by Iyath Adam
Soraya (@sorayasmv) is a popular Instagram page, well-known for their various home-made traditional Maldivian food.
Amongst Soraya’s offerings are various types of kandhi (a dessert drink), baiypen (rice porridge), bondibaiy (Maldivian rice pudding) and varieties of savoury snacks and short eats. Soraya has different dishes and combo packs up for grabs, depending on the day, although they do take limited pre-orders as well.
We tried the Soraya kulhi baiypen and modunu kashikeyo – one of the combo packs up for grabs on the day.
Kulhi baiypen is the savoury version of baiypen, the Maldivian rice porridge. Fittingly, Soraya's kulhi baiypen is both savoury and spicy and has a lovely umami flavour to it. Paired with the slight sourness from the juice of the sliced lemon they serve it with, the kulhi baiypen just gets better as you keep eating it. There is a light rihaakuru (Maldivian fish paste) taste to it – probably where the umami-ness comes from – which is balanced very well throughout.
The modunu kashikeyo, a mixture made with screw pine fruit (kashikeyo), coconut and sugar, is equally delicious. All the ingredients were proportioned very well; you can discern the different textures of both the shredded coconut and the sliced screw pine fruit without one overpowering the other. The flavour of the kashikeyo, which is the star of this dish, shines beautifully without it being too cloyingly sweet or overwhelmingly kashikeyo-like.
We also checked out Soraya’s boakuri falho – a Maldivian sweet delicacy made by caramelising unripe papayas with sugar. When we say this dish is absolutely heavenly, we don’t mean it lightly. The thinly sliced papayas have a bit of bite and a lovely sweet, caramelised flavour to them, just as it should be – certainly something you can keep on snacking without realising!
All in all, the food was great and we will definitely be ordering more of their dishes to try!