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Maldives – Cooking and Food[]

Overview of Maldivian Cuisine History[]

Maldives islands are located in the Indian Ocean which surrounds the islands. Indian Ocean provides Maldives inhabitants with their main source of protein, with fish. Maldives cuisine combines local dishes with European and Asian elements. Maldives cuisine is heavy on fish and seafood, while vegetables are used as fillings. Due to the humid soil the island are rich in exotic fruits such as bananas, pineapples, coconuts, avocado, mangoes, oranges, limes, lemons and grapefruits. Asian elements are obvious by the great use of spices such as curry or some Asian hot sauces. People from Maldives serve fish, generally Tuna, for almost every meal of the day. Fish combined with onions, chilies, lemon juice, coconut and rice structures the essential diet. Fish mostly Tuna, is served boiled, fresh, smoked or sun-dried. Numerous meals are served with roshi which is a local bread made with flour, water, oil and salt and it is cooked on a hot griddle.

Cuisines of Maldives[]

Map of Maldives- Click to enlarge

Maldives offers four kinds of cuisines International, European, Asian and of course Maldivian. Local cuisine is rich is Tuna dishes, served with roshi and a wide range of ingredients like scrapped coconuts, Onion, raw chili, salt and lemon juice. Garudhiya is the most popular food in Maldives and it is a clear soup containing chunks of Tuna including the fish head. Maldivian people have many dishes which include fish such as Hanaakurimas, a dry fish curry cooked by frying tiny pieces of fresh fish with numerous spices until the fish is dry; gulha, fish balls prepared by combining valhoamas with coconut, onions, chili, ginger and lime juice, Bajiya, is a dough filled with Tuna, onions, chilli and salt. As fish is the main source of protein, rice represents the major source of carbohydrates and also in some islands of the resort breadfruit is a most important part of the diet. Taro and sweet potatoes are locally grown vegetables which are also popular in Maldives cuisine.

Preparation Methods for Maldivian Cooking[]

Each traditional dish has a special cooking method, which is more or less general in all of Maldives regions. Maldives cuisine uses elements from various cooking traditions borrowed from their neighbors and developed from their own traditional dishes. While there aren´t specific or unique preparation methods for Maldives cooking, we should point out that attention to detail is important in the Maldives cuisine. Using the right amount of spices for example is essential – either for spicing up the taste or for coloring the dishes. The diversity of vegetables and cereals found in Maldives is also noticed in the delicious dishes belonging to their cuisine. The visual attractiveness of the dish is also very important, and a balance between colors and proportion differentiates.

Special Equipment for Maldivian Cooking[]

In Maldives cuisine there are a large variety of cooking utensils starting from cake pans, can openers, colanders, egg rings, poachers and holders, food dishers and portioners, food pans and food containers to other kitchen utensils, such as food scales, food scoops and fryer baskets and accessories, the Maldives cuisine needs a diverse cooking equipment set in order to produce the most sophisticated Maldives dishes. You should consider insulated food carriers if you are transporting the food and a full set of kitchen linens and uniforms if you wish to look like a pro. Here are a few other items that will come handy while cooking Maldives food: juicers, kitchen knives, kitchen slicers, and kitchen thermometers, measuring cups and measuring spoons, miscellaneous utensils, mixing bowls and skimmers and strainers. Indispensable utensils like serving spoons, spatulas, forks, turners, scrapers and tongs should also be part of your cooking "munitions store".

Maldivian Food Traditions and Festivals[]

People from Maldives have a large number of festivals and national holidays which engage culinary traditions. Special dishes are cooked to honor the fallowing days: New Year's Day( January 1), Hajj Day and Eidal Al-Adha (Feast of the Sacrifice) on the 10th of January, Mawlid al-Nabi (Birth of the Prophet) celebrated on 11th of April, National Day( April 21) Huravee Day, Independence Day ( July 27), Victory Day ( November 3)and Eidal Al- Adha on December 31. For special occasions it is usually served Chicken curry, biryani or a type of snacks called hedhikaa.

People in Maldivian Food[]

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Numerous Maldives chefs artistically utilize the essential ingredients and cooking method for traditional Maldives dishes and create original and delicious food variations. Maldives chefs are passionate about their traditional dishes and they enjoy presenting them to foreigners who have never tasted them before. Whether they are cooking dishes that go back in time for centuries or brand new, modern dishes, Maldives chefs take pride in what they do, and this is readily noticeable in the unforgettable taste of their cooking.