This post was last updated on February 1st, 2020 at 02:53 pm
As on most islands, a lot of fish is also eaten in the Maldives. It is often combined with rice. Other types of meat only come to the table on special occasions. There is not much variation in the cuisine of the Maldives. There is of course more choice in the larger resorts and hotels, especially in Western food.
Food in the Maldives
In the Maldives, they mainly eat fish and rice. The most eaten fish is tuna. The fish is usually cooked, grilled or dried. Traditional dishes in the Maldives are fish curries, dried fish, and fish soup. Since the Maldives is an Islamic country, the locals do not eat pork or drink alcohol. Of course, you can still get this in the larger resorts.
TIP – Try Mas Huni when you come to the Maldives, a delicious dish!
Something you definitely come across when you are in the Maldives is Mas Huni. This is a curry with fish and coconut flakes. Coconut is widely used in the dishes. Rice is almost always cooked in coconut milk. You often get roshi with every dish, a kind of bread. The food that you can get in resorts is almost always imported.
What do the Locals Eat?
As said before, they eat a lot of fish here. We survived the entire week on Mas Huni and Kottu Roshi, two delicious dishes! Fortunately, there is a bit more to eat than just those dishes. Below is an overview of what you can expect (if you stay on local islands);
- Banbukeylu Harisa ➜ this is a curry with steamed breadfruit, chili, onion, and coconut.
- Bis keemiyaa ➜ a kind of pie that is stuffed with tuna and hard-boiled eggs.
- Hedhikaa ➜ these are traditional snacks. It looks a bit like samosas and is sold in small cafes.
- Mashuni ➜ our favorite! It is crumbled tuna mixed with coconut, red pepper and onion and served with roshi (a kind of pancake/bread). It is eaten for breakfast.
- Kothu roshi ➜ this is taken from Sri Lanka and really delicious food! It is a mix of roshi, chicken or fish, with rice, vegetables, curry, and egg.
- Thelui mas ➜ this is spicy fried fish such as sea bass, swordfish or octopus.
- Kavaabu ➜ again a (deep-fried) snack made from rice, tuna, coconut, lentils, and spices.
- Dhon riha ➜ a tuna curry with coconut, mango, cinnamon, and ginger.
TIP – In a resort you naturally also have a choice of Western dishes.
Drinks in the Maldives
In the Maldives, the most popular drinks are fresh fruit shakes and tea. Tea houses are a popular meeting place in the capital Malé. It is not only a great to taste the local tea here, but you can also easily get in touch with the locals since they don’t drink alcohol on the island.
However, alcohol is available in the tourist resorts. If you are in the Maldives, chances are that you will be served the national drink. This drink is kind of “weird.” It is a sweet drink that is tapped directly from a palm tree. The fruit juices that are drunk consist mainly of mango, papaya, passion fruit, watermelon, and coconut milk.
Tap water in the Maldives is not drinkable! This can lead to stomach flu and diarrhea. You can buy water bottles everywhere on the street and in supermarkets. Make sure that the bottle caps are still closed when you buy them!