Having read about ‘hoppers’ for years it was great to not only taste one but see them made. Tissue-paper thin they are formed by rolling a coconut water and rice flour batter around a small round bottomed pan held over a flame, covered with a lid and the chef then moved the pan from side to side before uncovering and adding an egg. Miraculously this ‘bowl’ of delicate crisp pancake is served with the perfectly cooked egg intact at the bottom. Then one adds other things according to your fancy. Maybe a spoonful of jaggery sambol with onions, or something hotter, or a dollop of Dahl, or a portion of fish curry.
This wonderful breakfast was preceded by a small bowl of soothing and gentle Kola Kenda, a traditional Sri Lankan breakfast soup. It was an almost transparent green made from various herbal leaves boosted with a little rice and coconut milk and water. It was recommended to be enjoyed with a piece of jaggery? I am always excited to encounter a traditional dish enjoyed for generations that somehow thumbs its nose at the current interest in drinking wheat grass or mixing up murky green smoothies.
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