Recipes R Simple

How to make Idiyappam – String Hoppers – Rice Flour Steamed Noodle


How to make Idiyappam - String Hoppers - Rice Flour Steamed Noodle

How to make Idiyappam


These thin, laced crepes are made of rice flour which is briefly cooked in boiling water and then kneaded and pressed through a fine ‘Idiyappam’ or Noodle maker. The delicate  ‘String Hoppers’ as they are also known, are then placed in a tiered steaming rack to be steamed over boiling water  for 5 – 6 minutes. Check out the video tutorial on How to make Idiyappam below.

‘Idiayppam Press’ comes in different shapes and sizes. I use a Standing Press, which is great for heavy duty cooking.

The Hand Held types are a good option for easy storage and cleaning. The secret to soft light Idiyappam lies in the kneading of the dough. The dough is to be kneaded while still quite hot. My secret for this, is to dump the dough into a food safe temperature resistant bag (Ziploc™ Brand Zip N Steam bags) and place on  a thick kitchen towel and knead using the towel to protect your hands from the heat. Kneading must be done quickly. Using the bag gives you a smooth, tight dough in minutes.  (If you have a mixer with a dough hook, you can use this too.The dough must then be covered and pressed into noodle form quickly, since this dough tends to dry if exposed to air for long. You also have to wash your mould/press before it dries up or it would harden making wash-up super difficult.

All in all, making these delicate breakfast hoppers is not so hard if you make them regularly. First time might take a while. You need a steaming rack or steamer, a press and a pot to cook the dough. Have fun. I love Idiyappam with my Malabar Chicken Kurma  or Egg Curry.

How to make Idiyappam with video

How to make Idiyappam

standing idiyappam press

How to make Idiyappam – Standing Idiyappam Press

hand held idiyappam press

How to make Idiyappam – Hand Held Idiyappam Press

a tiered idiyappam stand

How to make Idiyappam – Idiyappam Stand

Recipe Type: Breakfast
Author: Recipes ‘R’ Simple
Prep time: 20
Cook time: 15
Total time: 
Serves: 4


  • 2 cups rice flour
  • 2 ½ cups water
  • 1 tsp salt  (omit if using Idiyappam flour with salt added)
  • 1 tsp coconut milk
  • about 1 cup of grated coconut

You will need – A tiered/ single rack for steaming, A steamer or cooker for steaming, an Idiyappam press.


  • Wash the steamer/ racks and Idiyappam Press before hand.
  • Add the water to a wide mouthed pot/deep pan and heat.
  • Bring to boil and add salt.
  • Also add coconut milk. This keeps the Idiyappam from sticking to the steaming racks later and also make them smoother.
  • Add flour in one heap to the centre of the  boiling water.

How to make Idiyappam - add flour in one heap

How to make Idiyappam - add all flour

  • Do not stir at first. Allow the water all around the sides to boil over the heap of flour.

How to make Idiyappam - do not stir at first How to make Idiyappam - allow water to boil over

  • Now, stir vigorously, to blend the  flour with the water. Do this quickly as the water will be absorbed quickly. You want it to be evenly distributed throughout the flour so that there is no more dry flour.

How to make Idiyappam - stir the dough vigorously How to make Idiyappam - stir vigorously till well mixed How to make Idiyappam - stir till dough is evenly moist



  • Cover the pan and allow to sit and ‘sweat’ for only 5 minutes.
  • Now you must knead this flour while it is still hot.  My trick is to add all the moist flour into a large heat resistant, food safe bag and place the closed bag on a large kitchen towel.

How to make Idiyappam - use food safe bag How to make Idiyappam - fill bag with dough

  • Now knead using the cloth to protect your hands from the heat.

