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Updated by Joanna James on Jun 23, 2019
Headline for Popular Dishes in Maldives – It's Not Just About Sun, Sand and Surf!
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Popular Dishes in Maldives – It's Not Just About Sun, Sand and Surf!

With flavours derived from Kerala & Sri Lanka, Maldivian cuisine is hot stuff, often literally. Here's a list of must-try Maldivian dishes; a vital part of travelling to the Isle!


Dhon Riha

Dhon Riha is a flavorful, traditional tuna curry made using chopped chunks of tuna, seasoned with salt, ginger and turmeric, curry and cinnamon powders and mixed with onions, chilli pepper and, fascinatingly, two pieces or raw, skinned mango. The ingredients are cooked in coconut milk to create a mouthwatering curry that's eaten with roshi or rice.



Mashuni is another dish containing tuna that is one of, if not the most, common breakfast dish to be had in the Maldives. The exquisite dish consists of smoked tuna combined with onions, capsicum, salt, lemon juice and scraped coconut. It is usually had with roshi.


Theluli Mas

Theluli Mas is basically spicy fried fish; it is a common and very quick and easy to make the dish. Tuna steaks are seasoned with a paste made from lonumiris curry powder, chilli curry powder and tomato paste and fried in coconut oil. The crispy treat is served with roshi, rice or vegetables. Often the ingredients for Theluli Mas differ slightly from island to island.


Theluli faa Banbukeyo

Breadfruit or 'Banbukeyo' is popularly used in many Maldivian dishes and theluli faa banbukeyo is one of the simplest and easiest breadfruit dishes found in the archipelago. To create this simple, yet incredibly scrumptious snack, breadfruit is peeled and cut into thin wedges and deep fried in coconut or vegetable oil until golden brown.


Banbukeyo Harisa

Another breadfruit dish, but a little more complicated to make than Theluli faa banbukeyo. For this dish, breadfruit is skinned, cored and steamed until soft, added to a mixture of sliced, smoked tuna seasoned with salt, lemon juice, onions and red chilli and cooked in coconut milk. A flavoursome combination of onions, ginger paste, a padan leaf and curry leaves, stir-fried in ghee is combined to the curry later on. The dish is, of course, served with rice or roshi.


Fihuna Mas

This very popular and easy to prepare dish is basically the Maldivian version of grilled fish. It is prepared using just about any fish, but tuna remains the most popular choice (surprise, surprise). The fish is prepared, filleted and seasoned with a heavenly blend of dried chilli, onion, garlic, cumin powder, curry leaves, salt and black peppercorns, and cooked on a BBQ grill.


Bis Keemiyaa

Another beloved tuna dish! Bis keemiyaa is a savoury pastry that contains an immensely tasty tuna and egg filling. The filling is made from diced tuna and hard-boiled eggs mixed with capsicum, curry leaves, black pepper, onion and cabbages.

All these delicious foods can be had at resorts and restaurants in Maldives. Most resorts, such as Anantara Veli Maldives Resort, have a number of restaurants that serve numerous international cuisines as well as Maldivian ones.


Dhonkeyo Kajuru

It's not all curry and fish, Maldives also has some pretty wonderful desserts! Dhonkeyo Kajuru or fried banana cake is especially popular. The dessert is prepared by mashing together ripe bananas and mixing it with sugar, flour and dried or scraped coconut. A touch of rose water or vanilla essence is added for flavour and the balls made from the mixture is deep fried in vegetable oil.


Banbukeyo Bondibai

Breadfruit also makes a fantastic base for desserts! Banbukeyo Bondidai is a dessert made by boiling small pieces of breadfruit in water, draining it and then cooking it in sugar. Once the sugar is melted and sticky, thick coconut milk is added into the mix and left to simmer! The resultant sweet, sticky sensation will leave your taste buds craving more!