The Indian Food Experience In The Maldives
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When you think of the Maldives, what comes to mind? Sun-soaked beaches, crystal clear waters, and a plethora of activities to indulge in! But the Maldives is also known for its incredible cuisine. It’s no secret that the islands are home to some of the most tantalizing Indian food experiences you’ll ever have.

From its rich history of Indian food to its contemporary restaurants, let’s discover the deliciousness of Indian food in the Maldives!

Maldivian Cuisine

The cuisine of the Maldives is a blend of various cultural influences, including Indian, Arab, and Sri Lankan. One of the defining features of Maldivian cuisine is the use of coconut in many dishes. Coconut is used in various forms, such as coconut milk, coconut oil, and grated coconut, and is often used to add flavor and richness to dishes.

In addition to traditional Maldivian dishes, there is also a wide range of international cuisine available in the Maldives, including Indian, Chinese, Italian, and Thai. In the Maldives, many restaurants serve a mix of local and international dishes to suit a wide range of tastes.

The Maldives' Indian Food History

Over the centuries, Indian spices and flavors have been incorporated into the local cuisine. In the early days, Indian traders introduced ingredients such as ginger, garlic, and turmeric. Later, during the colonial era, spices such as cardamom, cinnamon, and nutmeg were introduced.

Today, Indian food is a major part of the local cuisine. From the street vendors to the restaurants, Indian dishes make up a significant portion of the cuisine. In the more populated areas of the Maldives, you can find Indian restaurants ranging from traditional to contemporary.

Some favorite Indian dishes in the Maldives include:

Biryani: This is a rice dish that is made with a variety of spices and ingredients, such as chicken, lamb, or vegetables. It is a staple in many Maldivian households and is often served at special occasions and celebrations.

Dal Makhani: This dish is made with black lentils and kidney beans cooked in a creamy sauce that is usually served with rice or naan.

Masala Dosa: This is a type of crepe made from fermented rice and lentil batter and stuffed with a spicy potato filling. It is often served with chutney and sambar, a type of lentil-based stew.

Tandoori Chicken: This is a spicy grilled chicken dish that is marinated in yoghurt and spices, a popular choice in the Maldives.

Samosas: These are deep-fried pastries filled with vegetables or meat and can be found in many restaurants and street stalls.

Paneer tikka: This is a type of cheese that is grilled or cooked in a tandoor oven and served as an appetizer or side dish in the Maldives.

Exploring Authentic Indian Cuisine in the Maldives

The Maldives' islands are home to some of the best Indian restaurants in the world. If you’re looking for an authentic Indian dining experience, these are a few places you definitely should check out:

1.    Bombay Darbar, Hulhumale

This lively restaurant is one of the best Indian restaurants in the Maldives, with some great chefs who specialize in traditional Indian food like Tangdi Kebab and Prawn Masala, cooked in the traditional tandoori oven. These are just two of the many delicious dishes available here.

2.    Baraabaru, Huraa Island

The Maldivian word "baraabaru" means "excellent," and this Indian restaurant lives up to its name with scrumptious, top-notch fare. The interiors were designed to evoke a genuine Kerala experience, taking inspiration from the state's rich culture and natural scenery. If you are a vegan or vegetarian, this restaurant is your safe haven. Baraabaru also hosts half-day cooking classes taught by celebrity chefs.

3.    Acha’s Poppadums, Male

The unique flavor profiles of Indian food have made it a huge hit in the Maldives. When it comes to Indian food in the Maldives, many people recommend Acha's Poppadums. It serves both northern and southern Indian cuisine and is great for a quick Indian meal.

4.    Symphony Restaurant, Male

The Symphony restaurant group is known for its wide selection of cuisines, including Indian, Indonesian, Chinese, and Western.

5.    Novina Cafe, Male

Novina Cafe is well-known for its Hyderabadi biryani, which is cooked low and slow for 5 or 6 hours to ensure that all of the ingredients blend perfectly as its mouth-watering aroma wafts through the air and sea breeze.

6.    Tandoori Flames, Hulhumale

Tandoori Flames will win your heart with its Indian and Pakistani food, which includes tasty appetizers like the vegetable pakoras and fritters and savory main dishes like Paneer Pakodas and Chicken Dum Biriyani. Finish off with some delicious Indian sweets like gulab jamun and rasmalai.

7.    Amilla Resort and Residences, Baa Atoll

For a luxurious stay and foodie experience, visit this place, where traditional Indian dishes like dhal makhani, fish fry masala, butter chicken, garlic naan, and pakoras are served in a copper thali at the East restaurant at the Amilla Maldives Resort. Mango kulfi and rice pudding are also present as a sweet ending to your meal.

8.    Indo-Ceylon restaurant at Ozen Life, Maadhoo Island

Meaty kebabs, aromatic coconut-based curries, charred tandoori tikkas, and velvety lentils make up the menu at this fine dining restaurant and luxury resort.

9.    Masala Hut at the Sheraton Maldives, Furanafushi Island

This casual Indian restaurant at the Sheraton Maldives serves a variety of Indian dishes, including chicken tikka, dal makhani, lobster curry, steamed vegetables, and gulab jamun and lychee kulfi for dessert.

10.    Mahal Restaurant at the Kurumba Resorts, Vihamanaafushi

Served in handis and small copper bowls, onion bhaji, paneer tikka, and aloo chaat are a few of the delicious appetizers and side dishes available at Mahal. Other options include Goan prawn curry, rogan josh, tadka dhal, and aloo matar masala.

With this guide in hand, you and your travel companions can confidently make reservations at any one of these incredible establishments and enjoy a memorable meal in the Maldives.

Bon Appetit!