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Best Idiyappam Maker or String Hopper Machine

Last Updated on August 6, 2021 by Chef

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

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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.

best top pick

Take a look at this brass or stainless steel Idiyappam maker here.

Traditional Wood and Brass Idiyappam Maker  (USA and Canada 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!

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

Take a look at this one here

Stainless Steel Pasta Maker, Noodle Press and Juicer

Inspect this multi-purpose kitchen tool here

 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. 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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Gaurav Chaudhury

Monday 25th of February 2019


There's some good content here. Thanks for posting.

lakshmi narasimhan

Wednesday 14th of November 2018

Do you have an outlet in USA to buy a home idiappam maker .or can I buy it online


Thursday 15th of November 2018

Hi Lakshmi,

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

Cheers Chef


Saturday 27th of January 2018

Mr Udara Hettiarachchi I can supply string hopper as you need from Chennai India my cell +91-9962579928

Udara Hettiarachchi

Monday 25th of September 2017

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


Tuesday 26th of September 2017

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.


Tuesday 7th of February 2017

Do you have an outlet in Australia ? If so may I have the details please ?


Tuesday 14th of February 2017

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.

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