Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Rihaakuru Riha ( Curry using Rihaakuru , Maldivian fish paste)

I saw this recipe on an old Maldivian cookbook but when I mentioned it to my sisters they thought it probably won't taste so good. So I didn't give it much thought until my sister mentioned one of her friends was going over to a house to eat "Rihaakuru Riha" and Roshi.
 It was until one day I saw this recipe on Cidees"Kitchen, a local entrepreneur, Instagram page. The original recipe is still in her Instagram stories highlights.

So I asked her permission if I can try her recipe and share it on my blog because I think it's a great recipe to try this Ramadhan and goes really well with Roshi. I  have toned down on the number of chillies, I know she loves her chilli. Her restaurant Blood Orange has served delicious food and her famous Husnuheena  is on a dessert that really caught people's eye and taste buds.

Anyway back to the recipe, as you know rihaakuru is a local fish paste made by concentrating tuna fish broth till it becomes thick. If you like marmite, you will like this.

To make the curry you will need to make a curry paste. Finely grind, garlic, ginger, roasted curry powder, ground coriander, cumin, dried red chilli powder, about 5-6 curry leaves, grated coconut, and 1/2 tsp of salt along with a small handful of onion slices, to a paste. It has to be quite fine. Now if you don't have grated coconut use desiccated coconut,  or improvise by making the curry paste without the coconut and see if it works too. If you don't have valhomas (smoked tuna) use hikimas(dried tuna ) or use the bondi inside the Dhiggaru rihaakuru bottle.

Now in a saucepan, fry the remaining onions till translucent,

add the smoked tuna

 and then the curry paste, scotch bonnet if using, and stir fry for a minute before adding the rihaakuru.

 Mix it in and add coconut milk. Let it come to a simmer and cook over medium-low heat for about 10 minutes and taste, add a pinch of salt and then switch off.

Yield: 4-6

Rihaakuru Riha

prep time: 15min Cook time: 15 mins Total time: 30 


  • 3 tsp Maldivian Roasted curry powder ( I used store-bought, can use homemade as well)
  • 1 level tsp ground cumin
  • 1 level tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 - 1 tsp dried red chilli powder (depends on how hot you want, can use dried chillies if you don't have any ground chilli)
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 2 fat cloves garlic or 3 if small ones, sliced
  • 1/2 inch ginger, sliced
  • 1/3 cup freshly grated coconut( see note)
  • salt 
  • 1/4 piece of scotch bonnet (optional)
  • 12 curry leaves  or 1 sprig of curry leaf
  • 2 tbsp  Rihaakuru
  • 100 ml coconut milk ( packet or can) 
  • 400ml  water
  • 2 Rihaakuru  Bondi sliced or 1 (75g) small fillet of slightly dry smoked tuna ( valhomas)
  • 3 tbsp oil ( any vegetable oil)


How to cook Rihaakuru Riha

  1. Prepare the curry paste, place a small handful of the sliced onion into a wet grinder or blender.  Add garlic, ginger, roasted curry powder, ground coriander, cumin, chilli powder, about 5-6 curry leaves, grated coconut and 1/2 tsp of salt.  Add a little water and grind to a smooth paste.  Spoon into a bowl and set a side.
  2. Heat a pan or suitable pot with oil, add onions and saute' till they go translucent. Add curry leaves and then add the curry paste and stir to combine and also to release the flavor. 
  3.  Lower the heat, and add scotch bonnet pepper, if using and rihaakuru along with the smoked tuna or bondi ( see note).  
  4. Stir and then stir in coconut milk and water.  If using the dried coconut milk powder, mix 3 tbsp of the powder in 500ml water and stir it into the mixture, if using fresh coconut milk just add 500 ml of thin coconut milk.
  5. Simmer over medium-low heat for about 10- 15 minutes.  Taste and add salt if necessary. 
  6. Serve with Roshi


*Rihaakuru bondi is a fish ball prepared using the bits of fish found on the bones of the fish. Once the fish is cooked for smoked tuna, the bone is removed and then later the bits of fish found on the bones is removed and turned into balls and added into the rihaakuru, fish paste. These are sold separately or along with the rihaakuru

If you dont have any coconut or desiccated coconut, add more dried coconut milk powder when making the coconut milk. say if 3tbsp for 500ml water ( that is 2 cups water)  then add 5 tbsp of coconut to make the milk more thicker.
Created using The Recipes Generator


  1. I would love pour the whole thing over my garlic rice :-)) So amazingly delicious and comforting! Have a marvelous day, Nammi!

  2. this looks interesting and delicious, must have a lot of flavour in this dish


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