Monday, May 19, 2014

String Hopper Biryani - AFF Indian Subcontinent #8

A biryani not made with rice..but a rice product, the delicious idiyappam or string hoppers or putu mayam.
It is a specialty from Sri Lanka, and no two recipes are the same.

Usually we see biryani that is made with rice... and takes a lot of ingredients, spices and time ..but not this special biryani. It's like cooking fried rice!

first attempt

I cooked this twice, because I wasn't happy with the first attempt's pictures. The morning sun was too bright on my patio. When I made it the second time, I ran out of carrots. Haha. So, you will see both plates of string hopper biryani looking slightly different.

You can make this with store bought idiyappam, but I used homemade ones, hence they look fatter, almost like broken bits of basmati rice.

I tried this recipe for breakfast and it was so yummy! If you don't want to use string hoppers, I think you can just usecooked rice. The texture will not the same, of course, but the taste of the ingredient combination is nice, and it won't be string hopper biryani anymore.

2nd attempt

String Hopper Biryani
Reference: Sarojini's Sri Lanka Food
Single portion

String hoppers for 1 person
2 Tbsp coconut milk

1 knob of butter ( around 20gm)
1 smallish piece of cinnamon
1 clove
1 cardamom, crushed until crack
1/2 sprig curry leaf
2 inches pandan leaf, torn into 4 pcs

1 tsp grated garlic
1/2 tsp grated ginger
1 smallish red onion, thinly sliced
2 Tbsp carrots, cut into 1 inch thin matchsticks

10 small prawns, marinated with Pinch of salt + Pinch of chilli powder

Cashew nuts

1. Moisten string hoppers with coconut milk. Lightly break it up.
2. Heat a frying pan and fry the omelette. Let it cool down and slice.
3. With the same pan, add in 1 Tbsp oil and heat it up. Put in prawns and sear it until golden and curled up. Remove the prawns and keep the pan.
4. Lower the heat to medium and put in butter. Put in cinnamon, clove and cardamom and fry it for a few seconds until fragrant.
5. Add in ginger and and garlic and saute until fragrant, then add in onions and cook until translucent and very lightly browned. Add in carrots and cook until wilted.
6. Add in curry leaf and pandan leaf and cook for a few seconds, until you can smell the fragrance.
7. Pour in the moistened string hoppers, add salt to taste (I used 1/4 tsp). Toss the string hoppers around until well incorporated.
8. Dish up and garnish with the cooked prawns, omelette strips, cashew nuts, raisins and coriander.

I am submitting this to Asian Food Fest Indian Subcontinent Month


  1. Hi Wendy! This is interesting as I was not aware there is such a thing as String Hopper Biryani. And I want to say thank you for organising this MFF event because it made me finally cook stuff from my Indian cookbook :)

  2. Ooops! I meant "AFF" event :)

  3. Since you said this is yummy, loves to try this one day. Seriously I never heard of this dish before. You know, my first glance on the first and second pic do look like the rice instead of idiyappam. Thanks for sharing as this sounds special to me.

  4. Owh my..the egg rolls are soooo cuteee...!great idea!will try that.:-)

  5. Very informative and inspiring post have been posted here. I bookmarked this blog further more information about new indian recipes.last weekend i visit a Indian restaurant for dinner. it was awesome experience of biryani taste. I never forget it's taste.I am going to cook it at home with the help of your recipe.


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