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Updated by Joanna James on Jun 23, 2019
Headline for Must Try Cuisines in the Maldives – It’s all about the Seafood!
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Joanna James Joanna James
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Must Try Cuisines in the Maldives – It’s all about the Seafood!

The tropical paradise of the Maldives is resplendent with the greatest of cuisines to soothe your gastronomical adventure while you try out things you’ve never done before! Being a nation of islands, the seafood is beyond par while the tropical climate means that fresh produce is a guaranteed thing!

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What are the best parts of Maldivian cooking?

The Maldives has a long tradition of cuisine that is tied to both of its closest neighbours – India and Sri Lanka. If you’ve tried the food of either of these countries, then Maldivian cuisine is not that far off, but different enough to hold your taste buds. Traditionally known as Dhiveli Cuisine, fish and seafood play a major role in the country’s dishes. Coconut is the other key player in the curries that are made as well as the sweets. The spices that are incorporated are definitely the influence of the two neighbouring countries, serving as a historical piece of evidence to the relationship the countries have shared for centuries!

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Boshi Mashuni

This dish, similar to its cousins in Sri Lanka and India, is a salad of shredded Banana flower and other fresh ingredients. Healthy to the core and rich with fibres, this dish is made of the banana flower before it ripens into the fruit. It is shredded and blanched and mixed with ground coconut and other spices like chilli and turmeric. It is a spicy dish that serves as a protein supplement to a meal of rice of Huni Roshi

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Bis Keemiya

Again, very similar to its cousins in India and Sri Lanka, the Bis Keemiya is not quite a samosa and not quite a spring roll but stuck somewhere deliciously between those. A delightful finger food dish and a favourite with street food vendors, the Bis Keemiya is usually stuffed with a mixture of fish or protein and vegetables like cabbage and onions. Finally fired off in oil, they are a nice crunchy addition to your repertoire of dishes.

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Garudhiya

Closer in flavour to the Japanese favourites like miso or dashi, Garudhiya is a fish soup/stew that is clear and clean. Made with fresh tuna, which is its core ingredient, the soup is flavoured with sautéed and browned onions and lime. It’s a warming dish, the kind you want to come home to at the end of a long day and sit down with your legs curled up to enjoy. Garudhiya is Maldivian comfort food at its best.

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Huni Roshi

Huni Roshi is again a dish that is stuck between its Sri Lankan cousin Pol Roti and its Indian cousin Chapatti. Made of rice flour kneaded with coconut flakes and salt, Hui Roshi is a traditional side dish to a curry that is essentially a flatbread that is chewy and on the inside, but dry roasted till crispy on the outside. The art of scooping up a curry with your fingers using a Huni Roshi is part of the journey.

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Saagu Bondibai

Sago – another major component of South Asian cuisine and a staple in most South Asian desserts. Yet another dish that is available, but varied in both Sri Lanka and India, Saagu Bondhibai is a pudding of sago cooked in coconut milk, infused with cardamom, rose water and a sweetener like condensed milk, sugar, palm syrup or even honey. A perfect palate cleanser for the spicy curries and soups of the main meals, this dish is a crowd favourite to finish a meal with or just indulge in when you’re craving sweetness.

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Where to dine in the Maldives?

Restaurants in the Maldives are not that difficult to find – especially there are good ones at resort properties the likes of Anantara Kihavah Maldives Villas.