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10 Best Maldivian Food to Try

What to Eat in the Maldives


There's so much variety within Maldivian cuisine that it may be impossible to try all Maldivian dishes in your lifetime, let alone at one time. Maldivian cuisine is also one of the most delicious and healthy cuisines in the world that you may have never heard of. Based on rice, fish, coconuts and aromatic spices, local chefs create real masterpieces that explode in your mouth with a rainbow of delicious tastes.

The best way to experience the true flavor of popular Maldivian cuisine is to go on an excursion to Male or visit the local islands. A many luxury hotels host Maldivian nights buffet, where you can try a bit of everything in order to find your favorite dish. But here are some of our favorites that you're likely to find at your island's restaurant. Paired with a few sides, plenty of rice (which is often included), and a dessert, you're sure to leave happy.

From traditional food on the beach to homely interpretations of Maldivian cuisine, these are our favourite dishes to try in the Maldives.

1 Mas Riha (Maldivian Fish curry)

Mas Riha

Typically consumed with rice or Roshi (Maldivian flatbread), Mas riha is one of the most common types of curries in the Maldives. Locals enjoy this dish, almost every day for lunch and dinner.

Creamy and decadent, this delicious dish is typically made with coconut milk, fresh chilies, cinnamon, a mix of spices and chunks of diced tuna. Chief amongst the variety of local dishes that show this unique combination of basic ingredients the Maldivian fish curry securing a spot on a list compiled by CNN to celebrate the evolution of curries around the world!

2 Mas Huni

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Your beach experience шт the Maldives won't be complete if you don't discover local cuisine. The most common breakfast for Maldivians is Mas-huni, which is a mixture of tuna and coconut. Puree of onion, capsicum, lemon juice and salt, combined with smoked tuna meat, mix well and add coconut pulp. The dish is eaten with roshi bread. Sometimes Mashuni is baked in roshi. This dish, in the form of golden with a crust, round pies is called Masroshi.

This simple but heavenly Maldivian breakfast across the country known as Disc Mashuni (pronounced as Disc Mas-huni) you can get at Tasting Table, the resort's main restaurant. Best drink to go with Mas huni is the usual black tea. Fresh juices and other drinks are not recommended at all. Aside Maldivian cusine the Tasting Table offers an international menu of delicious meals. Discover culinary highlights spanning from Asia to Europe in a relaxing dining room or beachside terrace.

3 Garudhiya (fish soup)

Garudihya

If you are a fan of miso or dashi, you should definitely try this recipe. Mouth-watering traditional Maldivian fish soup, boiled with spices and citrus fruits. Fresh tuna is the main ingredient while providing an important flavor to the soup. The fish cubes are cooked in a broth with curry leaves, onions, garlic and chili, then the whole dish is seasoned with crispy fried onions and freshly squeezed lime juice.

Garudiya is ridiculously simple, but somehow it manages to be perfect warm during the rainy months, and a purely fresh soup for the hot summer.

4 Bis Keemiya (samosa)

Bis Keemiya

Imagine a curry puff married with samosas and rolls and you're halfway to what Bis Keemiya is. Softly fried, stuffed with chopped cabbage, tuna, eggs with hard cheese and spicy onions, light and flaky pastries and delicious chew. True to its spicy and salty origins, this dish once again showcases the basics of Maldivian cuisine with the way it brings tuna to the fore. Taste it and you will see why they are so delicious and light. Best eaten hot.

Bis Keemiya is super easy to cook and tastes a lot better stuffed with a variety of toppings of your dreams, including vegetarian options. Restaurants in the Maldives luxury resorts almost always serve this dish and so for anyone looking for a sample of these islands' authentic and traditional favorites, this particular tasty morsel is never too hard to find.

5 Boshi Mashuni (Banana flower salad)

 Boshi Mashuni

Somewhere between salad and salsa, boshi mashuni is a mix of crushed, blanched (but still crispy) banana flowers, fresh coconut, and spices. This meal is especially awesome with limes, spicy with onions and Maldivian chilies (you can of course use regular chilies, just make sure they are as sharp as bird's eyes), with a zesty background thanks to curry leaves, turmeric and cumin. The dish is also impressive in the fact that it is very healthy, which, frankly, has nothing to do with something great to eat.

6 Saagu Bondibai (sago pudding)

 Saagu Bondibai

When was the last time you tasted sago? But in the Maldives, these little starchy balls are a staple of island diets, originating from the spongy hearts of tropical palm stalks.

Once you taste the saagu bondibai, you will understand why sago is still so popular in the Maldivian cuisine. Warmed with coconut milk, cardamom and rose and seasoned with creamy condensed milk, this is the kind of dessert to eat in large portions for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

7 Banbukeylu Harisa (bread curry)

 Banbukeylu Harisa

Breadfruit grows in tropical climate and is a rich and flavored food that can be enjoyed as a curry or as a dessert. The hearty and nutritious flavor of this fruit can be easily discovered once you get past the sticky task of (literally) peeling it off.

Banbukeylu Harisa is a Maldivian bread curry that's quite popular with the locals. True to the basics of Maldivian cooking, curry effectively combines breadfruit, smoked tuna fish and coconut milk with a variety of spices to produce a beautifully creamy and savory curry. The dish can be enjoyed equally hot with rice or slices of fresh bread, or as a roti. The curry is filling enough to be eaten on its own.

8 Rihaakuru

 Rihaakuru

Rihaakuru is primarily a thick fish paste. The color of this food can range from light brown to dark brown. Since ancient times, the dish has been consumed almost daily by households in the Maldives, making it one of the traditional dishes of the island archipelago. The pasta can be eaten with rice, taro, roti, or bread. It is also added to many other herbs and spices. Since the concentration of the pasta is quite acidic, one must be careful not to over-consume it.

Rihaakuru is a by-product of tuna processing. It is a simple but time-consuming process that involves hours of cooking tuna in salt and water while continuously removing any layer of scale or filet that continues to form on the water. Once the tuna has reached the perfect consistency, it is then removed from the oven and served or stored. These cooked chunks of fish are what will eventually be processed until it becomes the dried Maldivian fish that is famous all over the world. The leftover fish broth and 'bondi', which is tuna waste, continue to boil until the water has evaporated. The result is a thick paste that is referred to in traditional language, Dhivehi, as Rihaakuru.

9 Kulhiboakibaa

Kulhiboakibaa

For a very long time, across generations, Kulhiboakibaa (kuliboakibaa) or traditional fish cake has been an important part of the Maldivian's meals. This dish is especially popular during holiday celebrations on the local islands, and these days it is increasingly popular as a part during evening tea drinking. The cake is made with thick rice paste, tuna, spices and coconut, both young and old.

10 Dhonkeyo Kajuru

Dhonkeyo Kajuru

Dhonkeyo Kajuru (Donkeyo Kachuru) is a traditional dish for sweet tooth in the Maldives. It is great for dessert and consists of sugar, coconut, bananas and flour. The food is a variety of banana pancakes or balls that ooze a completely sticky sweet flavor along with crispy portions thanks to the use of deep fat. It doesn't have to be a street food stall where you can enjoy this dish. The vanilla included in the banana puree used to make this dessert also adds a distinct flavor to the unique flavor of this dish, which is served in many restaurants on many islands.

Some resorts and hotels, such as Anantara Veli Maldives and many others, include Dhonkeyo Kajuru on their daily menu due to its popularity.

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