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Updated by Joanna James on Jun 23, 2019
Headline for Maldivian Popular Dishes - Sample the Authentic Flavours of the Maldivian Islands
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Joanna James Joanna James
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Maldivian Popular Dishes - Sample the Authentic Flavours of the Maldivian Islands

Here are five famous and delicious dishes in the Maldives that capture the very essence and spirit of this cluster of islands in the heart of the Indian Ocean.

1

The Star of the Fish Market in Malé: Garudhiya

For those visiting the famous Vegetable and Fish Markets in the capital of Maldives, Malé, and the Garudhiya is a dish that cannot, and should not, be missed. Garudhiya is actually a fragrant fish soup, which is usually available for purchase at any of the street markets in Malé. Garudhiya is a traditional fish soup prepared with fresh tuna, spices, and lime. It can be prepared by cooking cubes of tuna with onions, garlic, chillies and curry leaves and the combination being seasoned with onions and lime. However, those who wish to try this fish soup but do not have the opportunity to visit any of the markets in Malé should inquire from their local accommodation whether a version of the soup could be prepared – resorts such as Anantara Veli Maldives Resort often cater to such requests.

2

The Maldivian Version of Coconut Bread: Huni Roshi

In the island of Sri Lanka, which is located not very far away from the cluster of islands in the Maldives, coconut bread or, as it is known in the local vernacular; 'pol roti' is a favoured dish across the country. Pol roti is usually consumed with a sliced onion and lime sambal known as 'long iris'. Since the Sri Lankan cuisine has influenced the Maldivian cuisine, it is no surprise that the Maldivian islands too have their own version of 'pol roti'. Known as Huni Roshi, this version of coconut bread is prepared by frying flatbread (combined with coconut flakes) until it develops a crispy exterior.

3

The Maldivian Samosa: Bis Keemiya

The samosa is a favourite snack found in the South Asian region. Samosas are found in a multitude of forms especially in India such as the Beef Samosa, the Indian Punjabi Samosa and the Aloo Samosa. A Samosa is a fried dish with a savoury filling. The savoury filling comes in both vegetarian and non-vegetarian forms and both forms have potatoes, peas, onions as well as certain spices making an appearance. This dish is also found in the Republic of Maldives but is made with a different recipe. The stuffing usually includes shredded cabbage, onions and eggs (hardboiled) encased in a flaky and light fried crust. The Bis Keemiya is certainly a snack worth trying in the Maldives.

4

Sago Pudding

This Maldivian dish will undoubtedly be a bit familiar to most – saagu bondibai, also known as sago pudding, has a global reputation. Even though sago has declined in popularity around the world, because its main ingredient is extracted from palm stems, sago pudding remains popular in the Maldives and is a dessert offered at almost every Maldives resort. Prepared with coconut milk, cardamom and condensed milk, sago pudding, or saagu bondibai as it is known in the islands, will warm your body and delight your soul.

5

Banana Flower Salad

Another popular dish whose popularity is self-explanatory is boshi mashuni. Known also as the Banana Flower Salad, this dish is prepared with banana flowers, an ingredient found in abundance in the Maldives. It is prepared with coconut, spices and shredded banana flowers and you will be able to find a fancier version of the dish in many resorts.