Street food in Male’ isn’t the same as street food found in other cultures. There isn’t much of a food truck or street food industry here but what you can find is unique to the archipelago that is Maldives.
Food trucks are commonly known as “Gaadiya” in Dhivehi, the word literally translates to “cart” because when they first started out they were literally hand drawn carts selling delicacies. They have now become modernized in favor of upkeeping hygiene and safety standards. You can find them spread like a chain from one end to the other on the southern side of Boduthakurufaanu Magu. If you still have trouble finding them, look near Marrybrown and there’s no way you’ll miss the bright red or green carts that look like it came right out of a children’s cartoon.
Fair warning to readers unfamiliar with local Maldivian food, if you’re expecting to find food items that might constitute to a meal like those found in classic food trucks found abroad, then a gaadiya is not what you’re looking for. However, if you want to try snack food and are looking to just chill by the sea, try something new and enjoy the view of docked boats then a gaadiya has an assortment of different local tastes to offer.
One of the most popular items offered by gaadiya’s include mas-kaashi (fish & coconut), anbumajaa (mango salsa), fresh kurumbaa fen (coconut water), bileh gandu (betel leaf) and assorted spicy and sweet snacks
Mas kaashi is a platter of chilli, tuna, and inner parts of the coconut. I feel like the best way to describe anbu majaa (mango salsa) if you can imagine such a thing, would be to compare it to a spicy fruit cocktail. It’s made up of a mix of sour mango, papaya, chilies, tamarind paste and fish paste. Though difficult to describe and most definitely a unique taste, it’s definitely worth trying if you think your taste buds can handle the spiciness.
No exploration of male’ would be complete without visiting a gaadiya. It is definitely something worth trying. So visit the gaadiya’s of Male’ and take your taste buds out for an adventure.