Any new place we visit, leaves an imprint not only with the places it offer to see but importantly with the food it serves. Food plays a major role in understanding the culture of a place. Maldives are islands and henceforth Maldives Food includes a lot of seafood. Tuna Fish is a major ingredient in Maldivian foods. With traders, travelers visiting Maldives has led to an evolution of Maldivian cuisine comprising of Arabic, Sri Lankan, Indian, and Oriental Cuisines.
The hotels, restaurants and most guesthouses serve western and eastern specialties in addition to continental and a few local dishes. The cafés – locally known as hotaa is the best place if you would like to savour the local tastes.
Here are the must-try dishes when in Maldives :
‘Mas huni’ (tuna and coconut mix)
‘Mas huni’ is a blend of tuna, coconut and chili, which is loved by all Maldivians. It is more like a salad and requires very little time to prepare. This dish is eaten for breakfast with ‘roshi’ or chapatti and black tea.
‘Kulhimas’ (chili tuna)
‘Kulhi’ in Dhivehi, means hot or spicy and ‘mas’ means fish. Every single Maldivian enjoys this dish. It is easy to prepare and simply delicious. This dish can be eaten for breakfast with ‘roshi‘ or chapatti, or for dinner with ‘roshi’ or rice.
Garudhiya’ (Maldivian fish soup)
From time in memorial, Maldivians have been fishing and drying or smoking tuna. The fishes that have been smoked are used to make dishes like ‘mas huni’. Raw tuna is used to prepare ‘garudhiya’. This dish is highly valued and eaten by Maldivians almost every day.
‘Handulu Bondibai’ (sweetened sticky rice)
A special dessert made by the people of Maldives for the most special occasions like the birth of a child. This dish is eaten with ‘kulhimas’ or separately. ‘Bondibai’ is commonly prepared with rice; but it can also be made using sago or breadfruit. On special occasions, parcels of ‘Kulhimas’ and ‘bondibai’ are distributed to all households in the islands.
‘Kulhiboakibaa’ (fish cake)
For hundreds and probably thousands of years, ‘kulhiboakibaa’ or fish cake has been a very special food for the Maldivians. It is made especially for occasions like festivals and feasts. Nowadays the fish cake is also eaten as a short-eat during evening tea.