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Updated by Joanna James on May 02, 2024
Headline for Most Popular Foods in Maldives - A Taste of Paradise
Joanna James Joanna James
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Most Popular Foods in Maldives - A Taste of Paradise

Heading over to the paradise isles of Maldives? Then don't forget to try out these amazing foods in Maldives that are popular among both the locals and the foreigners.



The waters of Maldives are rich in seafood, so it's no doubt that the most popular of Maldivian food is a fish. Tuna is consumed in a variety of ways in Maldives including being cured by a lengthy process of boiling, smoking and sun drying. This cured version of tuna is called 'Maldives Fish' and it's quite in demand not just in Maldives but in neighbouring countries such as Sri Lanka. Boiled tuna is used to make 'Mas Huni' a delicious sambol that also features scraped coconut. This delectable dish is something that you will definitely come across while dining in Maldives, as it is served everywhere in the country from the small eateries to even at the fine dining restaurants by resorts such as the Anantara Kihavah Maldives Villas.

Another great Maldivian tuna dish would be 'garudiya'. This is a broth made using both fresh and dry tuna.



Swaying coconut palms are a pleasing sight in Maldives, and the tall trees are much treasured in the country due to the number of benefits it provides. It has such importance that it's been declared the national tree of Maldives and even appears on the country's coat of arms. The seed of the tree, the coconut is used is cooked in so many ways in Maldivian cuisine. One way of integrating coconuts in cooking is to extract its milk and use it for curries. The flesh is also scraped and used in sambols such as the above-mentioned mas huni.


Starchy Items

In Maldivian cuisine, no main dish is served without starchy food. Ingredients such as rice, cassava, sweet potato, taro, screw pine, and breadfruit are cultivated and consumed widely in the islands. Taro, rice, and breadfruit are consumed after boiling while screw pine is typically eaten raw. A typical main dish would consist of one starchy item, rice for example; as well as a sambol and three-two curries.



Cooked as either 'dry' or 'wet', curries are a common feature in Maldivian cuisine. These can be prepared using vegetables, meat or seafood. The sauce which binds together all ingredients is coconut milk. One of the most popular of Maldivian curries is mas riha, a delicious curry made using tuna, roasted chillies, onions, coriander, fennel, garlic, cumin and other ingredients. Then there is also the kukulhu riha, which is a curry made using chicken.



Being an Islamic nation, alcohol is prohibited in the Maldives, however, this does not apply to the luxury resorts. The locals drink beverages such as tea or 'sai' as it is locally called. 'Raa' is a traditional drink made using fermented toddy tapped from coconut trees. When visiting Maldives, is it always recommended to stick to drinking bottled water, as this is a much safer option.

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