Rice hoppers (pancakes) (V)

These southern Indian pancakes, also known as appams (pronounced up-ums) have a truly delicious flavour and texture that repays the preparation time. The mix can be frozen in batches or let stand in the fridge for later use.

2 cups plain white rice

2 eggs

1 cup water

1⁄3 tsp salt

1 tsp active dried baker's yeast

1 tbsp extra sugar

1 tbsp sugar

1⁄3 cup extra water

3 tbsp extra water, warm failsafe oil for cooking

Rinse the rice several times then cover with water to a depth of 4 cm and leave to stand overnight or for at least 8 hours. Drain and place rice in blender with 1 cup water and blend to a fine paste, which will still be a bit gritty. Mix yeast, sugar and warm water, allow to stand for 10 minutes until fermenting, then stir into the rice paste. Set aside, covered, for 6 hours. Beat eggs lightly, mix with salt, sugar and extra water, then stir thoroughly into fermented batter, which will have a consistency like a thin pancake. Heat frying pan to medium, lightly oil, pour in 1⁄3 cup of batter and swirl to a diameter of about 15 cm. Cook for about 3 minutes without turning, when it will be brown and slightly crispy underneath and dry on top. Best fresh: serve immediately with a smear of pear ketchup, or pear jam and yoghurt, or any savoury or sweet topping. Unusual for gluten-free, they are even delicious plain!

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