It was just while ago that we featured the original Lamprias on e’ Lanka with pride (and mouths watering), at the same time, now, my dear friend Victor Melder has forwarded what could well be termed the Lankan version of this superb dish, complete with the culinary skills required at present, in a Country that is right now facing dire difficulties in feeding themselves at all. It has taken this simple Couple a determined effort to set up an “eatery”featuring what they proudly call “Lamptrays”, and with the shortages of nearly everything to do with cooking a tasty Lankan dish, Naadira J., and her husband must be fully congratulated for setting up “Lamptrays” in 2021. It does not take too much of an imagination to figure out that it has to be so very much more difficult at present, to carry on with their little business in 2022 and beyond, when hopefully, the situation there, will once again be as it used to be, but this resilient couple will keep going, and we wish them all the very best.

Hope springs eternal, as I always say, Ceylon (in my day), and Sri Lanka now, has been through many a trial & row,

but when things get better, as I hope and pray,


Desmond Kelly

Desmond Kelly.

(Editor-in-Chief) e’ Lanka.

The lamprais just got a new look


Driven by a shared passion for food and a desire to help some families who lost jobs during the pandemic Naadira J and husband began ‘Lamptrays’ as a home venture in 2021

 A flavourful ghee rice cooked in delicious chicken stock serves as the base of this family meal the Sunday Times had the chance to review. On top, sit rows of generous portions of chicken curry, yummy cutlets, a sweet yet spicy seenisambol, a brinjal and ashplantain curry along with a fried boiled egg. All served in one tray and covered in banana leaves, Lamptrays is a relatively new small business that popped up in 2021 giving a hearty and innovative twist to the traditional lamprais.

The lamprais just got a new look

Lamptrays: Neatly wrapped in banana leaf (above) and (left) the flavourful fare

It was not just their shared passion for food that inspired Naadira J and her husband to begin ‘Lamptrays’ but something even more meaningful.

“During the pandemic, a few families known to us in our local community lost their jobs due to unfortunate circumstances so to support them, my husband and I decided to start something that will provide them with an income and that’s when we realised how the trend to eat from the safety and comfort of your homes had emerged. So we decided to start with the soul-food very dear to our family which is the lamprais, and present it in a tray,” says Naadira on the beginnings of Lamptrays. So while Naadira and her husband handle the logistics with orders and customers, it is the ladies of these less fortunate families that are the true heroes behind the lamptrays, cooking and serving them with care.

Coming from a big family, whenever they used to cook lamprais, the older generation would cook it in trays for convenience and this is what Naadira and her husband got their inspiration from. It could well be a first-of-its-kind concept here in Sri Lanka. The Lamptray allows you to scoop out your share of each item from the tray without disrupting the other servings which means that the presentation is not only pleasing to the eye but also is generous in quantity and enables everyone to serve according to their individual portion size.

It is a side venture that we do in addition to our daily corporate jobs with help from family and it is rewarding to know our customers get to taste a delicious home-made lamprais, Naadira adds. “All our ingredients are locally sourced from vendors in our neighbourhood. Our meat is halal and we don’t use artificial flavouring in our food. Our Lamptrays are made to order hence optimum freshness is also guaranteed,” she says.

The lamprais just got a new lookHowever like everyone else running their own business, they too are battling scarcities and costs.  “With the recent crisis in our dear country, we are facing challenges in sourcing gas and other ingredients along with maintaining an affordable pricing as all items are scarce and expensive,” she says.

Yet Naadira remains optimistic and they are striving to sustain the business in whatever capacity they can to help their community. She also thanks her customers who have constantly supported them in understanding their situation and still being a part of their journey.

Lamptrays also offers a vegetarian option with rice cooked in vegetable stock and a soya curry instead of chicken. They have plans to introduce a beef option too, but that is still in the pipeline.

For more about Lamptrays or even to order one for your next meal, DM them on Instagram and Facebook on @lamptrays or call/ whatsApp on +94760674018.

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