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Das Restaurant des Sun Siyam Vilu Reef auf den Malediven, Bild: Reisemagazin Online

The taste of the Maldives on your tongue

Dishes and cocktails of the Sun Siyam Resorts awaken holiday feelings – even at home

What awakens more longing for vacation or provides soulful memories of it than delicious food and drink? To dream of the Maldives at home, here are the recipes for three typical Maldivian fish dishes and two cocktails to try and dream

Even if it tastes best directly in the resorts, of course. Such as the grilled fish (Fihunu Mas) or the Boashi Hikikoh, prepared by Chef Ahmed Ali on Sun Siyam Vilu Reef, or the fish curry by Chef Ashan Madusanka at Islander’s Grill, one of the 14 restaurants (and bars) on Sun Siyam Iru Fushi.

The fish used for these dishes come directly from the fishermen who live on the neighbouring islands, and are also supported by Sun Siyam Resorts as part of Sun Siyam Cares, the sustainable commitment to the people and community of the Maldives. The coconuts, the pandan leaves (the evergreen palm tree with a vanilla, nutty taste) and most of the spices used are also planted and harvested directly on the farm islands belonging to the Sun Siyam Resorts. And they are also the basic ingredients for delicious cocktail creations by sommelier and beverage manager Kusal Ashen from the “No Mistake Bar” on Sun Siyam Iru Fushi.

The traditional cuisine of the Maldives is very simple, as local resources are limited and much has to be imported. The main ingredient of many local dishes is therefore fish, as well as coconut and rice. The cuisine, like the country itself, is a melting pot of different cultures, with influences from Sri Lanka, India and Arabia in particular.

Chef Ahmed Ali, a native of Maldivian, loves the cuisine of his home country. He started cooking at the age of 12 (for his parents) and has been standing at professional stoves at various luxury resorts for almost 38 years now, and for over two years at those of the restaurants on Sun Siyam Vilu Reef. “Of course, the fresh fish taste particularly good here. But I also love the combination of our spices. For my dishes, I usually use a combination of dried chilli, garlic and rampa leaves (the local name of Pandan). And of course, my favorite dish is also a fish dish: “Kandu Kukulhu, a Maldivian tuna curry!”

On-site cooking classes

The best way to make a dish is to cook it live with a professional. Guests at Sun Siyam Iru Fushi can learn this step by step in small courses. Here, too, most of the ingredients come from the Farm Islands, which guests can also visit themselves on an excursion. The highlight of every cooking class is of course the joint enjoyment at the end. For cooking at home, you simply have to take a lot of spices with you in your luggage. Local or at least European fish can also be used for the kitchen at home, so as not to neglect the idea of sustainability.

See also  Maldives Islands: Sangeli

Fihunu Mas (Maldivian grilled fish)

For 3-4 people

Ingredients
depending on the size 1-2 reef fish (sea bream is best here)
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
100 grams dried red chilli, chopped
1 large onion, finely chopped
approx. 60 g ripe mango, cut into small cubes
2 hot chili peppers, finely chopped
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp black peppercorns. mortared
2 bunches curry leaves, torn
2 limes
Water, salt and pepper

Preparation

Maldives with children
On the beach of the Hotel Sun Siyam Vilu Reef, Image: Travel Magazine Online

In a bowl, mix chili, onion, cumin, Maldivian chili, curry leaves, black pepper, garlic, mango and season with salt and pepper. Add a little water to create a marinade.
Then marinate the fish with it. Grill them on one side first, then add lemon juice to both sides and continue grilling the fish on the other side.
Of course, this looks especially beautiful if you use flowers and leaves for decoration.

Bread, rice or the Indian flatbread roti are suitable as a side dish.

Boashi Hikikoh

For approx. 3 people

Ingredients
1 boashi (banana blossom)
100 g dried tuna
1 to 3 cloves of garlic, chopped very finely
Salt
Curry Leaves
100 ml oil
4 pandan leaves, cut into fine strips about 8 cm long
8 hot red chili peppers
3 onions, cut into strips

Preparation
Cut the banana blossom into thin strips. Then place them in a large bowl and add salt. Mix the strips and salt well, then let it stand for minutes. Then add the water and let the mixture rest for another 15 minutes.

Then put everything in a sieve and let the water drain.
Heat the oil in a large pan and add the onion, curry leaves and red chilli. Fry until the onions are soft and lightly browned. Then add the banana flower strips and dried tuna and mix everything. Let everything cook over medium heat until the banana flower strips are soft.

