Huni Roshi
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20 Most Authentic Maldivian Cuisines for Budget Travelers

The Maldives isn’t just home to a number of amazing getaway destinations, it’s also home to some of the most delectable recipes in the form of Maldivian cuisines. In fact, traditional Maldives food, which is also known as Dhivehi cuisine, features rich and strong flavors influenced by nearby countries such as Sri Lanka and India.

Back then, Maldives’ traditional food consisted of essential ingredients like coconuts, fish, breadfruit, and tubers. However, due to influence from other countries, Maldivian dishes were able to come up with their own unique blend featuring unique flavors and specialty.

Nowadays, Maldivian cuisine makes use of three main ingredients – coconut, fish, and starches – to create that rich and distinctive combination of spiciness, sweetness, and a touch of the ocean.

That said, if you’re planning to travel to the Maldives on a budget, then make sure you don’t miss these 20 most authentic Maldivian cuisines to try out:

1. Boshi Mashuni

Maldivian Cuisines Boshi Mashuni
Boshi Mashuni: Image Credits Kitchen Nine

We start off this list with the Boshi mashuni, likewise known as the banana flower salad. Basically, this particular dish is a cross between salad and salsa. It features a blend of blanched but crunchy banana flowers, spices, and fresh coconut. You also have the option to give it a tangy twist by adding lime and Maldivian chili.

Average Cost: $3-6

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2. Mas Huni

mashuni maldivian traditional food
Mas-huni. Image Credits: MSC

Mas huni Maldives is made from dry-processed tuna which is then mixed with chili, coconut, and onions. It’s the most popular Maldivian breakfast meal which is often paired with chapatti bread known as Roshi. It’s commonly served in most restaurants throughout the Maldives during breakfast. One of the most popular Maldivian cuisines among the Maldivians.

Average Cost: $3-16

Read more about the Most Histocial place in the Capital city of the Maldives

3. Huni Roshi

Huni Roshi
Huni Roshi. Image Credits: Goway

Huni Roshi is the Maldives’ own version of the coconut bread which is influenced by Sri Lanka’s pol roti. It’s basically a flatbread that is flecked with coconut and fried ‘til crisped on the outside while remaining chewy and soft on the inside. It’s commonly paired with the Mas Huni but can also do well on its own as delectable Maldivian snacks.

Average Cost: 45 cents to $1

4. Saagu Bondibai

Saagu bondibai
Saagu bondibai. Photo credits: lonumedhu

Saagu Bondibai, or sago pudding, is one of the most popular Maldivian recipes that are part of the Maldivian people’s diet. It’s essentially sago pudding which is made by warming it with coconut milk, rose, and cardamom then lacing it with condensed milk. It’s by far one of the best traditional Maldivian desserts you could ever try during your stay in the Maldives.

Average Cost: $2-6

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5. Garudhiya

Garudhiya
Garudhiya. Image Credits: Ihavandhoo

If you’re into dashi or miso, then you’ll certainly love garudhiya. The garudhiya, Maldives food is a traditional fish soup often made of fresh tuna and is flavored with citrus and a variety of spices. It’s often cooked using water, salt, and spices which sounds ridiculously simple; however, you’ll be amazed once you tasted the soup’s all-important umami flavor.

Average Cost: $1-6

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6. Bis keemiya

Bis Keemiya
Bis Keemiya: Image credits: Maldives Cook

Bis keemiya looks like a hybrid between a spring roll and samosa Maldives. It’s an interesting dish that’s stuffed with shredded cabbage, onions, and hardboiled eggs which then comes in a flaky and chewy consistency. It has that authentic Maldivian flavor to it which you certainly must try when exploring Maldivian cuisines.

Average Cost: 13-65 cents

7. Kulhi Boakibaa

Kulhi Boakibaa
Kulhi Boakibaa. Image Credits: Lonumedhu

If you love fish dishes, then the kulhi boakibaa is another specialty of the Maldives which you must try. It’s fish cake which is normally cooked during special occasions in the Maldives, though you can find it sold in many cafes throughout the country. It’s prepared using smoked tuna, onions, scraped coconut, spices, and ground rice which is then formed into a cake. Apart from being quite delectable, it’s also very affordable at only around 50-100 MVR on average.

Average Cost: $1-2

8. Aluvi Boakibaa

Aluvi Boakiba
Aluvi Boakiba. Image Credits: AONEWs

Another delectable snack that the Maldives has to offer, aluvi boakibaa is a cake made of sweet cassava and coconut which quickly melts in your mouth. It’s quite popular among the locals and even tourists due to its sweet and irresistible taste!

