Kandu Mahu Musamma | Lonumedhu

Kandu Mahu Musamma


Kandu Mahu Musamma is one of those special occasion Maldivian curries; the spice stuffed and pandan wrapped tuna pieces sit so nicely in the piquant curry sauce while the raisins and sea almonds give it that extra crunch and bite. Below is our version of the Musamma Riha. It’s pretty straight forward, although you might need a little bit of practice with getting the fish stuffed and tied.

Serves: 4-5


  • 300 grams tuna fillet
  • 4 tbsp. whole coriander seeds
  • 2 ½ tbsp. whole fennel seeds
  • 1 ½ tbsp. whole cumin seeds
  • 10 dried red chillies
  • 1 tsp. whole black peppercorns
  • 4 cardamom pods
  • 6 inch piece of cinnamon (break it into two for easy grinding)
  • 12 inch pieces of raanbaa (for trying the fish)
  • 6 inch piece of raanbaa (for the curry)
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • ¼ inch slice of ginger
  • ¼ tsp. turmeric powder
  • 9 tbsp. water (for spice paste)
  • 2/3 cup water (for the curry)
  • 2 large onions
  • 5 tbsp. oil
  • 1/3 cup kanamadhu (chopped into thin long pieces)
  • 1/3 cup raisins
  • 10 curry leaves
  • ½ cup coconut milk (we used the liquid kind that comes in a packet)
  • 1 tsp. salt


  1. Heat a pan. Once you’re sure it’s well heated, add the coriander, fennel, cumin, dried red chillies, black pepper, seeds from the cardamom pods, cinnamon stick, garlic and ginger. Keep stirring and cook the mixture until you see a hint of brown on the coriander seeds. The mixture is going to sizzle and pop too.
  2. Remove the mixture from the pan, let it cool and then transfer to your grinder. To the grinder also add the turmeric powder, ½ teaspoon of salt and 9 tablespoons of water. Grind until you get a smooth paste and set it aside.
  3. Slice the onions thinly.
  4. Heat 3 tablespoons of oil in a pan. When the oil gets hot, add half of your sliced onion and cook the onions until they begin to turn golden brown.
  5. Now add the kanamadhu and raisins. Cook the mixture until the raisins puff up. At that point your onions should look nicely brown too. Remove the mixture from the pan. If the mixture looks oily you can blot out the excess oil by using some tissue papers.
  6. In a bowl, combine the kanamadhu onion mixture with the spice paste mixture you made before and set it aside. This is what we are going to use as filling.
  7. Now we are going to prepare the tuna so that we can roll them up with the stuffing. You can either slice the tuna into around 2 inch wide 4 inch long thin strips or cut the tuna into 2 inch chunks, hold a chunk firmly with your hand and then cut into the chunk with your knife and run it around until you can flatten out the piece like a strip.
  8. Cut the 12 inch raanbaa piece into thin long strips. You are going to need around 6 to 8 strips for this recipe.
  9. Flatten out a tuna strip on a plate. Place 1 teaspoon of filling in the centre and use your spoon to gently spread it a little. Then roll the tuna piece and use a thin strip of raanbaa to tie it securely. Do this until you run out of tuna. After you are done with tying the tuna pieces, there’s going to be a bit of spice kanamadhu mixture remaining and we’ll be using that for the curry.
  10. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a pot, and once the oil gets hot, add the remaining sliced onions, 6 inches of raanbaa and 10 curry leaves. On medium heat, cook this mixture until the onions wilt and begin to turn golden.
  11. To the pot, add the leftover spice mixture along with the coconut milk, water and ½ a teaspoon of salt. Stir to combine and cook until the mixture starts to boil.
  12. Lower the heat and then gently place the stuffed tuna pieces inside the pot. Put the lid on and cook for around 20 minutes or until the tuna pieces are cooked through. Do not stir the mixture after you put the tuna in the pot. If you really need to stir, lift the pot and gently shake it, and if you really want to turn a piece over, use two teaspoons to gently flip it; also if you are going to flip the tuna pieces, do it towards the end.  



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