leave in a cool place overnight.
Next morning, whisk the soda water and salt into the batter, and then leave the batter to stand for an hour. Meanwhile, prepare the onion relish by pounding together the finely chopped red onions, chilli and chilli flakes in a pestle and mortar, then squeezing in the lime juice and adding a generous pinch of salt.
When the hour is up, heat a small wok (or non-stick frying pan), and quickly rub rapeseed oil over the base and sides of the pan using kitchen roll.
Slowly pour in a ladleful of batter into the hot pan, tilting it so that the batter thinly covers the sides and the base. Now immediately crack an egg into the base of the pan, cover and cook for two minutes. Repeat with remaining batter and eggs, serve with a dollop of spicy onion relish.