What to Eat in Maldives

The food of the Maldives gets influenced by Indian, Sri Lankan, and Arab cuisines. And it manages to pack a punch with bold and fresh flavorings stimulating the taste buds.

The cuisine in the Maldives has a moderate spiciness and a delicate sweetness to it. While culinary indulgence goes hand in hand with a luxury stay, discovering the simplicity of Maldives regional cuisine is a unique and pure joy.

The Maldives, being a prominent tourist destination, offers a diverse selection of cuisine alternatives for visitors, including vegetarians. However, bear in mind that since the Maldives is an Islamic country, the people do not use alcohol. Yet, alcoholic beverages are available at most resorts.


What are the Traditional foods of Maldives?

The Maldives has a diverse cuisine with numerous traditional dishes that stretch back hundreds of years. All these dishes are a must-try for everyone. Dhivehi Cuisine is the traditional Maldivian cuisine, and it offers a wide range of tastes.

Garudhiya is a traditional Maldivian meal that Maldivians consume every day. It is a type of fish soup with a unique flavor. If you heat the soup until all of the water has evaporated, you will end up with Rihaakuru. It is a thick, brown mass that is also a typical Maldivian meal.

Then there is the Kulhi Boakibaa, a fish cake with coconuts and onions traditionally served during festivals. Boiled breadfruit with a tuna and coconut fish broth is a delightful traditional dish.

What is the Main Staple Food of Maldives?

Maldives Coconut

Given that the Maldives is an island country six hundred miles from the closest mainland, it is no wonder that fish is the staple dish. Coconut, fish, chilies, and carbohydrates with grains and tubers are the most common components used in Maldivian food.

Breadfruit is a common ingredient in Maldivian cuisine. Raw, boiled, steaming, and roasted are all options. Rice and fish are the nation’s staple diet, with other types of protein used only on rare occasions. Mashuni, a blend of tuna and coconut, is the most popular Maldivian breakfast. Then comes Mas Riha. It is a curry made with three Maldivian staples: fish, starch, and coconut.

Must-Try Food In the Maldives That Will Leave You Drooling

This article contains some mouth-watering classic delicacies that you must try before considering your vacation a success. The Maldivian cuisine is fascinating and will elevate your culinary experience, so here you go.


Traditional Maldivian cuisine depends on three major components and derivatives: coconut, fish, and carbohydrates derived from grains and vegetables.

Huni roshi (chapati bread)

Huni roshi is coconut-flecked flatbreads cooked till crisp on the outside and soft and chewy on the inside. The coconut adds texture as well as a mild taste.

Garudhiya (Fish Soup)

Garudhiya, a transparent fish broth boiled with salt, chili, onion, and basil leaves, is a traditional Maldivian dish. These components give the soup a distinct taste. However, most people merely use fish, salt, and water. The soup comes with hot rice, lemon, onion, and chili.

Rihaakuru (Fish Paste)

Rihaakuru, another traditional Maldivian dish, is a thick paste created by boiling fish for an extended period. In Maldivian homes, this spicy meal is a favorite. Maldivians serve Rihaakuru with rice, taro, roti, or breadfruit. Tear off a piece of roshi, dip it in Rihaakuru, then eat it again and again until your stomach is full.

Mas Huni – Maldivian Breakfast

Mas Huni

Mas Huni, shredded smoked tuna served with grated coconuts, lemon, and onions – is a must-try in the Maldives. Puree onion, capsicum, lemon juice, salt with smoked tuna flesh are added with coconut pulp and mixed thoroughly. The meal served with Roshi chapati bread and sweetened hot tea – is the most popular Maldivian breakfast.

Masroshi (Tuna Stuffed Chapati)

Masroshi is a cuisine that consists of spherical pies in the shape of gold with a crust. It is a smoked tuna and coconut-filled chapati. For adding a little crunch to the chapati, some use shredded coconut.

