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March 15, 2014

 biriyani blog

Serves 6

1kg  chicken (cut into large pieces)

1kg rice

2 liters water

6 onions (thinly sliced)

12 garliccloves (crushed)

3 inches ginger (crushed)

250g curd / plain yoghurt

3ripe tomatoes (chopped)

10 sprigs of coriander leaf (destemmed and chopped)

5 sprigs of mint leaf(destemmed and chopped)

1 large cherry chilli, (githeyomiruschopped)

3 tbsp lemon juice

1 cup cooking oil

2 tsp ghee / butter

2 tsp sugar

2 pices of 4 inch rampe leaf

2 pieces of 4 inch cinnamon sticks

4 bay leaves

6 cardamoms

6 cloves

¼ tsp nutmeg powder

1 tsp chillie powder

1 tsp rose water

1 tsp saffron

1 ½ tsp turmeric powder

250g kanamadhu (split vertically)

250g dry raisins

Seeds from 1 medium pomegranate

1 small carrot (gratedcoarsely)

50g green peas

4 hard boiled eggs (each cut into 4)

3tsp salt or according to taste

Biriyani curry paste

3 tsp of Maldivian Addu Havaadhu finely ground to paste OR 1 pkt Indian Biriyani Masala powder OR make a Biriyani spice by mixing the following ingredients:

1 tsp cumin powder

1 tsp coriander powder

1 tsp fennel powder

½ tsp cinnamon cardamom powder

½ tsp chillie powder

Preparation of rice

  1. Add salt to taste, 2 cinnamon sticks, 2 cardamoms, 1 rampe leaf, ¼ of mint leaves and ¼ of coriander leaf , 1 tsp turmeric poder to 2 litres of water and bring to a boil.
  2. Add rice to boiling water and cook until the rice is half boiled.
  3. Remove all the ingredients which were added to the rice with a spoon and discard.
  4. Drain the rice and spread it on a tray to cool.

Preparation of biriyani curry

  1. Mix lemon juice, salt, chillie powder, nutmeg powder, youghurt, sugar and turmeric powder.
  2. Add the prepared biriyani curry paste to the above mixture. Mix well.
  3. Add to the chopped chicken pieces and mix thoroughly. Cover and leave to marinate(minimum 1 hr, overnight marination is better).
  4. Heat oil and ghee / butter in a wok.
  5. Add the choppedkanamadhu and fry till golden brown. Transfer to a plate.
  6. Fry the raisins and transfer it to plate before the raisins pop.
  7. In the same oil, fry half of the chopped onions until they become golden brown and crispy. Remove and transfer to a plate.
  8. Put the remaining onion, ginger, garlic, cinnamon sticks, cloves, cardamons, rampe leaf and stir fry until brown. Add the chopped tomatoes
  9. Pour the marinated chicken into this.
  10. Cook the mixture on low heat until the meat is tender.
  11. Meanwhile, arrange chopped coriander, chopped mint, pomegranate seeds, eggs, carrots and green peas on a plate and leave aside.
  12. In a small bowl, mix saffron and rose water.
  13. Make a dough using plain flour and water and keep aside.

Layering the biriyani

  1. Take a large pot and grease it with oil.biriyani layer
  2. Divide the rice into 3 equal parts and arrange one layer of prepared rice inside the pot.
  3. Divide the chicken biriyani curry into 2 parts and pour a layer of chicken biriyani curry over the rice layer.
  4. Sprinkle a thin layer of rice over this curry layer
  5. Divide the fried onions, cashew nuts, raisins, pomegranate seeds, mint, coriander, carrot and green peas into 3 equal parts. Arrange one layer of these ingredients above the curry layer.
  6. Repeat with another layer of rice, curry and fried ingredients.
  7. Evenly arrange the remaining rice and sprinkle the fried ingredients on top of the layer of rice. Press down the rice with a spatula.
  8. Gently sprinkle the saffron mixture around the rice and allow this to sink.
  9. Press the flour dough around the edges under the lid. Cover the pot with this lid so that steam cannot escape once the pot is covered and pasted with the prepared dough.
  10. Place an old pan on the stove and put the biriyani pot on top of it.
  11. Put a weight on top and cook on low heat for one hour.
  12. When the dough covering the pot begins to harden it is time to remove the biriyani from the stove.
  13. Transfer to a serving dish, arrange boiled eggs(cut into half)  and serve hot. (Refer menu plans for other accompanying dishes)
  14. Alternatively you may arrange the biriyani on a big baking tray and once ready bake it for one hour in low heat in the oven
  15. Note: Brinjal curry (a special dry curry…will post recipe soon) with apple and cucumber salad and fundi satani with paaparu with pirini and esbagul sharbath makes a lovely menu to go with this biriyani..

