The Maldives – A Tropical Island Paradise
When most people picture the Maldives, they envision turquoise waters, white beaches and luxurious overwater villas. But beyond the idyllic vacation spots lies a country with its own rich history, language and culture.
Despite its small population, the Maldives have a wealth of cultural influences from India, Sri Lanka and East Africa. In fact, there are evidence that the islands were inhabited as early as 4th century BC by an Indo-Aryan race.
Cuisine & Traditions
The Maldives is an ocean-bound island nation and fish plays an important role in their cuisine. Among the most popular fish species is tuna.
Traditional dishes are made using a variety of tuna including frigate, little tunny and skipjack tuna. Other fish such as wahoo, bigeye scad, mahi-mahi and grouper can also be found in the local cuisine.
Breadfruit is another important part of the diet, especially in desserts like banbukeylu harissa. It’s steamed and then mashed and flavoured with spices.
Kulhiboakibaa, or traditional fish cake, is a must-try dish in the Maldives. It’s easy to make and tastes great stuffed with a number of different toppings, including vegetarian options.
Garudhiya, a fish broth, is another traditional dish. It’s cooked in salted water with curry leaves, onions and chillies. It’s served with rice, lime and sometimes toppings such as Theluli Mas.
Other traditional foods include kavaabu (deep-fried snacks), raa (a toddy tapped from palm trees that is slightly alcoholic), dhon ribha (tuna curry) and dhonkeyo kajuru (a fried banana cake). Lacquer work is another speciality, with matt weaving being the most popular.