Boshi Mashuni (Banana Flower Salad)

Boshi Mashuni is a blend of crunchy, shredded banana blooms and fresh coconut that falls between salsa and salad. Spices, lime, and Maldivian chile provide a tangy touch to the meal enhanced with curry leaves, turmeric, and cumin.

Kulhimas (Chilli Tuna)

Kulhimas is a Maldives-based traditional meal. Sometimes, the meal gets cooked with a mix of curry leaves, shredded coconut, and spicy tuna, and Maldivians prepare the tuna with a spicy paste, coconut milk, or cream. Kulhimas often accompanies roshi, a traditional Maldivian flatbread.

Maldivian Live Lobster

When lobster is cooked alive, it melts in the tongue and has a distinct flavor. Eating well-cooked Maldivian lobster delivered directly at your table is a simple delight you should not miss.


Mas Riha is the most significant curry in Maldivian cuisine, and it gets prepared with diced fresh tuna. Maldivian makes Kukulhu Riha (chicken curry) using a unique spice blend. In the Maldives, eggplant, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, unripe bananas, and curry leaves are the components in vegetable curries. Curry often comes over steamed rice or roshi.

Mas Riha

Maldivian cuisine’s Mas Riha is a fish curry prepared with sliced tuna. Mas Riha gets served with steaming white rice. But when served for breakfast, it is accompanied by roshi flatbread and hot tea.

Fish curry

The bulk of Maldivian cuisine is fish, so you can not go wrong with the essential fish curry – creamy, flavorful, and spicy. Skipjack Tuna, little tunny, Mas Riha, Yellowfin Tuna, Frigate Tuna, Bigeye Scad, Wahoo, and Mahi-Mahi are among the most popular species. Rice, roshi and papadhu, and Maldivian poppadoms accompany the fish curry.

Kukulhu Riha

Kukulhu Riha is a Maldivian curry followed from generation to generation. Maldivians often cook it with chicken, curry leaves, ghee, lime juice, and many spices. The spices are dry-roasted and crushed into a powder, then mixed with lime juice to marinate the chicken. The dish gets cooked with sautéed onions, curry leaves, pandan leaves, and coconut milk.

Maldivian Vegetable Curry

Maldivian Vegetable Curry, also known as Tharukaaree Riha, is a perfect pick for vegans and vegetarians. Maldivians cook this curry with sweet potato, pumpkin, beans, carrots, and other vegetables. This curry gets seasoned with pandan leaf and curry leaves. It is a tasty and healthful meal appreciated by the Maldivians.


Snacks, also known as Hedhikaa, are immensely appreciated among locals and visitors to the nation. You can find Hedhikaa not just at local cafés but also in every Maldivian household.


The Maldives have a traditional snack called kavaabu. Its ingredients are- smoked tuna, onions, shredded coconut, lime juice, rice, and curry leaves. These ingredients are mixed and molded into balls with the help of some flour. The balls are deep-fried till dark golden brown in hot oil. Maldivians enjoy Kavaabu with a cup of tea on the side.

Fried Yams

Yams are one of the few crops that grow in this amazing island country. As a consequence, fried yams are a favorite dish in the Maldives. The snack is crunchy on the exterior and moist on the inside. And it is accompanied by sauces that make the experience worth every penny.

Reef Fish Cutlets

Reef fish is a famous cuisine in the Maldives. And who would not enjoy it when it comes to a Tandoor masala flavored reef fish cutlet? It gets served with coconut and mint chutney, papaya, or cucumber sauce.

Bis Keemiya (Samosa)

Bis Keemiya is delicious food that tastes like a combination between a samosa and a spring roll. It is a puff pastry stuffed with tuna, hardboiled egg, chopped onions, and lightly sautéed shredded cabbage. It is a must-try Maldivian dish due to the delicacy of the tastes.

Gulha (Dumpling)

Gulha is an evening snack, and it is delicious when served hot from the oven with tea or coffee. Tuna fish, onions, chili, and shredded coconuts fill these mini bite-size dumplings. Gulha is one of the Maldives’ national cuisine. You can find this dish at tiny cafés known as hotaas or in stores around the island.

