A serving of lamprais
TypeMain meal
CourseMain meal
Place of originSri Lanka
Main ingredientsmixed meat curry, ghee rice, ash plantain, frikkadeller meatballs, belacan, seeni sambol, eggplant pahi

Lamprais, also spelled "lumprice", "lampraise" or "lumprais", is a Sri Lankan dish that was introduced by the country's Dutch Burgher population.[1][2] Lamprais is an Anglicised derivative of the Dutch word lomprijst,[3] which loosely translated means a packet or lump of rice, and it is also believed the dish has roots in the Indonesia dish lemper.[4]


From 1658 until 1796, the coast of Sri Lanka was under Dutch rule. The Dutch Burghers (an ethnic group of mixed Dutch, Portuguese Burghers and Sri Lankan descent) came up with the dish. The dish itself is not a native dish to the Netherlands but is based on the Javanese meal lemper. Lemper is a snack consisting of shredded seasoned meat and glutinous rice wrapped in a banana leaf. The Dutch in Dutch Ceylon are likely to have adapted this dish from the Dutch East Indies in the early 16th century.[5]

One of the first literary mentions of lamprais was in Hilda Deutrom's Ceylon Daily News Cookery Book, published in 1929.


Lamprais, comprising chicken, egg, cutlet, fried eggplant and ash plantain

It consists of two special curries (a three-meat curry, often including beef, pork and chicken, and ash plantain with aubergine), seeni sambol, belacan, frikadeller meatballs and rice boiled in stock, all of which is wrapped in banana leaves and baked in an oven.[6] The rice is made by frying raw short-grain rice with onions and spices in butter or ghee and then cooking it in a meat stock. A hard-boiled egg which has been deep-fried is also a common, but non-traditional, addition.

The traditional recipe always contains three meat items; however, modern versions can include just a single meat, such as fish or chicken, or may be vegetarian.

See also


  1. ^ Müller, J. B. (2006). The Burghers. Wimal Enterprises. p. 275. ISBN 9789551535001.
  2. ^ Pinto, Leonard (2015). Being a Christian in Sri Lanka: Historical, Political, Social, and Religious Considerations. Balboa Press. p. 57. ISBN 9781452528625.
  3. ^ Gottberg, John; Anthonis, Ravindralal; Keuneman, Herbert; Hoefer, Hans (1983). Sri Lanka. Apa Productions. p. 300. ISBN 9789971925222.
  4. ^ Boyle, Richard (July 2016). "L amprais: A Curious Culinary Creation". Serendib. Sri Lankan Airlines.
  5. ^ "The Lamprais Legacy". Sunday Observer. 7 January 2018. Retrieved 2 May 2021.
  6. ^ Tegal, Megara (13 September 2009). "That Burgher delicacy wrapped up in banana leaf". Sunday Times. Retrieved 18 April 2017.