Food from the Maldives is just waiting to be discovered, check out these eight Maldivian dishes that showcase the best of the islands.
Maldivian food is relatively unknown on the culinary map. But due to the astonishing amount of yoga retreats based in the Maldives, you might be interested to discover some of the traditional local dishes. The Maldives are surrounded by water, thus it is logical that fish, mainly tuna, is the staple food of the Maldivian diet. Be sure to try these eight examples of delicious Maldivian food at the local hotau cafes today.
Garudhiya is one of the traditional and basic cuisine of the Maldivian culture. It is a clear fish broth that is made entirely of the tuna species found in the ocean waters of Maldives such as the skipjack and yellowfin tuna. The clear fish broth is cooked simply just by using fish, water, and salt.
However, Maldivians may sometimes add spices such as chilies, curry leaves, and onions to flavour the fish broth. The amount can be adjusted accordingly to their own tastes and preferences.
2. Mas Huni
In Dhivehi, the language spoken in Maldives, mas means fish and huni means shredded coconut. Hence as the name suggests, Mas Huni is a popular staple Maldivian breakfast made out of shredded smoked fish, onions, grated coconut, and chilies. It is typically scooped up with freshly baked roshi for breakfast, which is a Maldivian flat bread that is similar to roti, the Indian flatbread.
Mas Huni also goes well with another local favourite, the Huni Roshi, which directly translates to coconut bread.
3. Fihunu Mas
Fihunu Mas is Maldivian grilled whole fish and it is very popular with the locals. It is made by blending a mixture of different spices such as onion, garlic, chilies, cumin, curry leaves, etc… to a smooth paste. This paste is then applied to the fish while the fish is placed on the grill until it is thoroughly cooked.
Although this may sound simple and plain, it is absolutely delicious and aromatic due to the freshness of the catch and the use of the multiple combinations of spices.
4. Kulhi Boakibaa
Kulhi Boakibaa is a type of Maldivian fish cake and it is considered as a finger food or snack. It is usually made out of either canned or fresh tuna fish, rice, and shredded coconut with spices. The ingredients are then stirred and mixed together into a thick paste. The paste would next be spread evenly onto a non-stick pan and baked in an oven until it turns golden brown. This Maldivian fish cake can be made mildly spicy, depending on your tolerance level for heat.
However, the spiciness of this dish enhances the Kulhi Boakibaa’s gastronomical appeal and if you love eating spicy food, you definitely would not want to miss this delectable local dish!
The Bajiyaa is also considered as a snack in Maldives and is often served during special occasions such as weddings and parties. The Bajiyaa is similar to Indian samosa that we more commonly know but, unlike samosa, the main filling of Bajiyaa is dried fish instead of the usual potatoes, peas, lentils.
Bajiyaa can also be filled with chicken instead of dried fish. The chicken Bajiyaa variant is made distinguishable by the red marking on its triangular pastry shell.
Gulha is also a popular Maldivian snack. It looks like deep fried fish balls except the dough is made out of coconut flour and it is filled with smoked tuna, coconut, onion, lemon, curry leaves, turmeric, ginger, salt, and chili. These deep fried doughy coconut balls are so full of flavours with every bite. From the delicious combination of spices and smoked tuna, you definitely will not be able to stop at just one.
7. Bis Keemiyaa
Fancy some Maldivian style spring rolls for lunch? Bis Keemiyaa is a Maldivian appetiser that does not contain tuna! Instead, it is filled with chopped cabbage and boiled egg with onions, chilies, curry leaves, and lemon juice. With its basic and simple ingredients, you would think that this snack is unmemorable and mediocre. However, it is surprisingly yummy and leaves us mouth-watering for more of that crispy goodness.
8. Bambukeylu Hiti
For vegetarians or vegans, with so many fish dishes on our list, you guys must be thinking that Maldivian cuisine is not for you. However, fret not! Bambukeylu Hiti, which is also known as breadfruit curry is a traditional Maldivian dish with a coconut milk base. For those who are not familiar with breadfruit, it is actually a member of the fig family. As the name suggests, breadfruit has a starchy texture and gives out the fragrance of freshly baked bread when cooked. It is extremely common and widely grown in Maldives,hence, it is usually incorporated into many of their dishes or it can also be eaten by itself.
Who would have known that tuna could be prepared in so many mouth-watering ways This delicious dish is exclusive to the Maldives and you’ll hardly see it outside of the country. So be sure to try this delectable dish if you’re in Maldives or Malé, the capital city of Maldives, for a holiday!