One of the fun things about traveling to a paradise like Maldives is looking forward to new cuisine to try. Whether you’re adventurous or like to stick to your favorites, the food in Maldives is likely to appeal to you in some way.
They have a great variety of Maldivian cuisine and multiple things that you should put on your list to try!
Check out some of these top dishes that tourists absolutely should put on their Maldivian food wishlist.
Keep an open mind, and you will find that many dishes are absolutely delightful.
Explore the Best Maldives Traditional Food
Much like in other parts of the world, there are traditional Maldivian dishes that you will find in this area.
A lot of it uses different forms of seafood, although there are many deep-fried dishes and some vegetable and fruit-based dishes as well.
In Maldives, a lot of the seasoning and flavoring definitely take on similarities to Indian food with curry leaves in the mix. But there are a multitude of Maldivian recipes to consider.
Here are some of the best Maldives cuisine options to consider:
- Huni Roshi
- Fish Curry
- Kukulku Riha
- Mas Huni
These are just a few of the favorites, but there are plenty of other things as well. Here is a closer look at many of these.
1. Keemiyaa Maldivian Cuisine
If you’re looking for Indian food in Maldives, this might be a good Maldives food to consider. They use some sort of fish, typically smoked tuna, and pair it with curry leaves, garlic, ginger, peas, Scotch Bonnet peppers, mustard seed, oil, salt, and onions.
The dish mixes together the spices with the tuna and peas, while sauteing the curry, garlic, oil, and onions together separately. It’s then rolled into handmade bread dough. And finally, it’s all deep-fried to perfection.
It’s absolutely delicious for any meal and the perfect combination of flavors.
2. Huni Roshi
There are many Maldives vegan food options, and this is one of them. It’s also good for vegetarian food in the Maldives. This is a simple flatbread, but it’s not just everyday flatbread either.
This dough is paired with grated fresh coconut to create a sweet treat often used for Maldives desserts, but you can find it as part of meals that are offered too. Once the dough, salt, and coconut are mixed, it’s rolled into balls and cooked in a pan.
You will find this often served with some of the most famous sweet and savory concoctions. It’s easy to serve and can even be used to be filled like a wrap with chosen ingredients.
3. Fish Curry
Fish curry or tuna curry are local favorites. You will definitely find them at most restaurants, as well as any Maldives resort with Indian food. Traditional curry is prepared and cooked using tuna in most cases.
These are some of the top tuna and fish picks that are used at most restaurants for this type of food in Maldives:
- Frigate tuna
- Smoked fish
- Yellowfin tuna
- Skipjack tuna
- Bigeye scad
Of course, there could be other fish used in this traditional island dish that you will find in just about any restaurant. They all do it differently.
The fish is paired with coconut milk (or condensed milk), curry leaves, onions, ginger, cinnamon, garlic, turmeric, and cumin. All the spices are blended together and simmered to delicious perfection.
4. Kukulku Riha
If you aren’t a fan of fish as one of the main ingredients, this particular option is served using chicken instead. It’s common for special occasions in Maldives.
Kukulku Riha is packed with a ton of flavor and might even be a little bit spicy. This of course depends on whether whoever is cooking prefers a bold taste or tries to keep it milder.
Maldivians create this dish to pair with a salad or any other type of snacks and sides. It’s a local favorite that is paired with spices, peppers, and more, including curries.
The chicken is marinated and then simmered with coconut milk, water, onions, and those curry and pandan leaves.
You can serve this with rice, or it might also be eaten with bread or in a soup mixture as well.
5. Mas Huni
Mas Huni is also referred to as Mashuni by the Maldivians. This varies by the resorts or even the different restaurants and the locals in the area. As far as food in Maldives resorts goes, this dish is a Maldivian breakfast delight.
It’s served with tuna or fish that is prepped with chili peppers, coconut, and onions.
Everything is mixed together and then served with Huni roshi to bring it together and tone down the spice of the chili peppers. For breakfast, this Maldivian food is generally served with tea or milk to accompany it.
Also, the flatbread should be freshly baked and warm for the cold Mas Huni to pair perfectly for your breakfast needs.
One of the top traditional Maldives dining experiences you should try for lunch or dinner is Kulhimas. It’s a local dish with similar ingredients to some of the other famous choices. This spicy concoction goes perfectly with a side of vegetables or a salad.
The taste is exquisite with main ingredients like tuna, coconut, onion, curries, hot peppers, garlic, ginger, cardamom, cumin, red chili powder, salt, and black pepper. All of the spices and toppings are ground together to create a paste. The tuna fish is coated in the paste and cooked with coconut milk in the pan, almost like fried food in cream.
