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Updated by Joanna James on Jun 23, 2019
Joanna James Joanna James
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Maldivian Food and Cuisine

The Maldives islands are renowned for their tropical beauty and exotic marine life, but the island nation has an incredibly unique culture with an amazing assortment of traditional dishes.


Dhon Riha

Curries are one of the most commonly consumed food items in the Maldives and this particular curry is the most popular. Dhon Riha can be found in households as well as Maldives restaurants situated in hotels like COMO Maalifushi, The Maldives. This curry contains tuna, which is a staple in the Maldives, along with a coconut milk base. The inspiration behind this comes from Indian and Sri Lankan cuisine.



This is the quintessential Maldivian breakfast dish and also contains Tuna which is the most commonly used ingredient in Maldivian cuisine. It is delicious and very simply to prepare as it involves combining tuna, onions, chilli and coconut in order to form a homogenous paste. There's even a vegetarian alternative to this called Baraboa Mashuni where the fish is substituted with pumpkin. Be a little cautious though since some places mix both tuna and pumpkin to make Baraboa Mashuni since there's an added flavour.



There's no point having incredible curries and pastes without anything to consume them with, and that is where roshi comes in. These round baked flat-breads are the Maldivian equivalent of chapatti or roti. There's a popular snack called masroshi where mashuni is incorporated into Roshi dough and then baked to form something that resembles a flat bun filled with the delectable tuna mix. If the dough stuffed with mashuni is rolled into balls and deep-fried, they care called gulha.


Theluli Mas

If you're seeking some spicy, indulgent and maybe even a little bit spontaneous, this is for you. The name of the dish pretty much means spicy fried fish and no two places save the same version. Each island uses a different fish while some places even use octopus instead. The chosen sea-food is coated in a paste made from a variety of spices and then fried till crispy. It can be consumed either by itself as a snack, or with anything ranging from rice to roshi to boiled vegetables.



One of the most traditional and cultural dishes of the Maldives, this fish broth is consumed on a regular basis in almost every household. It is one of the most humble dishes in existence and the traditional manner only includes three ingredients which are fish, water and salt. Once the fish has been cut up in the required manner and the innards discarded, all the remaining components are placed in a pot and boiled along with a little bit of salt. Once the resulting foam has been discarded and the fish is well cooked, it is ready for consumption. Garudiya is generally consumed with rice or roshi. It is occasionally served with boiled breadfruit, and if so, coconut is sprinkled on top. Due to its very simple recipe, many households and restaurants would add their own ingredients such as chilli, onions or curry leaves for added flavour.

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