Although I did a much earlier post about the “Battle of Lampreis” in Sri Lanka, I realized today after lunch that there really is no competition: The lampreis at The Dutch Burgher Union is hands down THE BEST and only lampreis worth eating. For all you novices out there, here’s a little refresher course: Lampreis is a complete rice & curry meal wrapped and steamed in a banana leaf. Authentic, traditional lampreis is comprised of the following individual dishes–samba rice cooked in marrow bone stock; tempered brinjal (eggplant) curry; a fish cutlet or frikadel; a mixed meat curry of pork, beef, and mutton; seeni sambol; fried ash plantain curry, and blachan (a tasty condiment paste made of dried prawns, onions, lime, salt and spices).
Though she appeared a little creepy on the No Reservations: Sri Lanka episode, a little Burgher lady by the name of Lorraine Bartholomewsz, is still the one who makes the lampreis sold at DBU, and she certainly gets massive kudos for her cooking. The delicate samba rice was perfectly cooked and amazingly flavorful due to the rich stock it was cooked in, yet not greasy at all. The tempered eggplant was melt-in-your mouth delicious, while the fried ash plantain had body to it and was not mushy in the least. The mixed meat curry featured tiny cubes of pork fat to enhance its taste, and both the seeni sambol and blachan were bursting with flavor. Instead of only one cutlet or frikadel, there were two. The fact that each individual dish would have been amazing on its own explains why this little package of rice and curry was the equivalent of a multiple foodgasm. If the lunch crowd in Manhattan could get a hold of this, FUHGETABOUT IT!
So, thanks, Lorraine, for your skills, and thanks to the DBU for making this available to the general public. I would recommend calling ahead and reserving yours in the morning as the lampreis becomes available at 11 am and is usually sold out by noon. While normal rice packets sell for about 120 rupees, the DBU lampreis is certainly no steal at 390 rupees, but certainly worth every finger-licking mouthful. Enter around the back of the DBU where there is a little counter where you can pick up your order, and they even steam it for you, so it’s ready to eat!
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