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Food in the Maldives

Updated: Dec 4, 2021

Maldives cuisine is a combination of influences from neighboring nations such as Sri Lanka and India. The traditional Maldivian food is referred to as Dhivehi Cuisine, and it features an array of flavors.

The food of the Maldives is mildly spicy and delicately sweet, made utilising generations-old skills. Due to the Maldives' predominance of the ocean, seafood is the primary source of nourishment and coconut is another important component in Maldivian cuisine, appearing in many forms such as milk, oil, and grated on top of meals.

Due to the Maldives' popularity as a tourist destination, with resorts distributed over the island, travelers, including vegetarians, have a variety of international alternatives.

Huni Roshi (Chapati Bread)

Given its proximity to Sri Lanka, where pol roti is a staple, it's natural for the Maldives to develop their own form of coconut bread. Huni roshi is coconut-flecked flatbreads that are fried till crisp on the exterior and soft and chewy on the inside (if you're fortunate, they'll puff up like a pitta while they're cooking). Coconut adds both texture and a delicate flavor.

Kotthu Roshi

Kothtu Roshi is a Maldivian dish consisting of diced up roti bread, stir-fried with scrambled egg, onions, chillies, spices, and vegetables or meat, such as mutton or chicken. There are similar variants in the Sri Lanka and Souther India but non are as spicy as the Maldivian version of the meal. You will hear the chef chopping your food up form a distance, then when served it will present similar to a Pad Thai, but has one of most delicious blends of flavour in the country.


Mashuni is a combination of fresh shredded coconut, red onion, spicy green chilli, fresh run and traditional spices that will blow your mind. Add a dash of zingy lime, and grab some Huni Roshi and you are set for a real treat. This dish is the most popular breakfast dish in the country and only served in the mornings. Although you will lily scoff your nose at this, at first glance, we have no doubt that after giving it a chance, you will head back for seconds.


Gulha — little spherical fish balls packed with tuna and coconut – is one of the Maldives' most popular fast snacks. Gulha is a delightful form of dumplings that are provided as an evening snack in every café and restaurant in the Maldives. Gulha features a lip-smacking tuna fish filling that is coated with local spices to give the meal a bite. Bajiya — golden, crispy samosas stuffed with smoked tuna onion combination – and Mushimas – seasoned, deep-fried scads eaten whole. Kavaabu – fish, coconut, and rice fritters; Rihaakuru Folhi – rihaakuru pancake; Dhonkeyo Kajuru – sweet banana fritters; and Theluli Mas – spicy fried fish – are among delectable Maldivian dishes available in city eateries.

Seafood Curry

Because the bulk of popular food in the Maldives includes fish, how could you miss out on the extremely fundamental and vital Fish curry - creamy, flavorful, and spicy? Skipjack, yellowfin tuna, frigate tuna, bigeye scad, wahoo, and mahi-mahi are some of the favorite species. Rice, roshi and papadhu, and Maldivian poppadoms are served alongside the fish dish. From most island you can organise your own fishing trip, where you will bring back your catch and have the locals cook it up for dinner that evening. The dishes are all coconut curries with Maldivian chilli which is not for the faint hearted!

Bis Keemiya (Samosa)

Bis Keemiya, which is similar to a samosa and a spring roll, is an intriguing food that makes an excellent snack. It's a puff pastry filled with tuna/hard boiled eggs, chopped onions, and sautéed, shredded cabbage. Due to the genuineness of the flavors, it is a must-try Maldivian dish.

If you live to eat and travel to discover unusual cuisines from the culinary globe, the Maldives is an excellent place to stop along the way. The Maldivian cuisine offers an array of delectable delicacies that will thrill both your palate and your spirit.

Let's be honest, this foodies bucket list for local cuisine in the Maldives is nothing short of delicious with an abundance of fresh seafood, curries, chapati and rotti bead, and endless herbs and spices from the sub continent. You will be able to try all of this whilst on the local island and in a resort, the only difference is that most resorts also offer international buffets, with amazing food from all over the world, by the time you have finished your meal you will have to roll off your chair and back to your room!

For more information about alcohol in the Maldives, the best things to do and how to get to the Maldives, check out our other Travel Guides.

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