The cuisine of Maldives may not be as popular as other Asian cuisines, but when it comes to flavor and nutritional value, it pretty much stands on the same level. So, if you’re looking to liven up your meals with new dishes, consider picking up some new kitchen smarts by attending a Maldivian cooking class.
One of the top luxury hotels in the Maldives actually offers Maldivian cuisine cooking classes to tourists, and these classes are among the most popular activities for guests from different parts of the globe. This class is not just for cooking enthusiasts who enjoy learning how and what to cook; even regular foodies who love indulging in new flavors can get a kick out of joining the activity. So here are 7 great reasons to sign up for a Maldivian cooking class:
1. Maldivian food is surprisingly familiar but still quite different
When you see Maldivian food, you may link it to the coco milk-based dishes from Malaysia, the Philippines, and India. Nonetheless, there’s a twist to it. When you study how to cook local dishes, you can find out what creates those delightful Maldivian flavors. Discovering how amazing flavors are put together is always life-changing for foodies.
2. Maldivian food is incredibly healthy
Coconut milk, coconut oil, humble veggies, fish (like yellowfin and skipjack tuna) and an abundant mix of spices are the main ingredients that make up Maldivian culinary favorites. These are just some of the healthiest foods to eat every day. Also, Maldives has its own curry recipes for just about anything – fish, shrimp, chicken and even pumpkin. Curry doesn’t only taste good; it also provides plenty of health benefits.
TAKEAWAY: Studies reveal that the ingredients for curry such as turmeric, coriander, cinnamon, cumin and chilies boost the immune system. They are anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, and can improve metabolism and lower blood pressure. Medical researchers also point out that the coconut milk, oil, spices, and herbs in curry dishes can reverse the effects of Alzheimer’s.
So it goes without saying that if you’re looking for nutritious dishes to improve your health, you can’t miss out on Maldivian cooking. The country’s curries and other recipes can do the trick.
3. Maldivian cooking is easy
You will discover that this type of cooking is fail-proof for beginners. There are no fancy processes, and it’s all about practical home cooking techniques. You also don’t need specialized cooking equipment to ensure a delicious result. Therefore, with the difficulty level set rather low, you’re sure to feel encouraged to cook for yourself more often. And perhaps even cook a simple feast for others. This can help you evolve into a more dynamic kind of foodie.
4. The ingredients are affordable
Rice, cassava, string beans, eggplant, pumpkin, tuna, coconut milk, fish, and chicken. All the staples are quite cheap, and they go a long way (except for the coconut milk – fresh coconut milk has to be used right away for optimal goodness!). That’s why if you’re looking to create budget-friendly meals, Maldivian dishes are just perfect. You can easily buy these humble ingredients from Asian grocers.
5. Maldivian desserts and appetizers are incredibly delicious
Sweet treats from the Maldives such as savory bread cake (Kulhipaan Boakibaa), the sweetened condensed milk cake (Gerikiru Boakibaa) and even the simple tapioca in coconut cream and condensed milk are all yummy desserts that are quite easy to make. As for the appetizers, Mas Huni, Gulha, Havaadhuli Bis (curried tuna dumplings) and others are so good you can’t have just one piece.
Consequently, you’ll definitely find yourself craving these treats again after you try them. It’s never easy finding Maldivian restaurants in other countries, though, so learning how to make all of these is typically the best way to satisfy your craving back home.
6. You’ll learn that eating with your hands is totally fine
A typical Maldivian cooking class also introduces Maldivian table etiquette, which encourages diners to use their hands instead of spoons, forks, knives, and chopsticks. This new way of eating is exciting, and it’s a must for foodies. Knowing the right way of eating certain foods allows you to have a completely authentic dining experience.
7. The cooking class is a fantastic way to connect with other foodies
If you’re a sociable person and you like making new friends, the Maldivian cooking class presents an ideal setting to create new connections. You’re all learning together in a laid-back atmosphere, and you get to enjoy good food that all of you helped to make. It’s uncommon for such a social collision to not result in a positive relationship. Therefore, once the cooking class is over, you will have new food buddies to hang out with and take along with you to your other gastronomic adventures such as food tours in Bangkok or dining with locals in Rome!
So if you’re a foodie exploring the tropical paradise that is the Maldives, don’t just check out the local restaurant. Choose to learn about how the wonderful dishes are actually made. This experience will surely help you develop a better appreciation for local food.
And as earlier mentioned, when you find yourself back home and with a devil-like hankering for Maldivian cuisine, you won’t have to search high and low for a Maldivian restaurant in your area. You will have already learned how to cook this special fare by yourself. So you can just head to your local grocer, buy the necessary ingredients for the recipe you’re craving, whip up some magic in the kitchen, and take yourself back to the first time you had delicious, authentic Maldivian food.
About the Author: Thomas Grundner is the Vice President of Sales and Marketing for JA Resorts & Hotels. He has more than 20 years of expertise in the hospitality and leisure industry across international markets including Germany, Egypt, and Spain. Grundner oversees all sales, marketing and revenue efforts as the company continues to build on its key growth and development strategies and further cultivates its unique blend of “Heartfelt Hospitality” and “Casual Luxury.”