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Updated by Joanna James on May 02, 2024
Headline for Traditional Maldivian cuisine – Sample the fare of the Maldives!
Joanna James Joanna James
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Traditional Maldivian cuisine – Sample the fare of the Maldives!

The food culture in the Maldives is influenced by many of her South Asian neighbours while maintaining a unique Maldivian touch as well.



This fish soup is viewed as a traditional dish in the Maldives. Seafood naturally plays a vital role in their diet and food culture. As the Maldives is an archipelago of numerous small islands, they depend on the sea to sustain their livelihoods. The fish industry in the Maldives is the most vital following tourism. So you will have to expect a lot of fish in traditional Maldivian cooking. This delicate soup is typically made from tuna, either skipjack or yellowfin. It is a clear fish broth cooked with lime and salt. It is eaten with rice or roshi, the Maldivian chapati. It is at times eaten with boiled yams or breadfruit alongside a serving of freshly grated coconut.


Mas Huni

This meal is a typical Maldivian breakfast and is made with tuna, chilli, onion, and grated coconut. All the ingredients get thoroughly mixed into the coconut. The mas huni gets paired with roshi, their popular flatbread and washed down with a cup of sweetened tea. It is considered a light and quick breakfast for the Maldivians. Other ways of preparing the dish include adding a mixture of greens to substitute the fish partially or completely. This is usually during times when the fish supply lessens. It is further prepared by mixing the flesh of freshly boiled moringa pods with the rest of the ingredients. These traditional dishes can be sampled in many of the island resorts as well, for instance, you may try in places like Anantara Dhigu Maldives Resort.


Bis keemiya

Maldivians love their tea-time snack foods and this is one of them. Biskeemiya is a pastry packed with tuna, hard-boiled eggs, fried cabbage, onions and spices. It is a popular food item found in many of the inhabited islands, notably in Male. This favourite snack food is broadly obtainable in street-side cafés in Male and on the Maldives Beach Villa as well.


Saagu Bondibai

Sago is a favourite ingredient in the Maldives and is made into a dessert referred to as saagu bondibal. The sago gets soaked and boiled in coconut milk. The sago pearls release their starches to create a thick mixture. The hot pudding is aromatic and sweet as it is blended with a range of spices such as cardamom, cinnamon and rose essence. The pudding gets served with sweetened condensed milk and eaten hot.


Maldivian vegetable curry

The vegetarian counterpart of the fish curry, Tharukaaree Riha, is an equally delicious variation from the fish-based dishes you will find in the Maldives. The curry includes vegetables such as carrots, beans, sweet potatoes, and pumpkin. The curry sauce is enriched with fresh coconut milk, a variety of spices, pandan leaves and curry leaves. The curry can be consumed for lunch with a bowl of steamed rice or the traditional flatbread, roshi for a filling meal.