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Updated by Joanna James on Jul 13, 2023
Headline for 5 Types of Maldivian Dishes You Should Try – Sample the unique fare of the Maldives!
Joanna James Joanna James
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5 Types of Maldivian Dishes You Should Try – Sample the unique fare of the Maldives!

The culinary fare in the Maldives is a melting pot of influence stemming from her South Asian neighbours, all the while retaining a certain authentic Maldivian touch.



This fish soup is regarded as a traditional dish in the Maldives. Seafood plays a vital role in the diet and the cuisine of the Maldives. Being enclosed by the oceans, the Maldivian fish industry is the next most significant following tourism, thus expect a lot of fish in traditional Maldivian cooking. This flavourful soup is normally made from tuna, either skipjack or yellowfin. It is a clear fish soup cooked with lime and salt. It is followed with either rice or roshi, the Maldivian chapati. It is also consumed with boiled yams and breadfruit supplemented with a serving of freshly grated coconut.


Mas Huni

This dish is part of a regular Maldivian breakfast. It is made from tuna, onion, chilli and grated coconut. All the ingredients are nicely mixed into the coconut. This mixture is typically eaten with roshi, their traditional flatbread and a cup of sweet tea. Other alternatives of the dish include a mixture of green leaves to replace the fish in part or whole. This is done during times of scarcity of fish. It can also be prepared by combining the flesh of freshly boiled moringa pods with the rest of the ingredients. These traditional dishes can be found in many island resorts as well, for instance, try a range of cuisine in places like Dhigali Maldives.


Bis keemiya

This a favourite snack food found in the Maldives. It is essentially a pastry stuffed with tuna, hard-boiled eggs, sautéed cabbage, spices and onions. It is a common food item found in many of the inhabited islands, especially in Male. A favourite snack food, widely obtainable in street-side cafés in Male to room and villas all across the Maldives.


Saagu Bondibai

Sago is a popular ingredient in the Maldives and it is sometimes made into a yummy dessert known as saagu bondibal. The sago is first soaked and then boiled in fresh coconut milk. The sago pearls release their starches to make the mixture into a thick pudding. The hot pudding mixture is delightfully fragrant and is blended with a range of spices including cardamom, rose essence and cinnamon. It is usually served with sweetened condensed milk and eaten warm. It is supposed to have a range of health benefits as well!


Maldivian vegetable curry

The vegetarian counterpart of the fish curry is equally delicious and a good change from the heavily fish-based dishes. Also known as Tharukaaree Riha, it is a mixed vegetable curry filled with carrots, beans, pumpkin, and sweet potato. The flavourful curry sauce is enriched with coconut milk, curry leaves, pandan leaves and a variety of fragrant spices. This delightful curry can be consumed for lunch with either a bowl of steamed rice or the traditional flatbread, roshi.