Surinam was a Dutch colony on the north coast of Brazil. African slaves were taken there to work in plantations and, post slavery, workers from Indonesia, China and India were taken there as paid labour. All those cultures had distinct cuisines that they mixed and merged with local ingredients half the globe away from where they originated. Suriname was granted independence in 1975 and the Surinamese were given the option to stay there or move to the Netherlands and half came here, bringing with them their rich and eclectic cooking traditions.
Lalla Rookh out in Amsterdam East makes pretty awesome roti. I grew up eating roti in Durban, South Africa, where there is a large Indian community so happily try it all over Amsterdam. What I love in roti is the crumbliness between the layers of dough – no idea what that is exactly but they get it really right at Lalla Rookh. Pictured above is their goat curry, tender and rich in flavour. The other is the vegetarian with both tempeh and tofu all sauced up and ready for munching. Both were fabulous.
What will get me coming back again and again was the starter, Telo Terie: crispy cassava ‘fries’ with super spicy little dried fish all stickied up in a dark red hot chilli goo, HELL YEAH! , read more about these little fishes here on my favourite Amsterdam food blog. On a previous visit I tried the Telo Bakkeljouw thinking it was the Telo Tertie that I had read about on Patricia’s food blog. It arrived and I had a bite and to my horror it was salted fish: my nemesis, I have never eaten it and usually retch at the smell alone. The place was empty and I was sitting in full view of the counter and felt too embarrassed so to throw it away so I forced myself to just get on with it and eat it. I was quite shocked that by the third bite I was loving it!
If you are staying out East then try this place. It really is a local eating house with no frills and questionable taste in light fittings but excellent food!
Open daily noon to 10pm
Tram stop is called Dapperstraat and nuumber 3, 7 and 14 go there.
Check out the menu on their website here.