How to make Idiyappam - fill bag with dough to knead How to make Idiyappam - place on kitchen towel How to make Idiyappam - knead for 5 minutes

  • Knead for about 5 minutes. You should open the bag to find a nice smooth, tight and bouncy dough. ( no more specks of white dry flour). Place the dough in a large bowl and keep covered while working with sections of the dough ( to prevent the dough from drying out)

How to make Idiyappam - till the dough is smoothj

  • Now fill the Idiyappam press with enough dough that has been rolled to fit into the hole and press through the tiny holes directly onto the rack used for steaming.

How to make Idiyappam - standing idiyappam press How to make Idiyappam - turn the handle How to make Idiyappam - press noodle into plate How to make Idiyappam - rotate plate

  • Rotate either the press or the rack/plate, to get an evenly round, thin idiyappam.

How to make Idiyappam - to get evenly round thin idiyappam

  • Don’t make the Idiyappam too thick or it will touch the rack above it and get smashed. Also do not press or touch the un-steamed Idiyappam as it will loose its shape.
  • Sprinkle grated coconut over each Idiyappam.
  • Place all the racks in the Idiyappam stand.

How to make Idiyappam - place idiyappam on stand

  • Bring a little water to boil on the bottom of the steamer pot/ cooker etc.. Only enough water to stay below the Idiyappam rack. The bottom tier should not touch the water.
  • Once you have filled all the racks, insert the stand into the steamer pot/ pressure cooker etc (anything big enough to hold your Idiyappam stand/ rack).
  • Close the steamer with a lid. The lid should have some kind of vent for the steam to escape from.
  • Steam the Idiyappam over  the boiling water for 5 minutes, and till a steady, strong flow of steam is seen escaping.
  • Remove the Idiyappam to a casserole dish and continue to press out and steam the remaining dough into Idiyappam.

How to make Idiyappam

Try it and let us know – Idiyappam.

Idiyappam can be served with just about any curry. Vegetable Stew, Egg curry, Chicken Curry etc..
Buy this hand held Idiyappam Maker Now.

Buy this Steamer rack which can be used for Idli or Idiyappam Now.

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  1. Avatar Jawad 3 years ago


    Where can I buy the hand held iddiyapam press. I live in USA, none of the desi stores have this kind of maker. I am eagerly waiting to eat home made iddiyapam :). Thanks for sharing this recipe.


  2. Avatar aminah khan 3 years ago

    I tried making the string hopper using hand held press but it turned out very rubbery. Why is that?

    • Hi! Sorry to hear this. I have a few tips regarding this. #1 Don’t forget to add the tiny bit of coconut milk to the boiling water. This helps to make the Hoppers soft. Some use oil for this but I like coconut milk better, oil sometimes changes the texture of the Idiyappam as well. #2 Always use BOILING water. Not warm or hot water, this sometimes leads to rubbery Idiyappam. #3 Time the steaming process, if you over steam the Idiyappam turns rubbery. Do not worry if you open the cooker and find the Idiyappam slightly sticky. This is fixed on its own as the Idiyappam cools, outside of the cooker. Don’t be tempted to return the Idiyappam to steam for longer. #4 Always keep the unused portion of kneaded dough covered while preparing the HOPPERS. #5 Check that your rice flour is not the glutinous type. Rice flour sold for Idiyappam is Roasted. It should be plain, fine rice flour. If your rice flour is not roasted, do this by gently heating the flour in a pan (do not let it change color at all).
      Hope you will have better luck next time. My first time making Idiyappam 15 years ago had its fair share of problems too. However it really is easy! Happy Cooking.

  3. great job.I really admire the way you have presented each and every recipe taking into account the minute details which covers the tiny tips and tricks in making a good outcome which is an awsome recipe.Your site will surely help the beginners interested in cooking.thanx a looot.I never comment on any recipies which i watch.But your videos made me to.Definitely will try this out.keep up the good work


    • Thank you so much for your kind words… Comments from my readers and subscribers is the ultimate joy and what keeps me going…. so you really made my day. My older one loves Idiyappam and will ask for it every chance she gets. Hope you have fun making it.

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