Average Cost: $1-3

9. Mas Riha

Curries are quite popular in the Maldivian cuisine, with different types of curries varying from chicken and fish to vegetables. One of the most popular is Mas Riha, a curry made of diced fresh tuna, fresh chilies, peppers, and coconut which is then eaten with either roshi or steamed rice.

Average Cost: 65 cents

10. Kukulhu Riha

Another popular curry recipe in the Maldives is kukulhu riha or chicken curry. It’s made by simmering chicken meat in cardamom, ginger, chili powder, garlic, and other spices. It’s then added with coconut milk once nearly done.

Average Cost: $1-3

11. Fish Curry

Since most of the popular Maldivian recipes include fish, then it only makes sense to try the very basic fish curry in the islands. This particular recipe is known for its rich, creamy, and spicy flavor. It’s made using a variety of fish including little tunny, frigate tuna, mahi-mahi, and skipjack tuna to name a few.

Average Cost: 97 cents to $2

12. Tharukaaree Riha

If you’re a vegan or simply want to try vegetarian dishes for a change, then you can opt for the Maldivian vegetable curry or the Tharukaaree Riha. As the name implies, this curry is made of vegetables including pumpkin, carrots, sweet potato, beans, and more. It’s then flavored with pandan and curry leaves for that delicious and healthy soup.

Average Cost: $1-3

13. Bajiya

Bajiya
Bajiya. Image Credits: Lonumedhu

If you want to try Maldives street food, then you can head to Male and find a ton of roadside eateries that offer popular street food delicacies, one of which is the bajiya. It’s basically sweet pastry which is stuffed with coconut, fish, and onions.

Average Cost: 13 cents

14. Rihaakuru

A staple in the Maldivian cuisine, rihaakaru is a tuna-based thick brown paste which is made by boiling fish for a long time. It follows the same procedure as that of the garudhiya except for a few additional steps which make it a bit more complicated. It’s often accompanied by plain rice and some lemons and chilies.

Average Cost: $1-3

15. Gulha

Gulha
Gulha

Gulha is one of the well-known Maldivian snacks that is best served with tea or coffee. It’s basically bite-sized pastry balls that are stuff with chili, tuna, onions, and grated coconuts.

Average Cost: 13-65 cents

16. Biscutlets

Biscutlets are a popular snack in the Maldives, but they’re also quite popular in nearby countries including India and Sri Lanka. They’re almost similar to scotch eggs except that they use potato and tuna instead of the usual sausage meat. They’re often made of half-boiled eggs, potatoes, tuna, and onions.

Average Cost: 19 cents

17. Dhonkeyo Kajuru

Another popular choice among Maldives desserts, dhonkeyo kajuru is a fried banana cake made of ripe bananas, flour, dried coconut meat, sugar, and rose water. The mixture is then deep-fried and formed into bite-sized balls for that tasty and sweet dessert. It’s often served hot with matching vanilla ice cream to taste.

Average Cost: 19 cents

18. Gulab Jamun

The Gulab Jamun is a popular Indian delicacy which the Maldives have adopted and developed into their own version. These are basically spongy milky balls which are then soaked in rose-scented sugar syrup.

Average Cost: 5 cents – $2

19. Live Lobster

Your trip to the Maldives wouldn’t be complete if you didn’t get to taste their ultra-fresh local seafood. One of the most popular seafood dishes you should ever try during your stay is live lobster. Though it’s not as cheap as compared to the other food items we’ve mentioned in this list, it’s really not that expensive either. Live lobster just tastes best when it’s cooked alive, thereby giving you that very delicious and unique taste.

Average Cost: $16-25 depending on the lobster’s size

20. Theluli Mas

Last on the list is theluli mas which is spicy fried fish that’s very common in Maldivian cuisines. Depending on the island where it’s prepared, the ingredients used will vary as well. In most cases, it can be prepared using a combination of spices and dried chilies.

Of the other recipes in the Maldivian cuisine, theluli mas is considered as one that can make almost any meal better. In fact, it can uplift even a humble muguriha meal, can be paired with just about any type of curry, can work great when paired with garudhiya, and so on.

Average Cost: 95 cents

Conclusion

It’s no doubt that Maldivian cuisines are some of the best and most delectable dishes that the Maldives culture has to offer. Their creative use of coconut, starches, and fish paired with ancient cooking methods that have been passed on from generation after generation make Maldivian dishes one of the finest around the world.

There are just a lot of amazing options you can choose from, and the fact that Maldives food prices are quite affordable makes it even easier, especially for budget travelers. The next time you plan to visit the Maldives, don’t forget to try out at least once of these meals to make your vacation complete.

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