String hoppers or Idiappa is a noodle dish which is made of rice flour originated from South India and Sri Lanka. Mostly, String hoppers are eaten with Pol Sambola and whatever a curry you prefer such as Dhal curry or Chicken curry and so on. This is one of the most famous and authentic dishes in Sri Lanka which has passed over generations.
String hoppers or Idiappa are made of rice flour formed into a soft, non-stick dough; then pressed and woven into flat shaped noodles and steamed. The main ingredient would be rice flour either white rice flour or red rice flour but now you can buy packets of “String hopper flour” directly from grocery stores.
The main equipments which are needed to make string hoppers are String hopper mould and string hopper mats. String hopper mould is usually made of steel and has two parts. The lower part consists of a steel plate which has small thin holes and two handles. We fill the lower part with the dough and press it using the upper part, so that the dough is squeezed through the small holes in the steel plate of the lower part of the mould. The dough is squeezed onto the flat round shaped string hopper mats which are mostly made of plastic.
- 3 cups rice flour or string hopper flour
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 1/2 cups normal water (or more)
- some oil
Making the dough:
- To a large mixing bowl, add rice flour and salt and mix.
- Gradually add water and mix with by hand or a spatula until you get a soft, solid and non sticky dough.
- Fill up the lower part of the mould with a spoonful of the dough.
- Brush some oil to the string hopper mats to prevent sticking.
- Put the upper part of the mould into the lower part and press gently and squeeze the dough onto the mats.
4. Place the mats on the steamer with boiling water under medium heat and steam for 5-6 minutes or until the string hoppers are cooked.
String hoppers are served with Pol Sambola and a gravy such as Dhal curry or Chicken curry. Here are some suggestions of side dishes that go with String hoppers.