Best Idiyappam Maker or String Hopper Machine

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If you want to make string hoppers, you need an idiyappam maker of some sort.  String hoppers (idiyappam) are long, thin strands created by pressing idiyappam dough through small holes. Idiyappam making machines are predominantly hand-operated, requiring some force to extrude the fine noodles. When I tried my hand at making string hoppers in Sri Lanka, we used a wooden idiyappam press but modern chefs can order their string hopper machines online and get something far more sophisticated in modern stainless steel or even classic brass.

Traditional idiappam maker
This is what a traditional idiappam maker looks like in Sri Lanka. You may be able to buy one of these online, or choose a more modern tool.

The strands of string hoppers then need steaming, so the second piece of equipment, a steamer with suitable stands or trays, is required.

idiyappam accompanuiments
Idiyappam with traditional accompaniments or side dishes, dal and pol sambol.

The steaming equipment used for iddly making can do this job.

Let’s take a look at the best idiyappam making equipment to buy online (presses) along with steamers and stands

Sri Lankan breakfast food from a street stall at the roadside
A simple road side meal of string hoppers in Sri Lanka. Delicious!

What Are Idiyappam?

Idiyappam is a flour-based food from southern India, Sri Lanka and parts of Malaysia, they are also known as Semige, Nooputt (or Noolputtu), Kodava, Putumayam or good old Sri Lankan string hoppers.

They are without a doubt one of my favourite things to eat and just perfect for smooshing into curries with your fingers.

They are basically a type of noodle, so once you have made your dough using Idiyappam flour, you need a tool to form the little nests of thin strands.

Idiyappam making requires a machine to press the dough through tiny holes, enter the idiyappam maker. This tool or idiyappam maker can be a traditional, dedicated device, or a noodle or pasta maker can do the job. Some are so beautiful you could buy them just as decorative objects.

Appam means pancake, idi means broken down. The flour used is commonly rice, finger millet (ragi) or wheat.

Once you have created your idiyappam you will need trays that hold the nests separately, which go into a steamer. An idly steamer is ideal. If you’ve never had an idly you’re missing out! That will have to be another post.

As my brother keeps saying, “It’s all about the hoppers!’ I’d tend to agree.

 Idyappam string hopper making in Sri Lanka
During our Sri Lankan cooking class at the luxurious Max Wadiya villa in Sri Lanka, we tried our hands at making idyappam, string hoppers, using a traditional wooden press.

Many of these devices for making idiyappam are actually multi-purpose tools that can be used in many ways. As such, they make a versatile addition to any kitchen. If you’re a western cook and have never tried making idiyappam, I’d highly recommend giving it a go, you can also find special idiyappam flour to buy online.

A look below at some of the kitchen equipment you’ll need for making your own idiyappam. Maybe you’ll be able to use a press, juicer or noodle maker you already own to make idiyappam, you’ll probably own a steamer too. However, the right tools, traditional tools, and modern tools are available to buy online. Multi-purpose kitchen equipment is always a winner and makes great gifts.

Beautiful Brass or Stainless Steel Sev Sancha Manual Pasta Maker or Idiyappam Maker

Low price, good looks and great functionality make this brass or stainless steam idiyappam maker our best buy. Click through to also inspect the stainless steel version.

Take a look at this brass or stainless steel Idiyappam maker here for the US, here for the U.K. and here for Australia.

Traditional Wood and Brass Idiyappam Maker  (Australia only, unfortunately)

A beautiful piece of kitchen art! I’d buy this as an ornament even if I wasn’t going to cook with it. Unfortunately, they’re not currently available online, similarly, the Murukku press we used to recommend has gone. We’re looking for new tools right now!

If you’re located in Australia, I’ve found a traditional Idiyappam maker here. Unfortunately, they don’t seem to be available in the U.S. or the U.K.

A Good Quality, Stainless Steel  Potato Ricer – Good Price!

A slightly more modern piece of kit, the stainless steel potato ricer is just as good at making delicious idiyappam.

Take a look at this one here if you’re in the U.S. This one here for the U.K and here for Australia.

Stainless Steel Pasta Maker, Noodle Press and Juicer

Inspect this multi-purpose kitchen tool here if you’re in the U.S., here if you’re in the U.K. and here if you’re in Australia

 Stainless Steel Idly or Idiyappam Steamer Set

Once made, you’ll need to steam your idiyappam. If you already have a multi-layer steamer at home, you could probably make do. However, if you’re going to get serious about your Indian or Sri Lankan food, try an idly steamer for your idiyappam.

Take a look at this one here if you’re in the U.S. this one here if you’re in the U.K. or this one here if you’re in Australia.

There are plenty of other styles including single layer and stand alone idly racks to go into an existing steamer. It depends on how big your family and how many idiyappam you need to be ready simultaneously. Use the link above and see various other styles on the page.

Electric String Hopper Maker

You can certainly buy an electric string hopper maker but they are mainly for mass production in the catering and hospitality industries and use in commercial kitchens. Most will make at least 500 per hour and the bigger ones 1200 plus.

These electric string hopper machines are also very big and not suitable for a domestic kitchen or home use.

To make idiyappam at home you’ll also need some idiyappam flour (you can buy online) plus, of course, an idiyappam recipe. Click through for those things.

If you are thinking about travelling to Sri Lanka, our Sri Lanka travel blog on World Travel Family dot com tells you everything you could ever need to know!

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Chef is James Long, a professional chef, world traveler and endurance athlete. He has spent almost a decade traveling and working internationaly.

8 thoughts on “Best Idiyappam Maker or String Hopper Machine”

    • Unfortunately I think that the only place selling these is Amazon but it is possible that they deliver to Australia. It is notoriously hard to get certain cooking things in Australia which even I find frustrating.

  1. I desperately in need of industrial string hopper maker for the purpose of mass production. The machine should make at least 5000 strings per hour with minimum amount of man power.
    Please do assist me to overcome the issue…
    My contact number is +940718337717

    • Hi Udara,
      You can buy industrial sized string hopper makers. They are sold mainly in India though. If you do a google search they pop up but i’m not sure if they will ship to Sri Lanka. Sorry but I can’t find any that sell in Sri Lanka but there might be some. Sorry I couldn’t have been more help.
      Best of luck.

    • Hi Lakshmi,

      I believe you can purchase it online via the Amazon website. Unfortunately it is subject to
      availability so isn’t always available.



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