The curfew cuisine diaries from Sri Lanka: Making the Burgher Pie
A year, a month and 23 days ago, we were called upon to entertain people - we didn't know how many people though. The easiest way out was with plenty of pasta. But since this was a special occasion, a special dish was created. The Burgher Pie.
The Burgher Pie - a pretty good pun if you know the history. If you don't, read on.
When the Dutch colonised Ceylon on the 17th century, their descendants, who didn't leave the country after the Brits took over, were call and are still known as Burghers. The word, I believe, means "citizen of a town". This family is of Dutch origin. Our ancestors landed here towards the tail end of Dutch rule in Ceylon - and we never left.
This is primarily why the Burgher's cuisine is a "fusion" of eastern and western flavours and cooking techniques. Some of the dishes we make are mash-ups of eastern and western influence. The Lamprai (see previous post) is a classic example of this. As far as I know, meats like liver and tongue never featured in local cuisine until after colonisation.
Overall, this wealth of influences had just started to blossom financially, with many restaurants experimenting with unusual combinations of flavours, techniques and ingredients. At least they were, before the curfew that's still with us, came. But let us turn to better thoughts...
The Burgher Pie.
The burger, sorry, Burgher Pie.
Beef patties, cheese, onion, pickle, lettuce, sesame seed buns and ketchup and fries, layered, baked and devoured with relish. All the items that go into a burger, layered into a baking dish and baked. Viola - The Burgher Pie.
The beef patties were home made - so they were spicy. The fries and pickled gherkins and buns were store bought. The cheese was a sauce made with a combination of Mozzarella and Cheddar. Dollops of Ketchup (also store bought) were ladled on each beef pattie. There was a layer of lettuce in there too. Promise. But there were more onions than lettuce because we're not that much into greens. Sorry.
It looked a mess - and not just because of my lack of photography skills. But - and this was the important thing, the Burgher Pie vanished faster than any of the pasta dishes. (Please feel free to add your own adage here!)
Right through this whole coronavirus-lockdown-curfew episode, the thing that kept us going and still is keeping us going is the people we share this home with and the ability to keep ourselves entertained. Be it with new recipes (some of which bombed spectacularly) or learning new things or even just re-mastering old things all over again - is there a GuitarTribe? (How do I get emoji's on this?) :-)
More Curfew Cuisine Diaries to follow. Promise.