You know when you’re heading to the Maldives that you’re guaranteed dream beaches. But there were two things I wasn’t expecting when I went on a travel writing assignment to Baros Maldives. The first was to overcome my fears and end up snorkelling with sharks and turtles around me. And the second was to enjoy and learn a lot about food.
A tiny selection of the sunshine food and drink I enjoyed is pictured.
Here’s what I brought back with me for my cooking:
Maldivian food is original fusion food. I thought I didn’t like curry, yet I ate a Maldivian curry every day. Maldivian curries are somewhere between Indian and Thai. There is less aggressive spice and more understated fragrance. My favourite was red snapper curry which has a hint of lemongrass with lingering chile. I also loved the vegetable curry with brown basmati rice and the sweet and sour pineapple jam.
These cooking tips that can be applied to any curry recipe:
For intensive flavour slice garlic very very finely then crush.
Mix onions well with spices and really stir so that flavours mix and nothing is overpowering.
Don’t seal meat as it does not absorb the flavours of the spices.
Add water slowly. (I’ve found that this tip applies to any dish with an onion-vegetable base to which you would add water or stock.)
If using coconut milk add it towards the end of cooking and leave the cooking pan’s top off.
Massage rice whilst running under cold water in a sieve until water runs clear.
Simple foodie tips:
Explore pickles as they add a dash of excitement to a dish. The ginger pickle here was almost like crystallised stem ginger, only raw-crunchy like a ginger slaw with a biscuity ginger taste.
Add herbs to fruity drinks: basil with mango, mint with strawberries.
Add lime juice to sweetness. (I love to make sorbets and this tip really does bring out flavours).
And finally melting halloumi cheese is always popular — ok I knew this one of course, but seeing it on a menu the other side of the globe confirmed this 🙂