Lonu Kandhi is a savoury and spicy porridge made from just a handful of ingredients you’d usually find in most Maldivian kitchens. Enjoy it as comfort food on a rainy day or whenever you catch a cold.
½ cup rice
4 cups water
1 garlic clove
¼ inch ginger
1 medium onion
½ scotch bonnet pepper (or to taste)
2/3 cup sliced smoked tuna
½ lime (or 5 bilimbi)
½ tsp. whole black peppercorns
2 inches pandan
1/3 tsp. turmeric powder
½ tsp. salt (or to taste)
Wash the rice thoroughly and add it to a pot along with the water. Bring to a boil and then turn down the heat and let it simmer for 30 minutes. Give it a stir now and then, especially towards the end.
While the rice is cooking, crush the garlic and ginger, and slice the onion, scotch bonnet pepper and smoked tuna thinly.
Add the onions to a bowl along with the smoked tuna, ginger and garlic. Squeeze in the lime (if using bilimbi, cut them into halves and add them in the next step). Use your fingers to squash and squeeze the mixture until well combined and the onions release the juices.
When the rice has cooked for 30 minutes, use a spoon to mash the rice against the bottom and sides of the pot. The rice should mash easily. Otherwise, keep cooking on increments of 5 minutes until the rice reaches that consistency.
Add the rest of the ingredients to the pot and mix well. Have a taste and adjust the salt, lime and chillies to your liking. You can also add more water if you’d like it runny.
Cook on low heat for another 5 minutes and that’s it.