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Maldives Cuisine: 5 delicious coconut based dishes hailing from tiny Maldives

Updated on June 26, 2017
Rasani Yashwanth profile image

Lived and worked in many countries such as France, Colombia, Philippines, India, Japan and others. Has been writing for 3 years.

One cannot imagine Maldivian cuisine without tuna and coconut. In Maldives, a tropical archipelago, coconut has found its way into every part of the Maldivian culture. It is no exaggeration to say that it is impossible to find any dish without coconut in it. One can savor up on, not only yummy coconut based meals, but also coco milkshakes and puddings. Let`s have a look at these 5 famous coconut dishes of Maldives which everyone should try!


Maldivian cuisine has its influence from Indian, Sri Lankan and Arabic cultures. Bajiya is a common snack in Maldives that is also found in other South Asian countries such as India. It is similar to the Indian snack 'Samosa' which one can find in any Indian restaurant around the world. The outer layer of the Bajiya is made of dough and is called 'roshi' (Indian equivalent of roti/chapati). The filling is prepared from a pastry made up of a mix of onions, smoked tuna called 'Valhoamas', and coconut. Bajiyas look like a triangle just like a Samosa and they go really well with coconut milkshake. Maldivians love this snack and they eat in the evenings mostly.

Bajiya aka Samosa
Bajiya aka Samosa | Source

Mas huni

Mas huni is the most common breakfast dish in Maldives. It mainly contains smoked tuna and coconut. Mas huni is actually a mash of onions, capsicum, green leaves and grated meat of coconut. It is eaten together with 'roshi' i.e., the flat bread made out of dough, and sweet tea. Sometimes, Mas huni is roasted inside of roshi balls and this is called 'Masroshi'. These are baked in coconut oil and they look golden brown in color. It is a very popular local breakfast dish and is a must try when staying in Maldives.

Mas huni with roshi
Mas huni with roshi | Source


Gabulhi is very delicious and its preparation is quite simple. It is the sweet coconut flesh one would find inside a coconut. Let me explain what 'Gabulhi' is. There are three stages to develop a coconut that is used in Maldivian cooking. First stage is called 'Kurumaba' which is a tender coconut used for having a refreshing drink. The second, 'Gabulhi', the immature tender white jelly based coconut which is grated. Then there is the third one, the mature and thick coconut which is used to make coconut milk called 'Kaashi'. One can make different kinds of desserts with Gabulhi such as 'Gabulhi Boakibaa' (Sweet Coconut Cake).

Gabulhi Boakibaa
Gabulhi Boakibaa | Source

Dhon riha

Everyone must have tried curry once in a while in South Asia. Imagine a rich coconut flavored curry going together with steamy rice. Yummy right?! The Dhon Riha is a skipjack tuna curry mixed with more than a cupful of grated coconut. Mango pieces are also added to this, which gives you an interesting and amazing taste and makes you crave for more.

Dhon riha
Dhon riha | Source

Banbukeylu Bondibaiy

If you are big pudding fan, then you must definitely try this. It is a wonderful pudding made of breadfruit and coconut cream. Toppings such as saffron or dried coconut gratings can be used on the dish to serve.

Banbukeylu Bondibaiy
Banbukeylu Bondibaiy | Source

I hope you have enjoyed knowing about these 5 delicious coconut based Maldivian dishes.There are many more coco dishes in Maldives which would leave you mouthwatering.

© 2017 Yashwanth Kumar


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