It also looks nice if you arrange it in large banana leaves

Kandukukulhu (Maldivian fish curry)

By the way, this dish translates as: chicken curry of the sea
Serves 4

Ingredients
800 g reef fish (again, sea bream or another fish with firm flesh is a good choice), cut into cubes
200 g onion, cut into thin strips
10 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
30 g green chillies, chopped
20 g curry leaves
20 g pandan
200 g tomatoes, cut into small cubes
5 pieces of cardamom
3 olives
10 g turmeric powder
200 g curry powder
10 g chili powder
400 ml water
200 ml coconut milk
3 tsp oil

Preparation:
In a pan, heat the onions and garlic for about 3-5 minutes (both should only take on color, not brown). Then add the curry leaves, the pandan leaves, the olives and the cardamom and let everything go on for another 2 minutes. Then add the tomatoes, green chilli, turmeric powder and chilli powder. Then add the water to the pan and bring everything to a boil. Once the water boils, add the fish and coconut milk to the pan, put a lid on top and let everything continue to stew over medium heat for about 7-10 minutes.

See also  Maldives with children

To serve, add the curry to soup plates or bowls. Rice goes best with it.

Cocktails to dream about

Kusal Ashen, sommelier, food & beverage manager, bar manager – with the opening of the “No Mistake Bar” on Sun Siyam Iru Fushi, he has created a whole new culinary experience. The bar focuses on signature cocktails inspired by Maldivian culture, some of which are sourced locally to support the resort’s sustainability practices.

The Faanooz

(White rum with cinnamon, dark rum, flambéed pineapple and celery juice, citrus fruits and banana oleo saccharum, and passion coulis)

The Faanooz (lantern) is an enticing blend of unique flavors that take the taste buds straight to tropical paradise. The base is made of white cinnamon rum, which gives the drink a warm and aromatic touch. The pineapple flambéed in dark rum and celery juice add a smoky sweetness and a refreshing touch to the drink, while the citrus and banana Oleo Saccharum bring a zesty and fruity undertone to the mix. The cocktail is elegantly served in a lantern glass that showcases its bright colors and inviting presentation. It is rounded off by a dash of Passion Coulisf for the sparkling rounding off.

The Kuhli “Mary is here” (non-alcoholic)

(Roasted tomato and pepper juice, amaretti (non-alcoholic amaretto), washed dried fish water, coconut water, Maldivian chilli, sweet and sour mix, dried coconut)

The Kulhi Mocktail is a delicious blend of unique flavors. It starts with a base of roasted tomatoes and paprika juice, which give it a rich and smoky essence. To add a touch of sweetness, amaretti, a non-alcoholic amaretto substitute, is added to the mixture. For a distinctive Maldivian touch, the water of washed dried fish, known for its savory undertones, is carefully incorporated, giving it a subtle umami flavor. To enhance the refreshing character, coconut water is added, which provides a tropical essence that perfectly complements the other ingredients. A hint of Maldivian chili brings pleasant spiciness. A garnish of dried coconuts gives the kulhi mocktail a pleasant texture and a hint of nuttiness.

Wonderful recipes, sustainable concepts with Maldivian ingredients whet the appetite for summer – which of course can also be found in the European winter in the Maldives. To learn more about Sun Siyam Resorts, visit www.sunsiyam.com or follow the resorts on Facebook, Instagram or follow the resorts on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.

ABOUT SUN SIYAM RESORTS

Since the opening of the first resort in the Maldives (Sun Siyam Vilu Reef) in 1998, Sun Siyam Resorts’ portfolio has grown to six luxurious private islands and celebrated the opening of its newest member – Siyam World – in October 2021.
The resort collection includes one 4-star resort (Sun Siyam Olhuveli) and four 5-star resorts (Sun Siyam Iru Fushi, Sun Siyam Iru Veli, Sun Siyam Vilu Reef and Siyam World) in the Maldives, as well as a boutique beach resort on the east coast of Sri Lanka (Sun Siyam Pasikudah).

Each resort showcases its idyllic location and character through a bespoke programme of island and underwater experiences, from rotating stays by international chefs to marine adventures.

Owned and managed by Sun Siyam Group – a privately held company founded in 1990 – the resorts reflect legendary Maldivian hospitality and the group’s visionary owner and managing director, Ahmed Siyam Mohamed.