KALIYA BIRINJI ( Traditional Maldivian Rice)

July 22, 2013



1 kg Basmati rice

3 cups water

2 cups thick coconut milk

6 cloves

6 cardamoms

2 pieces of 3 inch cinnamon sticks

½ tsp cinnamon cardamom powder

3 large onions (thinly sliced)

1 inch ginger (crushed)

½ tsp cumin seed

120 grams ghee/margarine

2 tablespoon cooking oil

2 ½ tsp salt or according to taste


  1. Wash and drain the rice.
  2. Mix the cumin seeds with the rice.
  3. Mix ginger and onion in ½ cup lukewarm water and squeeze the onions. Cover and leave aside. After an hour, squeeze out the water, and keep the onion and onion water in two separate bowls.
  4. Soak the cloves, cinnamon and cardamoms in half cup water separately.Cover and leave aside. After an hour, separate the water and the other ingredients. Keep aside both water and the cinnamom mixture.
  5. Heat ghee/margarine and oil in a pot. Add the onion, cinnamon, cardamom and cloves.Fry until lightly golden brown.
  6. Add the rice and fry the rice, stirring continuously. Next, add the onion water and the cinnamon water to this. Cook gently stirring until all the water evaporates and the rice appears slightly roasted.


      7. Pour in the coconut  milk, remaining water, cinnamon cardamom powder and salt to taste.

      8. Cover and cook the rice on low flame until the rice is well boiled.

      9. Stir gently with a spatula and separate the grains

      10. Serve hot.      

 Note: This traditional rice dish has adorned the dining table of kings and queens in the Maldives. It is a lovely dish which goes well with, kandukukulhu, musamma, miruhulee kukulhu…etc… 

Enjoy this very shaahi rice! 



MISURU BOAKIBA (Maldivian Traditional Sweet Rice Cake)

July 22, 2013



1 ½ cups basmati rice

2 ½ sugar

2 tbsp ghee

2 small onions (skinned and thinly sliced)

2 tbsp coconut oil (olive oil or any other cooking oil can be used)

1 cup thick coconut milk

¼ cup jasmine water

4 pieces of pandan leaf/ramba fai of 3 inch each

¼ tbsp cinnamon powder

¼ tsp cardamom powder

50 grams pine nut/ kanamadhu (longitudinally sliced,use of this is optional)

1 cup water

Yellow food colour


1. Soak the rice in water overnight. Grind to a smooth, fine paste (those who are in a hurry can soak the  rice in hot water for an hour and then grind it).

2. Cook the pandan leaves in one cup water. Once the water is boiled, remove the pandan leaves. Keep the pandan leaf water/ ramba fen for later use.

3. In a bowl mix the rice paste, cinnamon, cardomon powder and sugar. Add the thick coconut milk, pandan leaf water/ramba fen and jasmine water to this mixture and mix well. Make sure there are no lumps. Add the yellow food colour until the batter gets a light yellow shade.

4. Take a separate pan. Add ghee, coconut oil (olive oil or any cooking oil would do as well) and heat. Now add the thinly sliced onion and fry them till lightly brown. Add the sliced pine nut /kanamadhu. Fry for 1 minute. Keep aside.

5. Pour the rice batter into a pan and put to heat on the stove. Cook the batter, stirring it continuously until the batter thickens and leave the sides of the pot. Add half portion of the fried onion mixture. Mix well.

6.Take small paper cups (as used for cup cakes) and scoop out a large spoon ful of the batter into the cups. This batter can be used with medium sized 15 paper cups. Once the batter is evenly spread in the paper cups, gently spread a little of the remaining fried onion mixture on top of each cup.

7. Heat the oven, and bake the misru boakiba or sweet rice cakes until the top of the cakes become slightly brown.

8.  Remove from the oven. Serve cold.

Note; Traditionally Kanamadhu is not used when making misru boakiba.  Therefore, the use of Kanamadhu is optional. I like to use it for the crunchiness it adds to the onion mixture.

Misru boakiba was traditionally baked in empty condense milk cans (cut ito half) or in empty fish cans. I find it easier to bake in medium sized paper cups used to bake cup cakes.

Instead of coconut oil, as used in the traditional preparation of misru baokiba, those who cannot get coconut oil or are health conscious can use olive oil or any other cooking oil of your choice. It tastes just as good!

This is a lovely rice cake. Enjoy!

KANDUKUKULHU ( Maldivian Special Fish Curry/Seachicken Curry!)

July 21, 2013


Serves 6


1 medium size skipjack tuna

15 thin strips of coconut leaf (in the absence of coconut leaf use rampe leaf ranba fai)

12 curry leaves

1 cups thick coconut milk

1 cup thin coconut milk

¾ onion (thinly sliced)

1 ½ tsp salt or according to taste

Curry paste


1  tbsp fennel seeds

1  tsp cumin seed

1  inch ginger (crushed)

4  garlic cloves (crushed)

4  cardamoms

1 ½ inch cinnamon

¼  tsp turmeric powder

¼  tsp fenugreek seeds

5   dry red chillie

1 ½ onion

1 ½ cup scraped fresh coconut

1 tbsp salt or according to taste

Preparation of curry paste

  1. Mix fennel seed, cumin seed, ginger, garlic, cinnamon, cardamom, turmeric powder, fenugreek seed, chillie, onion, scraped coconut and salt.
  2. Squeeze the mixture well. Put in a mixie and grind to a smooth paste. (Can add ¼ cup water while grinding)

Preparation of fish

  1. Skin and bone the tuna and cut into square pieces of 1cm in thickness and 4 inches in length and breadth.
  2. Take ½ of the above curry paste in a separate bowl. Take ¼ tsp of curry paste and put on one slice of tuna.
  3. Now fold this tuna slice into a roll. Wrap the coconut leaf strip around the tuna roll so that it remains closed. Make a knot.
  4. Repeat the same with all the tuna slices.



