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How to Enjoy the Local Cuisine of the Maldives While on Holiday

Must-try Maldivian dishes

By Amie GinendraPublished 2 years ago 3 min read
How to Enjoy the Local Cuisine of the Maldives While on Holiday
Photo by Tyson on Unsplash

The Maldives isn’t exactly known for its cuisine, but the country does feature some of the must-try Southeast Asian dishes. The use of coconut, spices, lime, and fish paste is what sets Maldivian cuisine apart. Every dish has its own distinct flavour; you either fall in love with it, or you never try it again. Either way, you really should try these dishes during your holiday in the Maldives for a full Maldivian experience.

Where to dine in the Maldives

The Maldives doesn’t have a great street food culture, so strolling around while sampling local food items isn’t exactly something you can do here. You’ll most likely dine at your resort or head to another resort with a restaurant. Maldives restaurants are aplenty, and the likes offered by Milaidhoo Island Maldives do their best to make sure that travellers have a great dining experience. So, don’t worry; whether you want to dine at your resort or head to another place, you will be served some of the best local delights.

Fried Yams

Fried yams are, well, fried yams. If you don’t know what yams are, they are very similar to sweet potatoes in texture and taste. Yams are cut into cubes and mixed with a variety of spices before being fried in coconut oil. You can enjoy this with a range of sauces. This is a popular snack found at cafes.

Fish Curry

The Maldives is an island, which means that there’s an abundance of seafood. Fish is one of the favourite local delights in the Maldives. Locals like to make fish in a variety of ways, but fish curry is the best of them all. This is a little spicy because of the addition of ground chilli, but it’s delicious and goes well with roti, bread, and rice.


This is another must-try Maldivian snack. Gulha can be compared to dumplings, but the difference comes from the filling of tuna, onions, and chilli. These are dough balls made of rice flour. To add that classic Maldivian twist, locals like to infuse the filling with lime, turmeric, and minced curry leaves. This is a great accompaniment to your evening tea or coffee.

Mas Huni

The most popular breakfast item in the Maldives, Mas Huni, is a delicious and filling concoction of shredded tuna, onions, chilli, and coconut flakes. Everything is tossed together to make this delicious breakfast dish that you can enjoy with roti or bread.


This is similar to the kind of flatbread you find in Southeast Asian countries, but the difference is the addition of coconut. Mashroshi is basically flat dough cooked on both sides. Curry leaves, ginger, coconut, hot peppers, and tuna are the main ingredients of the filling.

Saagu Bondibai

This is a local dessert item popular with both locals and tourists. Saagu Bondibai is a mixture of sago seeds and coconut milk. Both ingredients are boiled on low heat until they form a thick paste. The topping of condensed milk and cardamom complements the flavour of sago.

Reef Fish Cutlets

Maldivian fish cutlets are quite like Chinese fish rolls, but the difference lies in their shape.

The filling is made of fish, onion, chilli, black pepper, potatoes, eggs, and salt. All these ingredients are ground into a mixture which is then broken down into small balls. These balls are laced with breadcrumbs and fried.

Kulhi Boakibaa

This is a special food prepared for celebrations and holidays. Kulhi Boakibaa is fish cake made of grated coconuts, fish, onions, chilli, ginger, and garlic. This is a delicious snack that locals like to enjoy with a cup of tea. Locals love the combination of hot tea and spicy fish cake, but if that doesn't sound good to you, you can opt for a cool drink.

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About the Creator

Amie Ginendra

Traveller | Writer | Foodie Lover | Blogger

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