Maldivian ‘Mas riha’ goes global

Maldives is not only home to a myriad of magical tropical islands fringed by white sandy beaches, swaying tropical palms and surrounded by crystal clear waters teeming with marine life – it also offers some of the most delicious cuisines in the region.

With 99 per cent sea and isolated from the rest of the world for a long time, it’s no surprising that the traditional Maldivian cuisine was based on three main ingredients and their derivatives: coconut, fish, and starches containing grains and vegetables.

Over time, with the influence of foreigners from ancient trade and travel, Maldivians got access to spices from neighbouring India and the Middle East. This has led to the creation of a distinctive blend of Maldivian cuisine with its own unique flavours

Chief amongst the variety of local dishes that show this unique combination of basic ingredients readily available from the island and exotic spices imported from abroad is Mas riha (Maldivian fish curry).

Typically consumed with rice or Roshi (Maldivian flatbread), Mas riha is one of the most common types of curries in the Maldives. Creamy and decadent, this delicious dish is typically made with coconut milk, fresh chilies, cinnamon, a mix of spices and chunks of diced tuna.

Locals savour this dish, almost every day for lunch and dinner. And now, it’s caught the attention of the world, with the Maldivian fish curry securing a spot on a list compiled by CNN to celebrate the evolution of curries around the world!

Fish curry is still one of the popular dishes consumed in the local islands. Several resorts also offer this time-tested, Maldivian delicacy.

So, next time you are in the Maldives, do try a bowl of freshly-cooked Mas riha with Roshi. If you happen to be in Male for a quick visit, we recommend The Sea House Maldives cafe, located on the northeastern end of the capital city, for an authentic meal featuring this popular local dish.

Or, once you’re back home and if you find yourself craving a creamy bowl of Mas riha, this recipe from local food blog Lonumedhu will be of great help.

Cover photo: Great British Chefs

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