Flavours of paradise: A journey through the most beloved Maldivian cuisine


The Maldives is a nation that celebrates the bounties of the ocean, the richness of coconut, and the diversity of its cultural influences. The five beloved Maldivian dishes mentioned in this blog – Garudhiya, Mas Huni, Rihaakuru, Bis Keemiya, and Saagu Bondibai – exemplify the essence of the island nation’s culinary heritage. Each dish tells a story of tradition, resourcefulness, and the harmony between nature and culture.


Garudhiya, the quintessential Maldivian dish, is a culinary masterpiece that celebrates the vibrant marine life that surrounds the islands. As the sun rises over the turquoise waters, fishermen head out to sea to catch the freshest tuna, the star ingredient of this delightful broth. Back on the shore, the fish is simmered with aromatic pandan leaves, curry leaves, and a pinch of salt, allowing the natural flavours to infuse into the clear, flavorful broth. The gentle aroma of the Garudhiya wafts through the air, enticing locals and travellers alike to gather around and savour the essence of the ocean in a bowl. Served with steamed rice and accompanied by zesty lime, fiery chilli, and crisp onions, Garudhiya represents the spirit of simplicity and the deep-rooted connection Maldivians have with their marine heritage. The tender fish and fragrant broth offer a taste that transports diners to the shores of the Maldives. This dish is particularly enjoyed during Ramadan, the holy month of fasting, as it provides nourishment and comfort after a long day of abstaining from food and drink. It not only nourishes the body but also feeds the soul, leaving a lasting impression of the Maldives’ culinary enchantment. Many a hotel and luxury resort in Maldives the likes of NH Collection Maldives Havodda Resort serve local delicacies like Garudhiya. 

Mas Huni

Mas Huni, the beloved breakfast dish of the Maldives, is a delightful blend of flavours that epitomizes the island nation’s culinary heritage. As the morning sun bathes the sandy shores, locals begin their day with this traditional delicacy. The dish starts with smoked tuna, caught fresh from the bountiful ocean, which is finely shredded and combined with freshly grated coconut, aromatic onions, and a touch of fiery chilli for a hint of spice. A splash of tangy lime juice adds a zesty kick that brings all the ingredients together in perfect harmony. Served alongside warm and fluffy roshi, the traditional flatbread, Mas Huni provides a wholesome and satisfying breakfast that energizes the body and soul. Every bite of this exquisite dish tells a tale of the Maldivian people’s deep connection with the sea and the natural bounty it provides. It is a culinary treasure that not only nourishes the body but also imparts a sense of cultural identity that spans generations. For visitors to the Maldives, experiencing Mas Huni is a culinary journey that leaves an indelible mark, creating memories as rich and unforgettable as the flavours it holds.


Rihaakuru, the heart, and soul of Maldivian cuisine, is a unique and potent fish paste that showcases the islanders’ resourcefulness and culinary ingenuity. Prepared with utmost care and attention, Rihaakuru is a labour of love that starts with fresh fish, usually tuna, which is boiled until tender. The fish is then carefully strained to extract the flavorful liquid, which is simmered on low heat for hours, allowing it to reduce and thicken into a concentrated paste.

The result is a rich, dark-brown concoction with an intense umami flavour and a distinctive aroma that lingers in the air. This precious paste serves as the foundation for numerous traditional Maldivian dishes, adding depth and complexity to a variety of recipes. The culinary magic of Rihaakuru lies in its ability to transform ordinary ingredients into extraordinary culinary delights. For Maldivians, Rihaakuru is more than just a condiment; it embodies the essence of their cultural identity and heritage. It symbolizes the islanders’ strong ties to the sea, as fish has been a vital part of their livelihood for centuries. Every spoonful of Rihaakuru is a celebration of the Maldivian way of life and the rich flavours that have been passed down through generations. While its pungent taste might be an acquired one for some, Rihaakuru holds a special place in the hearts of the Maldivian people, evoking feelings of nostalgia and a sense of belonging. Whether enjoyed as a dip, a seasoning, or a base for hearty stews and curries, Rihaakuru remains an indispensable and cherished element of Maldivian cuisine. For those fortunate enough to experience it, Rihaakuru offers a taste of the Maldives’ cultural heritage, leaving an enduring impression that lingers long after the last bite.

Bis Keemiya

Bis Keemiya, a delectable Maldivian snack, is a delightful fusion of flavours that reflects the island nation’s openness to culinary diversity. Drawing influence from Arab and Indian cuisines, this triangular pastry showcases a perfect balance of local and international ingredients. To create Bis Keemiya, the pastry dough is carefully prepared with a blend of flour, water, and a hint of salt. The filling is where the magic happens – spiced fish, often tuna, is combined with finely chopped onions, and crunchy cabbage, and sometimes complemented with slices of hard-boiled eggs. The flavours are further enhanced with a medley of aromatic spices that awaken the senses.

Once the fillings are enveloped in the pastry, the Bis Keemiya is deep-fried until it turns irresistibly golden and crispy on the outside, revealing a burst of flavours within. The combination of the flaky pastry and the savoury filling creates a heavenly treat that is both hearty and comforting. Bis Keemiya holds a special place in the hearts of Maldivians as it represents the harmonious blend of cultures that have shaped the nation’s culinary landscape. Often served during festive occasions, family gatherings, or as an afternoon snack, Bis Keemiya brings people together to share the joy of good food and good company.

Saagu Bondibai

No Maldivian feast is complete without the delightful Saagu Bondibai, a comforting dessert made from sago pearls, coconut milk, and palm sugar. The sago pearls are boiled until tender and then cooked with coconut milk and palm sugar until the mixture thickens. The result is a creamy, sweet, and nutty pudding that satisfies the sweet tooth and leaves a lasting impression. Saagu Bondibai showcases the influence of coconut and tropical flavours in Maldivian sweets. The dish is often served at special occasions, family gatherings, and weddings, reflecting the significance of communal bonds and celebrations in Maldivian culture.


Candice is the owner of Doyourthing.in website. Her creative ideas, passion and enthusiasm can be seen in her articles. Keep in touch with her for more interesting and helpful articles.......

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