Where mashuni is more like flatbread, this is another bread that is more like fried dough. It’s the perfect snack, with just the right amount of flavor added. It’s a top cuisine to explore and will be available at any restaurant, likely served as an appetizer.
These snack dishes create a dough with flour and other ingredients and stuff them with coconut, peppers, onions, spices, lime, and sometimes fish or tuna as well. They can be made without the fish in most cases.
The balls of flavor are then flattened out slightly and fried until it turns golden brown.
Another of the favorite dishes in Maldives is Garudhiya. This is a fish soup mixture that is prepared with much care and eaten with fresh flatbread or rice on the side. You can eat it however you like, and add a tasty drink on the side!
There are different ways that resorts might create the Garudhiya fish soup, but it will always be prepared fresh with fish from the sea. The seasonings might be light and simple, or they may include fresh chili peppers for an added kick.
If you prefer to eat it a certain way, be sure to ask at your resort restaurant or wherever you visit to eat it.
Finally, we leave you with this Maldives pastry item that you will definitely want to eat when you visit. Gulha is the national dish of Maldives. It’s made with a mixture of fish, coconut, and onions that are enclosed in a beautiful pastry and fried up almost like a bierock.
Add hot sweetened tea for your drink, and you’re set with the perfect Maldives food and the number one traditional Maldivian dish that you will find! Add some fish soup on the side if you like.
Additional Maldives Food to Consider
When you eat at different island resort locations or restaurants, you will likely find a variety of specialties that have been eaten by tourists from all over the world. Notice that most of these dishes use fish of some sort and even similar spices and seasoning.
However, they are prepared in different ways, or you eat them differently.
Some things are served with rice, while you might eat another item with roshi instead. Tea is a common addition as well in most cases. Roshi and rice are both very common complementary additions.
Here are more ideas for food in Maldives:
- Rice and curry
- Fried fish
- Fish cake
- Chapati bread
- Coconut fried fish
- Sea specialities like wahoo and mahi
Your Maldives food prices may be included in the cost of your resort if you are at an all-inclusive resort in Maldives. If it’s not, the cooking is delicious, the drinks are fresh, and you’re going to see reasonable prices in the majority of locations. It simply depends on where you end up.
Traditional Maldives Desserts
If you’re on a trip to the Maldives, you might as well plan on having some dessert while you’re there. An adventure into Maldives cuisine simply isn’t complete with dessert.
Maldivian dessert foods are very unique but also very flavorful.
This first Maldives dessert is also known as sago pudding. It’s described as pudding, but it’s a little bit thicker than what most of us enjoy as pudding. However, this Maldivian delight is tasty and sweet in all the right ways.
They use tropical palm stems to create a soft and creamy dish. Most Maldivian locations warm the sago with coconut milk, cardamom, and rose to create the pudding-type of dish you enjoy.
If you love banana flavors, this Maldivian dish is for you. The Maldives people use bananas with flour and coconut to create a little pastry cake. They add things like rose water and vanilla to make it very sweet. It’s then cooked up and turned into a delicious Maldivian dessert you won’t want to miss out on.
Cream Jehi Banas
This last Maldives dessert option is like a sticky bun that is topped with flavorful cream. It’s sweet and tasty and pairs oh so nicely with an evening tea. Many of the Maldives restaurants will even color the cream to make it more exciting.
It’s sweet and simple, almost like a cinnamon roll with icing, but the Maldives version.
Food in Maldives is Exciting and Delicious
The food in Maldives is a great way to really get up close and personal with local culture. There are great options for the adventurous spirit, as well as mild options for the picky eaters.
Vegetarians and vegans can also find some really great dishes too.
What food will you try on your adventure? Maybe try some Maldives spicy food?
What Do They Eat for Breakfast in Maldives?
The most common breakfast choice is mas huni, but there are some other options to choose from as well.
Is Vegetarian Food Available in Maldives?
While many of the traditional dishes use fish in them, there are plenty of dishes that can be made without fish or meat.
What is the Most Famous Food in Maldives?
Gulha is the national dish, and one of the most popular choices for tourists to try first.
Does Maldives Serve Indian Food?
Many of the dishes are unique to Maldives, but they certainly take inspiration from Indian dishes. There will be curries and dishes that use many of the same spices as Indian food.
Is the Food in Maldives Expensive?
This will depend on what and where you eat. Some of the food can get expensive. All-inclusive resorts often have food worked into the costs of the resort.