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Updated by Joanna James on Nov 18, 2020
Headline for List of best Maldivian dishes to try – The Flavours and Spices
Joanna James Joanna James
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List of best Maldivian dishes to try – The Flavours and Spices

The Maldives, just like its South Asian neighbours are big on spices and flavourful dishes. Dhivehi cuisine is delicious and fresh with lots of locally grown produce, coconuts and seafood put into it. While they do resort to imported food when you are there you should try all their local delicacies.



One of the biggest staples in Maldivian diets is seafood. Since they are a series of archipelagos with the sea all around this doesn't come as a surprise. Of all the kinds of seafood available, Maldivians swear by their delicious tuna. There are many kinds of tuna in Maldivian waters including frigate tuna, skipjack tuna and yellowfin. The dishes will be either smoked, cooked or cured and served as a simple curry, a thick paste to eat with local roshi and are called Rihaakuru or in a myriad of other ways. It is a delicious and hardy dish that thanks to its many different ways of cooking is beloved by Maldivians.



Another ingredient that exists all over including in Maldives romantic resorts is coconut. Coconut trees exist in abundance and as such are a very important staple in Dhivehi cuisine. You will find it in curries, in salsas and cooked into their fried rice. As a result, Maldivian food has a distinct milky taste to it that makes it quite easy to eat and very flavourful. The coconut is also used in various other forms such as its water, the husks and coconut leaves for roofing thatch.


Long Eats

You will find this sort of meal in restaurants and hotels the likes of Baros Maldives. They are called long eats because there is a whole course of meals and it would take you a long time to get through them all. They generally consist of rice or roshi as the main carbohydrate followed by a fish soup or fish curry. There will also be a host of other additional dishes.


Short Eats

Short eats are the quick bites you can find in local restaurant or cafés that include pastries such as spicy fish cakes called Kulhi Boakibaa, Fihunu Mas and Gulha among others all of which are made from fish and dough. You would typically eat a couple and have your tea in the evening. There are also sweet varieties of short eats made from rice, bananas and a whole lot of sugar. You will find the regular coconut in these as well.



When you mix fish with coconuts you get some deliciously creamy curries as mentioned above. The best curry according to Maldivians among their cuisine is Mas Riha which is a spicy tuna curry generously heaped with coconut milk. Thanks to the addition of spices, peppers and chillies and curry leaves, the dish is quite aromatic and really awakens the appetite. Not just fish curries you will also find numerous chicken and vegetable curries that are made with eggplant, banana and pumpkin among others.

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