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Updated by Joanna James on Jun 23, 2019
Headline for 5 Unique Maldivian Cuisines that everyone loves – The True Taste of Maldives
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Joanna James Joanna James
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5 Unique Maldivian Cuisines that everyone loves – The True Taste of Maldives

Maldivian cuisine doesn't have much of a reputation internationally, but travellers shouldn't pass up the opportunity to taste it. Here are 5 uniquely Maldivian dishes you must try.

1

Bis keemiya (samosa)

A cross between a samosa and a curry puff – a bis keemiya is a light snack that usually contains a mixture of sautéed shredded cabbage, chunks of tuna, onions, hard-boiled eggs, and plenty of spice, all wrapped in a light, flaky pastry. Bis keemiya can usually be found on the menu at any restaurant in Maldives and is served as a tea time snack.

2

Garudhiya (fish soup)

A staple of Maldivian cuisine, garudhiya can be found in practically every restaurant whether it's a small café on the roadside or a big restaurant in a resort like Anantara Kihavah Maldives Villas. This fish soup is traditionally made by boiling pieces of fresh tuna with salt in water until it's well-cooked and the stock cleared of scum to produce a clear, fragrant fish stock. Nowadays, there are many varieties of garudhiya available which include adding spices and onions to further flavour the stock. Garudhiya is served alongside steamed rice or rotis.

3

Huni roshi (chapati bread)

Given its close proximity to India and Sri Lanka, where roti is a staple in most meals, it makes sense the Maldives would have its own version of the flatbread. Made from grated coconut flesh, flour salt and water. The sticky dough is rolled out into circular shapes and either deep fried until crisp or browned on a flat pan. The outside is crisp and brown while the inside soft like a pitta bread. Roshi is served with just about every meal in the Maldives so expect to see plenty of it. You can also find deep-fried roshi served stuffed with a spicy fish and potato filling, similar to an Indian potato paratha.

4

Saagu bondibai (sago pudding)

Not everyone loves sago pudding but once you try Saagu bondibai it is guaranteed you will be a fan. A firm favourite in most Maldivian households, sago is one of several main components in Maldivian cuisine, and saagu bondibai is a perfect example of simple but delicious comfort food. Sago pearls are boiled in fresh coconut milk, rose water and cardamoms till they reach a thick, creamy texture. The pudding is then served drizzled with condensed milk and sometimes fresh fruit.

5

Hedhika (short eats)

The word hedihika refers to any kind of fried snack or 'short eat' that is served in local eateries. Recipes are typically savoury, and fish based with popular versions including keemia - fried fish rolls, bajiya - a pastry filled with fish, onions and coconut, and masroshi - fish wrapped in a roti and baked. Bis keemiya can also be considered a form of hedhika. Most eateries have their own recipes for a particular short eat, so do try some of these fried treats whenever possible to taste the different varieties.