A Sri Lankan Vegetarian String Hopper or Indhi Appa (Sinhala), Dinner

Home Cook: Sharmini Jayawardena

Also known as puttu mayam in Malaysia /Singapore and eaten with a most mysterious sugar. This, however is a savoury meal.

I bought the string hoppers from a hawker but you can make it by getting yourself a string hopper mould at the Indian shop in your area, which most of us have by now.

🔶Recipe for string hoppers – www.instructables.com/id/String-Hoppers/

I made an Indian inspired pani puri starter with store bought pani puris, which I deep fried. Pop it open with your knuckle and fill it with cocktail mixture (also store bought). Top each one with some yoghurt and tamarind chutney, both home made. Delish!

Indian/Sri Lankan Cocktail Mixture

🔶The tomato curry is made by:
Washing and cutting up around five tomatoes into segments.
Add a 1/2 teaspoon curry powder, 1 teaspoon chili powder, 1/2 turmeric powder, 2 sprigs curry leaf, 1 pandan leaf cut into 2” pieces, 2 cleaned and sliced small onions, 1 large green chili or 3 Kocchi chili or chili padi and 1” piece Ceylon cinnamon.
Mix all ingredients in a pan and add light coconut milk to cover the ingredients and cook on low heat.
When cooked add a little thick coconut milk, sugar and salt to taste, stir and take it off the fire. Cover and keep.

🔶Next, what is known as kiri hodhi or yellow coconut milk curry as they call it:

Squeeze some scrapped coconut in a small amount of warm water. Strain and leave aside. This is your thick milk.
Then add another amount of warm water which is more than before. Squeeze, strain into your cooking pot. This is your thin / light milk.

Add 2 sliced small onions, 1” piece of Ceylon cinnamon, 2 sprigs of curry leaf, 1 pandan leaf cut into in 2” pieces, 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder, 1/2 teaspoon fenugreek seeds, 1 big green chili. Add salt to taste. Mix well.
Cook until the ingredients are cooked, stirring occasionally, on low heat. Keep turning the gravy around with the handles of the pot or pan to make sure the gravy doesn’t get curdled.
Add the thick coconut milk and cook stirring well so that the milk doesn’t coagulate.
Take off the fire. Once it cools a bit, give it a generous squeeze of lime to taste and stir well.
(You can add hard boiled eggs to it once done)
Cover and keep.

🔶Now for the pol mallung or cooked coconut sambol:
Add 1/2 tsp of turmeric powder, 2 sprigs of curry leaf, a pandan leaf cut into 2” pieces, 1” piece of Ceylon cinnamon, 3 pieces of goraka or dried gamboj (you can use lime juice instead), 1 large green chili to a pot with little water.
Cook all the ingredients in this water until partially done.
Add an amount of scrapped coconut and continue cooking until the coconut is cooked and the water is evaporated.
Mix well.
Add salt to taste, stir well and take off the fire cover and keep.

Now, steam the string hoppers to freshen them up (if store bought), and serve up along with all other dishes.

Serve string hoppers on to a plate, pour the coconut milk curry generously over it, then, serve yourself the other dishes on a side, and –

You’ve got yourself a unique dinner.


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