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Updated by Joanna James on May 02, 2024
Joanna James Joanna James
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Must have Drinks and Food when in Maldives - eat like the locals!

Maldives has plenty to offer travellers, including some pretty interesting food. Maldivian food is mix of Arabic and Asian flavours, with fresh fish and lots of coconut.



Hedihika refers to any kind of snack or 'short eat' that is served in most local eateries. Almost all of them are savoury, fish based and fried, with the most popular snacks including favourites like bajiya - a pastry filled with fish, onions and coconut, keemia - fried fish rolls, and masroshi - fish wrapped in a roti and baked. There are several more tasty choices, and each eatery will have their own recipe for a particular version. Either way, make a point to stop and try some of these lip-smacking fried treats.



Whether it is served rolled up with a fish filling, or alongside a broth and some spicy condiments, Maldivians love their Roshi. The Maldivian version of an unleavened flat bread found across all of South Asia, roshi is often used as a substitute in place of rice for main meals. Roshi can also be served stuffed with a spicy fish and potato filling, and then deep-fried, much like the Indian potato paratha.



Because Maldives is a conservative muslin nation, alcohol is strictly forbidden. Visitors are allowed to drink on resorts such as Adaaran Prestige Vadoo , but you won't find a drop of alcohol anywhere else. The closest thing locals have to an alcoholic drink is Raa. Made from the fermented toddy of the palm tree - for the uninitiated drinker, raa can be quite strong and overwhelming. However, once you become accustomed to the taste, you'll find it is actually quite pleasing, almost comparable to a strong wine.


Mas huni

Whether you are dining at one of the numerous luxury restaurants in Maldives, or a small street-side cafe in Male, you will most definitely see plenty of fish on the menu. Fish can be served in literally hundreds of ways here, but one popular choice among locals is Mas huni. Possibly one of the most favourite breakfast options in the country; Mas huni consists of smoked fish which is shredded and served with fresh grated coconut, onions and roshi.


Sai (Tea)

Because fresh drinking water is so scarce in Maldives, most eateries will serve you Sai before they bring out the water. This is probably one of the reasons drinking tea has become such a big custom among locals. While you may wonder what the big deal is about tea, order yourself a hot cup of Sai, sit back and take in the view of the blue waves lapping along the shore, and then you'll understand how relaxing a cup of tea really is.



While more modern forms of traditional recipes are spreading in popularity all over the atolls, there are still a few oldies that come out on top. A national dish in the Maldives - garudhiya is a simple, clear fish broth, usually made from tuna. Traditionally served with steamed rice, it can also be eaten with roshi. Some recipes add boiled breadfruit or taro to the soup, and serve it alongside freshly grated coconut flesh.

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