Kulhi Baipen | Lonumedhu

Kulhi Baipen


Kulhi Baipen is local rainy day comfort food. It’s spicy, it’s salty and it’s filling; so what more can you ask for?

In our recipe we’ve used bilimbi (bilamagu) but if you don’t have it just use some sour mangoes or lime instead. If using mango, you can just thinly slice it and add it when the bilimbi is added in the recipe. If you are using lime though, squeeze it in at the end when you are doing the taste test and making adjustments.

Some folks do add a little bit of thick coconut milk to their Kulhi Baipen. Although we haven’t done that, do feel free to add some if you’d like. If you are using coconut milk, mix that in right at the end before switching off the stove.


Serves: 2-3



  • 1 small onion
  • ¼ scotch bonnet pepper (or to taste)
  • 2 bilimbi (or to taste)
  • 1/2 small breadfruit (1 ½ cups when chopped)
  • ¼ tsp. cumin powder
  • ¼ tsp. turmeric powder
  • ¼ tsp. black pepper powder
  • 1 ½ tsp. red chilli powder (or to taste)
  • 1 garlic
  • ¼ ginger
  • 1 tbsp. grated coconut
  • ¼ cup uncooked rice
  • 3 cups water
  • 10 curry leaves
  • 3 inches pandan (raanbaa)
  • ½ cup sliced smoked tuna (valhomas)
  • 2 tbsp. rihaakuru (or to taste)
  • ¾ cup water (extra for thinning baipen)



  1. Slice the onion and scotch bonnet pepper (githeyo mirus) thinly. Halve the bilimbi (bilamagu).
  2. Cut the breadfruit into small pieces. Ours were around 2 cm long and 1 cm thick.
  3. Add the cumin powder, turmeric powder, black pepper powder, red chilli powder, garlic, ginger and grated coconut to your grinder. Do chop up the garlic roughly before adding it in. Grind until everything is well combined and a bit smooth.
  4. Wash the rice thoroughly and add it to a large pot. Add water.
  5. Bring the mixture to a boil and then let it simmer for 10 minutes.
  6. Then add the breadfruit, onion, githeyo mirus, bilimbi, curry leaves, raanbaa, valhomas (smoked tuna) and the spices you ground in step 3 to the pot.
  7. Mix everything well and cook on medium heat until the breadfruit is soft. This will take around 15 minutes.
  8. Lower the heat, add the rihaakuru (Maldivian fish paste) and mix well. As you mix, keep mashing up the breadfruit against the pot. The mixture is going to thicken as you do this.
  9. If the mixture is too thick, add some water. We added ¾ cup.
  10. Have a taste and add some salt if you need to. Ours were salty enough with just the rihaakuru. Make other adjustments to the taste too if you wish.
  11. Cook on low heat for around another 2 minutes while stirring and that’s it.
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