Hoppers (appa) aren’t what you’d expect to find at a street market in London and yet, strangely enough, there is a little pop-up store smack bang in London, selling the most delectable looking hoppers you will ever see – scroll down and see for yourself if you don’t believe us.
The face behind these scrumptious beauties is Emily Dobbs who has been enchanted by Sri Lankan food from ever since her childhood visits to Taprobane Island, Weligama. “I used to go to Sri Lanka a lot as a child and always loved the cuisine. I never understood why it wasn’t available in London, especially with the current ‘health’ trend. Sri Lankan food is very colourful, vibrant and healthy and should be applauded. I just love it!” she explains.
Years down the line, Emily transformed her love into what we can only call edible art, adding a modern twist to the traditional appa. “It has taken me many months to create the perfect hopper batter. I like to keep my recipes as traditional as possible. I use red rice flour as I prefer the flavour and texture to white rice flour and make all my own homemade pickles and chutneys. So far everyone has loved the hoppers but I’m not sure the Sri Lankan purists like pomegranates on their appa!”
Emily, who has trained in some of UK’s top restaurants, explains that she aims to change the way the British think about Sri Lankan cuisine. “Indian food has a stigma in London for being greasy and heavy. This is simply not true with Sri Lankan food and I want to revolutionise the way British people understand the cuisine,” she explains, adding that her “modern Sri Lankan pop-up” is just the start. She hopes to open a restaurant soon, write a cookbook and go global. So if any of you happen to be in London and want to bite into something quintessentially Sri Lankan, but with a modern, funky twist check out Emily’s little pop-up at Druid Street Market or her website, Instagram and Facebook for pictures that will get you craving.