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Updated by Joanna James on Jun 23, 2019
Joanna James Joanna James
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7 Maldivian Delicacies You Must Try - Giving your taste buds the treat of their lives

Sure, you could spend your vacation eating fast food and drinking packaged coffee. But where is the adventure in that! Here are 7 dishes you must try during your Maldives vacation.


Mas huni

Mas huni or Mashuni is a breakfast dish you will find at the local cuisine restaurant of many a Maldives resort. Its name translates to mean fish-coconut and is as simple as the name implies. Fish – usually tuna – is mixed with finely grated coconut. Local seasoning is added to this mixture and is then served with a flat bread. It is common for Mas huni to be accompanied by a cup of sweet tea as well.


Dhon Riha

Dhon Riha is perfect for those with a sensitive palate. Although South Asian food tends to be on the spicier side, Dhon Riha literally means fair curry. It is a white fish curry with a coconut milk base, and a number of spices to give it a unique flavour. It has a certain tanginess to it, brought on by the addition of mango to the tuna. Dhon Riha is usually served over warm rice or as an accompaniment to flat bread called "roti".


Banbukeylu Harisa

With a beautiful mixture of colours that immediately attract the eye of the beholder, Banbukeylu Harisa is a vegetarian dish that is served in top hotels like Kurumba Maldives, but not so much at the small eatery by a road in Male on a normal day. This is because Banbukeylu Harisa is a celebratory food item, usually made during Eid or a special occasion. Its main ingredient is steamed breadfruit, to which chilli, coconut, and onions are added. The gravy of Banbukeylu Harisa is thick and full of flavour. Thus, it is generally served as a side with a main of flat bread.


Fihunu Mas

Fihunu Mas is essentially grilled fish, made the Maldivian way. The fish is usually a sea bass and is served whole or in fillets, depending on the place you try. The fish is smothered in a mixture of spices including a heavy dash of chilli. The grilled fish is then served with a bit of mango salsa – essential to balance out the heat of the fish – and rice or flatbread. The crunchiness of the fish skin contrasts nicely with the fluffiness of white rice of Maldives to create a beautiful harmony with each bite.


Bis Keemiyaa

This is more of a snack than a main food item. It is perfect with a cup of tea towards the evening. A pastry with a tuna or egg filling, Bis Keemiyaa is flaky and buttery. The spiciness of the mixture inside the pastry would depend on the maker, ranging from mild to hot.


Handulu Bondibai

Handulu Bondibai is a dessert made for special occasions like a child birth. It is essentially a sweet, sticky rice pudding, and is served with "kulhimas". It is common for people to make packages of Handulu Bondibai and kulhimas, and gift them to each house to mark a celebration.


Dhonkeyo Kajuru

This is another dessert that is unique to Maldives. Although it appears like your average banana fritter, the Maldivian twist comes from the addition of coconut to the coating. Thus, it is best of both the worlds, the beloved bananas enveloped in a taste of Maldives.