5 Authentic Local Dishes To Try On Your Maldives Tour

In addition to the idyllic landscapes and natural beauty, explore the offbeat path by trying these 5 local dishes on your next Maldives tour
Maldives/ iStock

The first thing to come to mind whenever a mention of the Maldives is made are vast landscapes surrounded by water, palm trees swinging in the cool breeze and white beaches. However, in recent times, its culinary landscape is slowly grabbing eyeballs. The local fare has taken inspiration primarily from neighbours India and Sri Lanka, with a few borrowed flavours from the eastern Asian countries.

Most of the dishes that travellers experience on their Maldives tour come from the resorts they stay at. Seafood and coconut rule the roost in Maldivian cooking, and to experience the authentic cuisine of this island nation, it is advisable that you take out some time on your holiday to take a trip to the local islands and dive headfirst into what the locals eat.

Here are 5 authentic dishes to get you started on your local culinary discovery during your Maldives tour:

Garudhiya- A fish soup
Garudhiya- A fish soup/ Trawell.in


Garudhiya is a fish soup made with ginger, garlic, pepper and, lemon juice and coconut. The freshest garudhiya is served by street vendors piping hot. The base is a clear broth which is then flavoured with the above spices. Traditionally, garudhiya is served with Roshi- Maldivian chapati that is crisp on the outside and soft on the inside- or a plate of steamed rice.

Garudhiya is more popular in the months of winter, owing to its hearty flavours and the liberal use of chillis. It is found quite easily on all of the local islands but the laidback Kela island is the best place to try this favourite local dish on your Maldives tour.

Masi Huni- the most popular breakfast
Masi Huni- the most popular breakfast/ Visit Maldives

Masi Huni

Masi Huni is a traditional Maldivian breakfast made of shredded and smoked tuna served with Roshi and garnished with spices. It is a heavy breakfast, even found in the veggie version made either of roasted pumpkin or butternut squash. The shredded tuna fish is mixed with scotch bonnets, a lot of onions, coconut and lime and cooked as a dry delicacy.

Masi Huni is found abundantly in the capital Male but is savoured all over Maldives with equal vigour.



No Maldives tour would be complete without getting a taste of BoakiBaa, the national snack of the country. The locals take their tea time very seriously and BoakiBaa serves as the perfect snack to satisfy your mid-day cravings and to wash down the black tea known as Sai Kulha

It is basically a fish cake, cooked over a skillet. Again, tuna is mixed with curry leaves and turmeric powder and cooked over a flame like a pancake. While the core taste of the snack remains the same, there are slight variations in its texture across different regions. Some are thick while others are thin, some are chewier while others are spicier.

The best BoakiBaa can be found on one of the numerous tea stalls dotting the island, served freshest between 4 pm to 6 pm.

Maldivian fish rice
Maldivian fish rice/Saveur

Mas Bai

Mas Bai or Maldivian fish rice should be your go to dish on your Maldives tour, because it can be eaten hot or cold and is easily available. It is mostly consumed as lunch after offering Friday prayers at the mosque. Rice is the star of the dish, which is cooked with various herbs and spices and coconut milk, not to mention tuna.

The spice level of the dish can be modified according to the level of spiciness one prefers and is traditionally served with Rihaakuru-a spicy, dark and condensed fish paste- on the side. Mas Bai adds a kick your meal and can be popularly thought of as Maldivian fried rice.

Mugu Riha-Vegetarian dhal curry
Mugu Riha-Vegetarian dhal curry/Youtube

Mugu Riha

If you are a vegetarian and hesitating to embark on a Maldives tour due to a lack of culinary choices, this dish is for you. Mugu Riha, known around the island as dhal curry, is basically yellow dal cooked without any kind of meat. It is generally meant to be scooped up with Roshi. It again has a coconut base and is cooked with very little spices; therefore, it is slightly on the sweeter side. This dish is loved because of the boost of energy it is known to give as well as its health benefits.

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