Kandu Kukulhu | Lonumedhu

Kandu Kukulhu


We say Kandu Kukulhu is the most special of all Maldivian tuna curries. Even the name implies it; it’s the chicken of the sea. Our recipe turned out really delicious, and it was really hot too. So do cut down on the chillies if you want it to be milder.


Serves: 4-5



  • 500 grams tuna
  • 12 cardamom pods
  • 2 tbsp cumin powder
  • 2 tbsp fennel powder
  • 5 garlic cloves
  • 4 onions
  • 2 inch piece of ginger
  • 26 dried red chillies (or to your preference)
  • 5 curry leaves
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • 5 inch piece of raanbaa leaf
  • 3 inch piece of cinnamon
  • 1 cup thin coconut milk
  • ½ cup thick coconut milk
  • 1/3 cup grated coconut
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 tsp salt (or to taste)
  • 2/3 cups water


Prepare the curry paste:

  1. Roughly chop 2 onions, 3 garlic cloves and ginger.
  2. Using your mixer, blend together the grated coconut, salt, fennel and cumin, seeds of 8 cardamom pods, 3 curry leaves, turmeric, dried chilli, a little piece of your cinnamon along with the 2 onions, 3 garlic cloves and ginger that you chopped.


Prepping for the curry:

  1. Slice the remaining onions and garlic thinly.
  2. Chop the tuna into 3-inch long chunks, and cut the chunks into thin slices. We are going to roll the tuna, so make sure they are thin enough to be flexible, but not so thin that they would break apart.
  3. Cut the raanbaa leaf vertically into thin strips.
  4. Place a teaspoon of curry paste onto a slice of tuna and then roll it.
  5. Secure the roll by tying it with a raanbaa strip; you can use a toothpick if you think the tuna might come undone, ours did hold up pretty well.


Cooking the curry:

  1. Heat the oil in a large pot
  2. Add the sliced onions, remaining curry leaves, cardamom pods with their ends snipped off and cinnamon.
  3. Once the onions begin to soften and take on a brownish tint, add the garlic and cook until the garlic becomes soft.
  4. Remove half of the mixture from the pot and set aside.
  5. To the pot, add the thin coconut milk, water, and the remaining curry paste and cook for around 2 minutes.
  6. Place the tuna rolls inside the pot. Be really gentle about it.
  7. Turn the heat to low, have a taste and adjust salt (we had to add an additional teaspoon).
  8. Cook until the tuna is cooked through, this will take around 15 to 20 minutes. Do not stir, if you have to stir, just pick up the pot and shake it a little bit.
  9. Add the thick coconut milk and cook for 1 minute. Once again, just shake the pot to combine the coconut milk.
  10. Add and combine the onion mixture that you set aside and that’s it.



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