Traditional Breakfast Dishes | Lonumedhu

Traditional Breakfast Dishes


by Iyath Adam


Maldivian breakfast is definitely a savoury affair. Like most of our foods, the basis of our breakfast foods is also tuna and coconut. Mixed with other ingredients, this makes a myriad of dishes that are truly unique to the Maldives. 

Here, we bring you a comprehensive list of all the dishes on a Maldivian breakfast table. 


Roshi is Maldivian flatbread and the main carb of our traditional breakfast. Although similar to a flour tortilla or paratha, roshi is thinner, lighter and not quite like anything you might have seen before. 

Made by a slightly sticky dough of white flour mixed with hot water, oil, and a pinch of salt, roshi is rolled by hand, then cooked on a hot griddle until dark brown spots appear. 

For breakfast, roshi is best enjoyed with the savoury side dishes – kulhi mas, kulhi riha, mashuni and kulhi rihaakuru – where it is most commonly torn off by hand and eaten after being dipped into the dishes. 

Huni Roshi 

Huni roshi is a flatbread or roshi made by adding freshly grated coconut to the dough. The result is a slightly thicker roshi which has a coconutty, earthy taste. 

This is very much like the Sri Lankan coconut or pol roti, although the Maldivian version is less thick and usually much bigger in size. Huni roshi is typically eaten with kulhi rihaakuru although people do eat it with mashuni now as well. 


Kulhi Mas

Kulhi mas is a classic at most breakfast tables. Traditional kulhi mas is made by cooking cubed pieces of tuna in a spicy paste of onions, spices, aromatics and grated coconut. Nowadays, it is usually made by frying onions, chillies, and aromatics over the stove and mixing it with canned tomato paste before adding the tuna, giving the dish a bright red hue. 


Mashuni is the quintessential Maldivian dish – grated coconut mixed with tuna, chillies, onions, and lime. Different types of mashuni can be made by mixing various add-ons with the base dish. This includes steamed or boiled baraboa (pumpkin) to make baraboa mashuni or even thinly sliced kopeefaiy or perennial leaves to make kopeefathu mashuni. 

There is also valhomas (smoked tuna) mixed with mashuni and dried chillies to make kulhi mashuni.

Kulhi Rihaakuru

Kulhi rihaakuru is a version of the classic Maldivian fish paste, rihaakuru, mixed with onions, scotch bonnet peppers and lime juice for a savoury, punchy dish. It goes great with the coconutty huni roshi which is perfect to dip into the salty rihaakuru.

Kulhi Riha 

Kulhi riha or spicy curry is a great Maldivian breakfast side dish. Made with tuna or valhomas (smoked tuna), kulhi riha is best mixed with cut up or torn roshi, kind of like a Sri Lankan koththu roshi, but without cooking the mixture on the stove. 

All Maldivian breakfast dishes are best enjoyed with a cup of kalhu sai (black tea) or kiru sai (milk tea) – with sugar – which goes great with the savoury, spicy flavours. 



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