Traditional Maldivian cuisine comprises three staple ingredients - fish, coconut and starch. The cuisine here is influenced in palates by Sri Lanka and Kerala, with its own distinct flavours. Eating in Male affords the best opportunity to try the local food and you must try the 'hotaus' or cafe which serves the traditional fare. As an island nation, fish is no doubt the source of all protein and nutrition, tuna being the favourite. Sometimes the fish is flaked or pounded to be added as a condiment for flavouring or alternatively stuffed in a dough pastry, 'short eats'. Curries prepared with coconut milk and a curry paste blended from roasted onions, chili peppers, herbs and spices are a usual fare. Mas Riha and Kukulhu Riha are the popular curries made with fish and chicken respectively, and a blend of spices. Roshi or flatbread is the common accompaniment to the Rihas. Garudiya, yet another popular dis is a fish broth made from such cured tuna, while Rihaakuru, a fish paste consumed with rice daily is made by concentrating the fish broth, while Kulhi Boakibaa is a fish cake made from tuna and coconut. Begin your day with some Maldivian breakfast, Mas Huni, for the fish eaters and Barabao Mas Huni, a pumpkin based alternative for the vegans; gorge on some curries over the day and end with Dhonkeyo Kajuru, a fried banana cake flavoured with vanilla or rose water. The locals in Maldives do not consume alcoholic beverages, however alcohol is served in the resorts. Sip on to some tender coconut water or try the Raa, which is toddy tapped from palm trees, while you bask in the sun. There is yet another irresistible dining option on this island - underwater dining, amidst the fascinating under water world. Sea Restaurant, Ithaa, Conrad are some of the popular ones. This is inevitably an expensive affair, an approximate meal for two being US $ 400. The resorts generally serve the popular global cuisines. So for all those who do not wish to venture with the local cuisine, there is no cause for worry.
Vegetarians will not have a difficult time here. In fact, the local cuisine comprises of some vegetarian dishes. Other than this a lot of resorts serve Indian Food as part of their buffets, Ayada being a popular vegan choice. Even though Jain Food might be difficult to find, chefs do factor in your special requests for the preparations.