Maldivian fish curry (Mas riha)

Mas riha is a fish curry of the Maldivian cuisine. Mas riha is commonly eaten with steamed white rice, but when eaten for breakfast it is served with roshi flatbread and eaten along with hot tea. This curry is usually cooked with fresh tuna, usually kaṇḍumas (skipjack tuna), but also kanneli (yellowfin tuna) or laṭṭi (little tunny). The fish is diced and cooked together over low fire with a mixture of fried onions and spices to which water is added. The curry is left to simmer for a while and coconut milk is added towards the end of the cooking process.



  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cardamom pods
  • 1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and sliced into matchsticks
  • 10 curry leaves (or 1 teaspoon curry powder)
  • 1 jalapeño or other green chile—stem, seeds and ribs removed, sliced
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground fennel
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • One 14-ounce can coconut milk
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 pound fresh skipjack or yellowfin tuna or other firm fish (mahi mahi, swordfish), cut into cubes and lightly salted


  1. Lightly salt the fish and set it aside. In a large skillet, warm the coconut oil on medium heat until shimmering, about 2 minutes. Add the garlic, cardamom, ginger, curry leaves and chili pepper slices and sauté until aromatic, about 30 seconds. Add the onion slices and continue to sauté until the onion softens, about 5 minutes.
  2. When the onion has softened, add the fennel, cumin, turmeric and black pepper and sauté until aromatic, about 30 seconds. Remove the skillet from the heat and transfer everything to a small blender or food processor and blend into a smooth paste, adding water if needed. Discard the cardamom pods if they didn’t fully blend.
  3. Return the skillet to medium heat and add in the blended onion mixture. Stir in all but 1 tablespoon of the coconut milk and add the cinnamon stick. Bring to a simmer, then reduce to medium-low and simmer until slightly darkened, about 5 minutes. Taste the curry and add salt if needed.
  4. Gently add the fish pieces to the curry and simmer without stirring until the fish is cooked through, about 5 to 6 minutes. The easiest way to tell if fish is done is to gently nudge it with a spoon; it’s ready when it slightly resists flaking. Spoon the curry into bowls and drizzle the extra 1 tablespoon of coconut milk over it. Serve with rice or cauliflower rice.


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Post Author: dvd

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