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Updated by Joanna James on Jul 13, 2023
Headline for 20 Mouth-Watering Dishes to Try in the Maldives - Top 20 Local Dishes to Sample during a Trip to the Maldives
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20 Mouth-Watering Dishes to Try in the Maldives - Top 20 Local Dishes to Sample during a Trip to the Maldives

Although most travellers head to the Maldives for its stunning beaches and rich marine life heritage, the country's local cuisine is a compelling reason to holiday in the archipelago. Here are 20 local meals every visitor should dig into during a tour of the Maldives.


Fish Curry

Usually made using tuna, mahi-mahi or Wahoo, fish curry in the Maldives is a coconut milk-infused dish that's usually enjoyed with roti or rice.


Mas Huni

This shredded tuna, coconut shaving, and chilli flake incorporated dish is consumed with Roshi, a local flatbread variety that pairs well with the spicy sambol.


Fried Yams

As a popular street food dish, yams are fried to a crisp and often served with various sauces and beverages.


Saagu Bondibai

A local dessert made using sago seeds, condensed milk, rose water, and cardamom, the cooling dish is the best way to end a spicy local meal.



This rice flour dough snack features a filling made up of tuna, onions, chillies and coconut shavings. Compared to dumplings, Gulha is another Maldivian street food.



Another snack where a tuna, ginger, garlic, coconut and curry leaf filling is rolled up in a wheat flour dough, Masroshi is cooked until both sides turn a crispy brown.


Reef Fish Cutlets

Reef fish are at the heart of this deep-fried dish, which also features a filling that includes eggs, potatoes, tuna fish, and onions.


Bis Keemiya

Often called Maldivian spring rolls, this delicious pastry dish is also fried and usually incorporates eggs and tuna as a filling.


Aluvi Boakibaa

This sweet cassava and coconut cake is a well-loved dessert that is soft textured and served in The Maldives restaurants across the country.


Gulab Jamun

Those based at The Residence Maldives and other resort hubs will find this decadent milk solid dessert that's drenched in sugar syrup irresistible.



As a kind of gravy that locals consume with roti, this spice-heavy broth is prepared by slow-cooking fish for a long period.


Maldivian Vegetable Curry

Identified as Tharukaaree Riha in the local tongue, this is the perfect vegan dish made using sweet potato, beans, carrots, and pumpkins.


Sai or Maldivian Tea

Maldivians love their tea. While it is a leftover of the colonial era, milk tea or Kiru Sai is the perfect way to start your day.


Kulhi Boakibaa

A fish cake made with unusual ingredients such as ground-up rice, chopped onions, smoked tuna, and coconut scrapings, Kulhi Boakibaa is a tea-time snack.


Lucky & Al

If there's a cocktail that every visitor must try in the Maldives, it is Lucky & Al.


Boshi Mashuni

Banana flower salad never tasted this good or was as healthy. Uncooked and assembled fresh, Boshi Mashuni is both a starter and a side dish.


Biyadhoo Special

Invented on Biyadhoo Island, this is another local cocktail that combines spirits with fresh fruit juice.



Slow-cooked fresh tuna is the heart of this broth that's a comfort food for all Maldivians.



A well-known side dish, Masfen is ideal for fans of smoked tuna fish and salads.



Dhal curry in the Maldives is called Muguriha and this creamy gravy is a fusion dish inspired by Sri Lankan cuisine.

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