Maldives Food and Drink
Since Maldives is almost 99% sea, it is not surprising that fish (mainly tuna) is the most important staple of the Maldivian diet. The cuisine found in the island nation is a mix of Arabic, Indian, Sri Lankan and Oriental influences. But the ninety odd tourist resorts scattered throughout the islands host diverse international menus, so it’s entirely possible to eat your way around the world while staying in luxury at one of these resorts. Sample Japanese teppanyaki, fine Italian cuisine, the spicy flavours of India and Thailand, traditional Chinese, fine upscale dining, or just a casual snack. Of course, seafood plays a starring role, regardless of which country’s techniques are on display, but those who prefer their food to come from dry land will still have plenty of options.
Coconuts are another major part of many dishes in Maldives and can be served in grated form, as milk or as coconut oil which is used to deep fry foods. Favourite fish include skipjack tuna, little tunney, yellowfin tuna, frigate tuna, bigeye scad, wahoo and mahi-mahi.
The wealth of resort dining options in Maldives means some unique dining opportunities as well. Several resorts feature underwater restaurants to truly ‘immerse’ diners in what Maldives is all about. Some resorts also attract celebrity chefs or hold cooking classes for that extra special experience.
Popular dishes include:
If you do have the opportunity to try ‘local’ food, here are some Maldives specialties worth sampling.
Garudhiya: a fish broth served with rice, lime, chili and onions.
Mas huni: shredded smoked fish with grated coconuts and onions. This is considered the most popular breakfast food in the country.
Fihunu mas: barbecued fish that has been basted with chili.
Hedhikaa is the local word for snacks in the islands and some of the favourites are:
• bajiya: pastry that is stuffed with fish, coconuts and onion.
• gulha: pastry balls that are stuffed with smoked fish.
• keemia: deep fried fish rolls.
• kulhi boakiba: a spicy fish cake.
• masroshi: mas huni that has been wrapped in roshi bread and is then baked.
• thelui mas: fried fish cooked with chili and garlic.
When visiting Maldives, it is best to stick with bottled water as this is safer and when in doubt, always ask. As the islands are an Islamic nation, the population does not drink alcohol, however, it is available in most resorts. Locals instead prefer to drink sai or tea. Raa is a traditional drink and is a toddy that has been tapped from palm trees. It is sometimes left to ferment.
Things to know:
In Maldives, it is a nice gesture to reward good service, however, tipping is not compulsory as a 10% service charge is added to almost everything.
Maldives Travel Information
At Goway we believe that a well-informed traveller is a safer traveller. With this in mind, we have compiled an easy to navigate travel information section dedicated to Maldives.
Learn about the history and culture of Maldives, the must-try food and drink, and what to pack in your suitcase. Read about Maldives's nature and wildlife, weather and geography, along with 'Country Quickfacts' compiled by our travel experts. Our globetrotting tips, as well as our visa and health information will help ensure you're properly prepared for a safe and enjoyable trip. The only way you could possibly learn more is by embarking on your journey and discovering Maldives for yourself. Start exploring… book one of our Maldives vacations today!
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