Faana Kulhi Riha Recipe - Authentic Maldivian Fish Curry

Faana Kulhi Riha

Faana Kulhi Riha Recipe - Authentic Maldivian Fish Curry
Region / culture: Maldives | Preparation time: 15 minutes | Cooking time: 20 minutes | Servings: 4


Faana Kulhi Riha
Faana Kulhi Riha

Faana Kulhi Riha is a traditional Maldivian fish curry made with grouper, a popular fish in the Maldives. This dish is known for its rich and flavorful coconut milk-based curry that is infused with aromatic spices and tangy bilinbi fruit. It is typically served with steamed rice or roshi (flatbread) for a satisfying meal.


Faana Kulhi Riha has been a staple dish in Maldivian cuisine for generations. The use of grouper fish in this curry reflects the abundance of fresh seafood in the Maldives, where fishing is a major part of the local economy. The combination of spices and coconut milk in this dish is influenced by the Indian and Sri Lankan culinary traditions that have shaped Maldivian cuisine over the years.


Grouper Curry

How to prepare

  1. In a pan, fry the onion, garlic, rampe leaf, and curry leaves until the onions are golden brown.
  2. Add the fish, bilinbi, cinnamon, cardamom, fennel, chili powder, turmeric powder, ginger, green chili, coconut milk, and water to the pan.
  3. Cook over medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Then, add the coconut cream, adjust the seasoning, and remove from heat.


  • You can substitute grouper with other firm white fish such as snapper or cod.
  • Add vegetables like eggplant, okra, or pumpkin to the curry for added texture and flavor.
  • For a vegetarian version, you can use tofu or tempeh instead of fish.

Cooking Tips & Tricks

Make sure to use fresh grouper fish for the best flavor and texture in this dish.

- Adjust the amount of chili powder and green chilies to suit your spice preference.

- Be careful not to overcook the fish, as it can become tough and dry.

- For a richer curry, you can add more coconut cream or coconut milk to the dish.

- Garnish with fresh cilantro or curry leaves for a pop of color and added flavor.

Serving Suggestions

Serve Faana Kulhi Riha with steamed rice or roshi for a complete meal. You can also enjoy it with a side of sambal (chili paste) for an extra kick of heat.

Cooking Techniques

The key to a flavorful Faana Kulhi Riha is to sauté the onions and spices until they are fragrant before adding the fish and coconut milk.

- Simmer the curry over low heat to allow the flavors to meld together and the fish to cook gently.

Ingredient Substitutions

If you can't find bilinbi fruit, you can use tamarind paste or lime juice for a tangy flavor.

- Substitute coconut cream with heavy cream or yogurt for a lighter version of the curry.

Make Ahead Tips

You can prepare the curry base ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Just add the fish and coconut milk before serving.

Presentation Ideas

Garnish Faana Kulhi Riha with fresh cilantro, sliced green chilies, and a squeeze of lime for a vibrant and appetizing presentation.

Pairing Recommendations

Pair this dish with a refreshing cucumber salad or a side of pickled vegetables to balance out the richness of the curry.

Storage and Reheating Instructions

Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Reheat gently on the stovetop or in the microwave before serving.

Nutrition Information

Calories per serving

250 per serving


10g per serving


15g per serving


20g per serving

Vitamins and minerals

This dish is a good source of vitamin C, vitamin B6, and potassium.


This dish contains fish and coconut, which may be allergens for some individuals.


Faana Kulhi Riha is a nutritious dish that is rich in protein, healthy fats, and essential vitamins and minerals. It is a flavorful and satisfying meal that can be enjoyed as part of a balanced diet.


Faana Kulhi Riha is a delicious and comforting fish curry that showcases the flavors of the Maldives. With its rich coconut milk base, aromatic spices, and tender grouper fish, this dish is sure to become a favorite in your recipe repertoire. Enjoy it with steamed rice or roshi for a satisfying meal that will transport you to the tropical shores of the Maldives.

How did I get this recipe?

The moment I found this recipe is one that will always stay with me. It was a warm summer day in the Maldives, and I was visiting a small fishing village on the island of Fuvahmulah. As I wandered through the narrow streets, I was drawn to the delicious smells wafting from a small home.

Curious, I peeked through the open window and saw a elderly woman standing over a steaming pot of bubbling curry. She noticed me watching and beckoned me inside with a warm smile. She introduced herself as Amina and offered me a seat at her table.

As we sat and chatted, I learned that Amina was a master at cooking traditional Maldivian dishes. She had learned her craft from her own grandmother, who had passed down recipes and techniques that had been in their family for generations.

Amina was kind enough to share one of her most prized recipes with me that day - Faana Kulhi Riha, a rich and fragrant tuna curry that was a staple in Maldivian cuisine. She took me through each step of the recipe, from marinating the tuna in a blend of spices to simmering it in a coconut milk broth until it was tender and flavorful.

I was mesmerized by Amina's skill and passion for cooking, and I knew that I had to learn how to make this dish for myself. I asked her if she would be willing to teach me, and she agreed without hesitation.

Over the next few days, I spent hours in Amina's kitchen, absorbing her knowledge and honing my own cooking skills. She taught me the importance of using fresh ingredients and balancing flavors to create a harmonious dish. She showed me how to grind spices by hand and how to adjust the heat of the curry to suit my own taste.

As we worked together, Amina shared more than just recipes with me. She shared stories of her childhood in the fishing village, of the days spent out on the water with her family, and of the simple joys of sharing a meal with loved ones. I felt a deep connection to her and to the traditions that she held dear.

When it was time for me to leave the village, Amina presented me with a handwritten copy of the Faana Kulhi Riha recipe, along with a small bag of freshly ground spices to take home with me. She told me that she was passing the torch to me, entrusting me to carry on the tradition of this beloved dish.

Since that day, I have made Faana Kulhi Riha countless times, each batch a tribute to Amina and the generations of women who came before her. I have shared the recipe with friends and family, passing on the knowledge and love that Amina shared with me.

Every time I make this dish, I am transported back to that sunny day in the fishing village, to the sound of the waves crashing against the shore and the smell of spices mingling in the air. And I am grateful for the gift that Amina gave me - not just a recipe, but a connection to a rich and vibrant culinary heritage.


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