About the food of Maldives

Male, the capital of Maldives. Photo by Shahee Ilyas.

The Republic of Maldives is a sunbathed group of islands southwest of India, dotted along the Indian ocean. Fish – specifically tuna – coconut, rice, and fresh fruit are the most popular tidbits from the region.

Want some dried, crusty fish? They have it!

Maldives Fish is a regional specialty of boiled tuna which is then sun-dried until rock hard. This sort of fish is often pounded and then integrated into coconut fish balls, curries, and sauces. Other fish, as well as with most meats, are most often enjoyed grilled or served in curry. Especially whole [Recipe]. On the side, you might find a spicy bowl of sambol – a popular hot sauce – or flatbreads, seasoned with coconut or onion.

Coconut harvest, by Mstroeck. Sunset in the Maldives. Photo by Steevie.

For dessert, locals cozy up to a bowl of juicy, fresh mango or papaya, rich custards [Recipemade with condensed milk, and coconut sweets. Following British tradition, from colonial days, tea is served, as well as local specialties like Lomi Lomi made with ginger, palm sugar, citrus juice [Recipe], or even milk based drinks, as found in India.

Like India, ghee is preferred to butter, and highly seasoned rice is typical, such as biriyanee. Common seasonings include curry leaf and pandan leaf, which is reminiscent of cooking throughout Asia and Oceania.

Maps and flag, courtesy of the CIA World Factbook. Photo of Male by Hansueli Krapf.

So that’s just a few tidbits about the food in this easy breezy country.

Personally, I’d love to learn more – while sitting on the beach under a coconut tree.

Or while splashing around in the crystal waters.



  1. Jessica Bennett says

    Excellent- spicy, fishy, custardy, fruity- my kind of country! Can’t wait to see your menu.

  2. aunty eileen says

    Thanks Sasha for helping us see that all countries are wonderful and beautiful and interesting!

  3. aunty eileen says

    Just a few of the many interesting facts I found on internet… true?:

    “Only 200 of the Maldives’ 1,192 islets are inhabited.”

    “More than 2,000 species of fish have been identified in the waters surrounding the Maldives.”

    “The adult literacy rate on the 300,000-person islands is nearly 99 percent – among the highest in the world.”

    “Tourism emerged in the Maldives in the 1970s;… Today, resorts and hotels exist on 90 Maldivian islands.”

    “ Historically, one of the Maldives’ biggest exports was coir, the fiber of the dried coconut husk that was spun and twisted into ropes. Thanks to its strength and resistance to saltwater, the rope was exported to places as far away as the Middle East. ..”

    “The Maldives were the first country in the world to hold an official presidential cabinet meeting underwater. During the meeting, which the president and vice president attended, a declaration on global climate change was signed.”

    “According to Historians, Maldives has been populated as early as the 4th century BC. It is speculated that the early migrants were from Arabia, eastern Africa and the Indian subcontinent among other places. Today, the Maldivians are a mixed race.”

    “Because the Maldives lie in the middle of traditionally important trading routes, the islands’ have adopted aspects of various cultures that have passed through them. Homes are built in Southeast Asian architecture. The unique Maldivian boat called a “dhoni” shows Arabic influences in its design; the traditional big drum called a “bodu-beru” resembles those in some African countries.”

    “Interestingly. the flag of Maldives also has a story behind it. The white semi-circle symbolizes Islamic faith. The red color of the flag is the signification of blood sacrificed by the nation’s heroes. The green section of the national flag represents the life source of Maldives that are the palm trees.” (I am surprised there is no blue signifying water-life source also… maybe they don’t eat much fish?)

  4. elisa waller says

    Yay…this country seems like a big beautiful secret waiting to be found…LOL <3

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