Preparation of curry

  1. Mix 1 cup of thin coconut milk with 1/2 cup of thick coconut milk.
  2. Dissolve the remaining curry paste in above coconut milk mixture.
  3. Pour into a pot and cook.
  4. Add remaining onion, salt and gently bring to a boil.
  5. Add the prepared fish and simmer till the meat is tender. Add the remaing coconut milk and cook until the curry thickens.
  6. Serve hot with rice.

Note: Excellent with Kaliyabirinji.

This is the king of our curries! A traditional dish, too good to be a tuna dish, that it became known as the chicken curry of the sea. Ha ha…so I may think thats how it got the funny name. Believe me, this is the best ever Maldivian fish curry! Take the risk. Cook and enjoy!

Yes, slightly heating the pandan leaves over a (WITHOUT TOUCHING THE FIRE) slow flame after cutting them as long strips helps in tying the fish with it. We would say in Dhivehi, ‘rambaa fai alifaan mathee, kuda kuda koh miluvaalaa, dhen beynun kuranee mas bannan, komme fatheh dhigukoh 4 bayah strip kohlaigen)

DHANDIALUVI KANDHI (Creamy Maldivian Manioca Dessert)

July 21, 2013


Serves 6


1 medium sized manioca Dhandialuvi

5 tbsp finely ground rice flour

1 cup thick coconut milk

1 cup sugar

4¼  cups water

2 pieces, 3 inch rampe leaves

¼ cup jasmine flower water


1. Remove the skin of manioca. Slice into half and remove the hard inner core.

2. Chop the manioca into small cubes.

3. Boil 2 cups of water with rampe leaves.

4. Add manioca and cook until tender.

5. Remove rampe leaves, add sugar and simmer on a low heat.

6. Dissolve rice flour in ¼ cup water to form a smooth paste. Leave aside.

7. When the water begins to boil, gently add rice flour paste and jasmine flower water.

8. When the mixture begins to boil, add coconut milk.

9. Stir and cook for an additional 3-4 minutes.

10. Transfer to a desert bowl and serve chilled.

Enjoy!!! Surprise your friends and family with this dish, let them know you can cook as great as your grandma, and her grandma!!!


July 20, 2013



2 ripe bananas

2 egg

¼ cup scraped coconut

3/4 cup sugar

¾ cup flour

¼ cup rice flour paste (grind raw rice after soaking it in hot water for 30 minutes)

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp vanilla essence

Oil for frying


      1.            Mash the banana with the sugar. Add the eggs. Mix well.

      2.            Add flour (white flour and rice flour), scraped coconut, baking powder, vanilla essence. Mix thoroughly.

      3.            Heat oil in a wok or pan.

      4.            Scoop a spoonful of the batter and gradually drop it into the hot oil.

      5.            Fry till it is golden brown.

      6.            Remove from oil and drain on self absorbent kitchen paper.

       7.           Serve hot or cold

Note: Traditionally people do not put rice flour when they make Dhonkeyo kaju, so  instead can use one cup flour (godhan fuh/maidha/white flour). 

I use rice flour because it adds a crunchy feel to the good old dhonkeyo kaju.

Can make about 25 dhonkeyo kaju pieces.



July 20, 2013



2 cups flour

½ cup boiling water

3 tbsp oil

1 tsp salt


2 cups Valhoamas (Maldivian smoked tuna) chopped

1 cup potato(boiled, skinned and mashed coarsely)

1 onion finely chopped

1½ tspn pepper powder

½ cherry chillie(finely chopped)

2 curry leaves( finely chopped)

1 tbsp lemon juice

2 tsp salt

2 cups oil for frying


Preparation of the dough/roshi

  1. Add salt, oil and water into the flour and mix well. Make into a soft dough.
  2. Divide the dough into 30 balls and roll into small roshis.

Preparation of the filling

      Mix onion, chillie, pepper, curry leaves and turmeric powder. Mix lemon juice and salt. Add Valhoamas, potato. Mix thoroughly. Put in a bowl and keep aside.

Preparation of Peteez

  1. Take the rolled out small Roshi and put it on a plate.
  2. Place a tbsp of the tuna filing and put in the centre.
  3. Wet one of the edges of the Roshi with water.
  4. Fold the Roshi into half and press the sides so that it is completely closed.
  5. Now with the fingers, gently wrap the sides of the peteez to make a ridged design.
  6. Heat oil in a pan or wok. Deep fry the peteez unitil golden brown and serve hot.

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