It’s always good news when a local cookbook comes out. And this time, we are very happy to say hello to Chillies & Lime: Recipes from a Maldivian Kitchen by popular food blogger Nazeeha Mohamed.
The book starts with a lovely introduction in which the author describes how she got into exploring her native Maldivian cuisine. Featured next is a pantry essentials section in which Nazeeha touches upon some of the basic ingredients necessary for Maldivian cooking as well as the equipment one might need for preparing the recipes in her book.
Nazeeha’s recipes are divided into categories, and the first one in the book is teatime snacks. Recipes you’ll find here include savoury short eats or ‘hedhikaa’ like bajiyaa, masroshi, gulha and some sweet numbers like paan boakibaa and dhonkeyo kaju.
Following the short eats section is the section on tuna. It actually includes a numbers of ways for preparing tuna mains and curries such as kirugarudhiya, masfen, garudhiya, kulhimas, masbondi and fihunumas.
The poultry section includes recipes for the yummy kukulhu mussamma and miruhululee kukukulhu, while the vegetable section features recipes for curries such as baraboa riha, faiy riha, bashi riha and maalhoskeylu riha.
Masbaiy, dhirifiyaa baiy, huni roshi and roshi are featured in the rice and breads section. And the salads and condiments section includes various versions of satani along with lonumirus, anbu asaara and theuli faiy among others.
The section dedicated to drinks and desserts features some of the local favourites such as saagu bondibai, haluvidhaa, barabo haluvaa, barabo kandhi and caramel pudding.
The last section of the book is about basic Maldivian cooking processes such as making valhomas, roasting spices for curry pastes, and cooking with coconut.
While Recipes from a Maldivian Kitchen is truly a gem when it comes to everything you need to know about Maldivian home cooking, what makes the book really come alive are the brief stories Nazeeha tells us throughout the book; stories about cooking with her mother and sisters, stories of how her uncle or grandpa used to clean and fillet fish out in the garden or near a well, stories of how she stumbled upon some of the recipes and many more.