Kulhi Boakibaa (Fish Cake)

Kulhi Boakibaa is a Maldivian fish cake that you must try at least once. It gets prepared on rare occasions in Maldivian households. However, it is widely available at cafés. Smoked tuna, scraped coconut, shallots, and pounded rice make up the cake.

Dhonkeyo Kajuru

The Maldivian food Dhonkeyo Kajuru is a typical Maldivian snack. The bananas are mashed and combined with the rest of the ingredients in a bowl. Ripe bananas, shredded coconut, sugar, flour, baking powder, vanilla, and oil altogether make these snacks.


Maldivians use breadfruit to make delicious sweets. A piece of breadfruit, sugar, and coconut milk make up Banbukeyo Bondibai. Finish your trip with the mouth-watering Maldivian sweetmeats.

Banbukeyo Bondibai

The consistency of this meal resembles Banbukeyo Bondibai, a sticky pudding prepared from the breadfruit tree with coconut and sugar. The meal is not for everyone’s taste, but it is worth trying. This rice pudding with coconut milk cream is a popular dessert in this area.

Saagu Bondibai (Sago Pudding)

Sago, also known as Sabudana, is a prominent ingredient in Maldivian cuisine. And you will see why once you try this sago pudding. It is flavored with condensed milk and warmed with coconut milk, and the addition of cardamom and rose essence enhances the whole experience. It is one of the greatest Maldives’ vegetarian dishes.

Aluvi Boakibaa (Cassava Coconut Cake)

Aluvi Boakibaa, a slice of paradise, is a unique coconut delicacy that is healthy and tasty. It is a rich-textured sweet with a simple coconut flavor, an enticing scent, and a refreshing taste. Locals and tourists both like it, making it an essential feature of Maldivian cuisine.

Gulab Jamun

Yes, spongy milky balls soaked in rose-scented sugar syrup, a traditional Indian delicacy, are also appreciated and offered in the Maldives. And you should try it!


Locals respect the dry legislation, but tourists may consume alcohol in tourist resorts. Tea is one of the islanders’ favorite beverages, and they prepare it in many ways. Fresh coconut juice and Raa, a particular form of punch made with palm wood, are also popular in the Maldives.

Sai (Tea)

Maldivians drink Kalhu sai (black tea) or Kiru sai (milk tea) with sweet or salty appetizers, following the British tea tradition. So, tea drinkers, enjoy!

Maldivian Lady

This Maldivian cocktail that consists of white rum peeled, apricot brandy, grenadine, orange, and pineapple juice will delight your senses. It has a fresh and tropical scent with a delicious flavor. Imagine drinking this drink while sitting beneath the stars, surrounded by a pleasant wind. Isn’t it paradise?

Biyadhoo Special

The Biyadhoo special is a delightful blend of alcohol and fresh juice named after the Maldives’ Biyadhoo Island. It is one part vodka, one part pineapple juice, and two parts melon liqueur, served in a typical stemmed cocktail glass with a slice of pineapple.


Raa is a must-try drink in the Maldives. Raa is a regional specialty made from toddy harvested near the palm tree’s oldest blossoms. Most Maldivians like to drink it straight, and others may choose to ferment it a bit, making it mildly alcoholic.

Lucky & Al

Lucky & Al is a rich blend of alcohol that gives this exquisite drink a unique and intense taste. It is the Maldives’ premium and one of the most expensive cocktails. It gets accompanied by a vintage Guy Lheraud from the 1930s, Vieil Armagnac, and Salon 1988 Champagne. This elegant drink, made with the best ingredients, is not inexpensive, but it is well worth the price. 

So, what is better than reading about food and looking at its tempting photos? Yes, eating it. So, what do you have to lose? If you love to eat and experience the world’s various cuisines, Maldives would be an excellent place to stop along the way. The food of the Maldives is a plate of delectable meals that will thrill both your taste buds and your soul.

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