On a recent trip to Sri Lanka, I discovered hoppers - a new (to me) dish that I loved so much I ordered it at every opportunity. A hopper is a thin, delicate, bowl-shaped crepe cooked in a pan that looks like a shallow wok. Served in pairs with a mild egg curry, coconut sambal and fried onions, cooked with many of the spices the country is known for, they made a delicious and substantial breakfast.

Sometimes one of the hoppers would have an egg cooked inside (logically enough, that was called an egg hopper), and another variation was string hoppers - thin rice noodles similar to Chinese mai fun, which are shaped by pressing the dough through an implement similar to a potato ricer, only with smaller holes.

The batter for hoppers is made from rice flour and coconut milk, and is left to ferment overnight before being cooked, which gives it a tangy flavour.