Maldivian cuisine is hot and spice loaded. It’s perhaps not as heavy on the heat as the food from our neighbors Sri Lanka and India. However, if you remove the chilies from Maldivian food, it can be arguably said that you’ll be serving it with half of its spirit.
So here we are having a look at the peppers that make our food vibrant.
Scotch bonnet peppers or Githeyo Mirus
Starting off with Scotch bonnet, our beloved Githeyo Mirus. According to Wikipedia, Scotch bonnets usually have a heat rating of 80,000–400,000 Scoville units making it one of the hottest peppers used in cooking. Apart from the heat, Scotch bonnets come with a slight fruity note and our ‘hedhikaas,’ our curries, and a lot of other dishes from our cuisine would simply not be complete without it.
Green chillies or Tholhi Mirus
These are lovely in coconut based light curries like ‘kirugarudhiya’ and great when pickled in ‘asaaras.’ Although not as hot as the Scotch bonnets, the do pack a good punch, especially when you bite into a raw one, while eating something like a ‘garudhiya’ meal.
Dried Red Chillies or Hiki Mirus
Dried red chillies are an essential component of Maldivian spice pastes. These days it’s quite usual to use its powder form in curries too. They are especially nice when gently toasted, and lend a nice colour and taste when added to light dishes like ‘masfen.’
Black peppercorns or Aseymirus
Black peppercorns are also an essential part of Maldivian spice pastes and hence ends up in a lot of our curries. They also lend real nice bursts of heat when added whole to rice dishes like ‘masbaiy.’