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Updated by Joanna James on May 02, 2024
Headline for 5 Must-Taste Local Dishes in the Maldives
Joanna James Joanna James
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5 Must-Taste Local Dishes in the Maldives

Savour the mouth-watering flavours of the tropical island paradise
The Maldives has more than just turquoise blue waters and palm-dotted shores to offer. Travellers to the Indian Ocean island nation also have an assortment of traditional Maldivian dishes to indulge in, just as fantastic as the fabled seaside. Come, savour the flavours of tropical island paradise.


Garudhiya - Clear fish soup/broth

The abundant marine life that inhabits the wide-open seas surrounding the Maldives makes fish a prominent as well as a succulent element of Maldivian cuisine. Garudhiya, a staple in the South Asian nation, is one of the many fish-dominant dishes travellers to the country could savour. The consistency of the dish varies from a clear fish broth to a nourishing fish soup — however, you may like it. Garudhiya is often subjected to the addition of curry and pandan leaves, onions, or fresh chilli peppers, aside from the dish’s primary ingredient — the local and tourist favourite Maldivian tuna.


Mas Huni - Chopped and mixed tuna, onion, coconut, and chilli

Start off your fine morning in the Maldives with a fine traditional Maldivian breakfast — nothing says a classic Maldives morning like a mouthful of flavoursome Mas Huni. A combination of finely chopped tuna, onions, grated coconut, and hot chilli peppers, simply mixed in a bowl and seasoned with salt and pepper — Mas Huni may be one of the island nation’s simplest dishes, but it is also, without a doubt, one of the most delectable dishes ever to be had in the tropical islands. Accompany Mas Huni with Huni Roshi (the local flatbread) and a cup of sweetened hot tea, and enjoy it the local way.


Gulha - Deep-fried smoked fish pastry ball

No matter where you go in the island nation, you are never far away from a crunchy Gulha. This dish is offered everywhere in the nation — from cafes to eateries and even the finest Maldives restaurants, offered by properties such as Dhigali Maldives, serve this local delicacy. Grab a deep-fried, smoked fish pastry ball or two when you head out to explore the idyllic tropical islands.


Kulhimas - Spiced tuna dish

Another flavourful dish that has its roots right here in the Maldives thanks to the multitude of fishes that call the nation’s turquoise waters home, Kulhimas is a traditional spiced tuna dish favoured by locals and tourists alike. A whole host of ingredients come together to put together a dish of mouth-watering Kulhimas, including onion, grated coconut, chilli peppers, garlic, cardamom, cumin, red chilli powder and, of course, tuna. Aside from the tuna, all the other ingredients are blended into a smooth paste, which is then mixed with tuna and cooked over lower heat. Similar to the aforementioned Mas Huni, Kulhimas is also best enjoyed when accompanied by the local Maldivian flatbread.


Bis Keemiya - Maldivian samosa

Those who have had a taste of Indian cuisine would immediately recognise Bis Keemiya’s resemblance to the popular samosa of India, having many people call the dish the “Maldivian samosa”. A combination of tuna, onion, garlic, ginger, peas and curry leaves deep fried in a flour-based dough, the savoury Bis Keemiya is an unmissable treat for everyone to the tropical islands.

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