Maldive islands, sorrounded by emerald sea is typically a fish lovers country. Almost every Maldivian dish isnt complete with a tinge of fish in it. The Maldivian economy is dependant on fishing as a main source of income to the country. Fish varying from various types of tuna (kandu mas) like skipjack, yellowfin and mackeral are found in abundance in the open waters of the Maldives.
The staple food of Maldivians is called ‘Garudhiya’, eventhough very simple to make in the wrong hands it could become quite a blunder, the end product of garudhiya looks like a clear tuna fish soup which could be served hot with lemon as a soup itself, or it could be served with rice on the side. If not making the soup tuna could be further boiled and sun-dried or smoked and stored for future use.
‘Rihaakuru’ a staple Maldivian dish, is made by boiling and boiling the bones and parts of the tuna fish with water till it becomes dark brown. The end product is a fish paste which is quite salty with a pungent smell, but the Maldivians are used to its taste and smell.
Maldivians are spice lovers, even though most of the spices are not grown locally in the country due to soil issues. Varying types of spicies are used in the everyday cooking in the Maldivian homes. Cinnamon, cardamom, cumin seeds, cloves, garlic, ginger, githeyomirus( its quite spicy compared to normal chillies with a very nice aroma to it). Curry leaves and Rampa leaves are an everyday ingredient in all the Maldivian dishes.
The coconut has a special place in Maldivian kitchens, from the scraped coconut which is mixed into various dishes, to the coconut water which is got by adding water to the scraped coconut and draining the milky water, this coconut milk is used to make curries, which gives the extra creamy thick and rich look to it.
Apart from the three regular meals which the Maldivians has, theres a late afternoon tea and evening tea which most of the Maldivians indulge in. Shorteats are a delicacy in the Maldives. Ranging from cutlets, bajiya, gulha, biskeemiya, boakiba, havaadhulee bis, masroshi, pudding, riha folhi and etc, these are enjoyed with a cup of black tea over a gossip session with friends and colleagues.