100 ways to eat tuna in the Maldives

After a spectacular seaplane ride from Male, we landed on the island of Landaa Giraavaru. From the moment we set foot on the island, we were welcomed by the various avian and marine creatures that call the island home.

My Maldives travelogue wouldn’t be complete without a post on the local cuisine. Our first morning on the island, all hubby could think of was the local Maldivian breakfast. When it arrived, we were fascinated by the presentation and variety.

Breakfast - Landaa Giraavaru, Maldives

The salad (kulhafilaa fathu satani) made with cooked tuna, rocket leaves, grated fresh coconut, onion, chilli and lime was light and tangy. The delicately spiced tuna curry and the flat bread (chapattis) were perfect together. The deep fried tuna balls (gulhas) made a great bite-sized snack. To call this breakfast divine would be a gross understatement! My poor omelette didn’t stand a chance against the flavours and aromas of the Maldivian breakfast.

And just in case you were wondering, in the Maldives, tuna is caught sustainably using the pole and line method, as it has been for generations. This fishing method also ensures that there is no by-catch of sharks, rays, dolphins or turtles.

A few days into our stay at the resort, we visited the neighbouring island of Kamadhoo. Many of the local resort staff live here. The houses were colorful and the people, friendly.

Kamadhoo, Maldives

We found what seemed like the only café on the island. An endless array of tea-time snacks arrived.

Snacks - Kamadhoo, Maldives

These savouries were all made with tuna, in one form or the other – gulhas, samosas, masroshi (tuna stuffed bread), croquettes, nuggets and so on. The Maldivians have found creative ways of incorporating their most abundant resource – skipjack tuna, into their all meals.

The snacks were accompanied by a sweet, frothy milk tea the locals call ‘Bombay tea’.

Our last night on Landaa Giraavaru. Hubby requested for a Maldivian dinner. What the resort prepared for us was a feast!

Our wonderful server (a local Maldivian) took great care of us and seemed so chuffed that we were enjoying the food of his people.

The meal started with a refreshing karumba (fresh tender coconut) and was accompanied by an appetizer platter.

Dinner - Landaa Giravaaru, Maldives

Dinner - Landaa Giravaaru, MaldivesBy this time, we were able to identify the appetizers – masroshi, kulhafilaa fathu satani and gulha. Light and flavourful!

The main course that followed was fit for a king. It was served in the traditional Maldivian family style – a locally made lacquer basket contained small portions of the various dinner items.

Dinner - Landaa Giravaaru, MaldivesThere was kan’du kukulhu (rolled tuna flakes cooked in thick gravy), kiru garudhiya (drumstick curry), Maldivian chicken curry and fihunu mas (marinated barbequed fish). I even dared to try the fiery, Maldivian chilli. Spicaaay!

Chilli - Landaa Giraavaru, MaldivesWhen the food was all done, we just sat there licking our fingers.

We were stuffed to the gills 😉 but how could we refuse dessert? The Banbukeyo bondibai (sweetened breadfruit) was a novelty for us. The crepes with sweetened coconut and the rose milk drink, while familiar, were delightful. The perfect ending to an amazing meal!

Dinner - Landaa Giraavaru, MaldivesWe thanked the chef and the F&B Director for the sublime dining experience and set out for a moonlight walk on the beach.

Back in the real world, I’ve seen hubby make best friends out of complete strangers in a matter of minutes. All he has to do is talk about food. It is, after all, the great unifier.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this Maldivian culinary journey.

Want to know more about the rich flora and fauna of the Maldives? Presenting The Real Stars of Maldives 😉

The spectacular seaplane ride from Male to the island of Landaa Giraavaru, needs a special mention. Check out my post Magic in the water!

Read about my experience of swimming with the magnificent Maldivian mantas in my post Underwater Ballet in the Maldives.





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Filed under Asia, Maldives

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