Maldives Cuisine

Maldivian food revolves largely around fish (mas), in particular tuna (kandu mas), and draws heavily from the Sri Lankan and south Indian tradition, especially Kerala. Dishes are often hot, spicy and flavoured with coconut, but use very few vegetables. A traditional meal consists of rice, a clear fish broth called garudhiya and side dishes of lime, chilli and onions. Curries known as riha are also popular and the rice is often supplemented with roshi, unleavened bread akin to Indian roti, and papadhu, the Maldivian version of crispy Indian poppadums. Snacks called hedhikaa, almost invariably fish-based and deep-fried, can be found in any Maldivian restaurant.

Some other common dishes include:

• mas huni – shredded smoked fish with grated coconuts and onions, the most common Maldivian breakfast;

• fihunu mas – barbequed fish basted with chilli;

• bambukeylu hiti – breadfruit curry;

• bajiya – pastry stuffed with fish, coconut and onions;

• gulha – fish balls prepared by combining smoked fish with coconut, onions, chilli, ginger and lime juice;

• keemia – deep-fried fish rolls;

• kulhi borkibaa – spicy fish cake;

• masroshi – mas huni wrapped in roshi bread and baked;

• theluli mas – fried fish with chili and garlic.

As fish is the main source of protein, rice represents the major source of carbohydrates and also in some islands of the resort breadfruit is the most important part of a diet. taro and sweet potatoes are locally grown vegetables which are also popular in Maldivian cuisine.

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