Baked Fish (Fihunumas) and Fish soup (Garudhiya)


Maldivians use fresh tuna to cook fish soup. It is a clear fish broth. This is one of the basic and most common dish of Maldivians . Fresh tuna is usually cut and cooked with bones and the heads to give more flavour. The fish broth can be boiled down until it forms a thick brown paste known as Rihaakuru, which is another favourite of Maldivians.  We eat the  soup mixed together with plain rice along with fresh chillies, onions and lemon. It is also served with baked or grilled fish or Fihunumas.  Today I am using fresh tuna slice for the fish soup, which is readily available from the fish monger  or the market. I am using a whole snapper, which can be grilled, barbecued or baked in the oven. 

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 30 minutes

Serves 4

Fish soup (Garudhiya)


  • 140 gram fresh tuna cut into 5 cm cubes
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vegeta or vegetable stock powder
  • 1 tablespoon thinly sliced onion
  • 1 teaspoon small dried chillies


  1. Put the water in a pot, add the salt and Vegeta.(vegetable stock powder)
  2. Bring to a boil.
  3. Add the fish and  keep on cooking, while carefully removing all the scum with a spoon.
  4. Lower the heat then add the onions and chillies.
  5. Keep it at a low simmer until the flavours develop.
  6. Serve with rice and the baked fish (Fihunumas)





Baked Fish (Fihunumas)

Prep time: 20 minutes

Cook time: 45 minutes

Serves 4


  • 1 x 440g whole red snapper, cleaned and scaled and scored deeply so the paste can be applied 
  • Quarter onion roughly chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 x 2 cm piece ginger
  • 1 sprig curry leaves
  • 1 tablespoon chilli powder
  • 1 tablespoon crushed chilli
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 fresh lemon 


  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C. Line a baking tray first with aluminium foil  then with baking paper, long enough to enclose the fish. 
  2. Blend the onion, garlic, ginger, curry leaves in a mortar and pestle or in a blender until smooth.
  3. Add the chilli powder, crushed chilli, cumin and 1/2 teaspoon salt. 
  4. Mix well and keep the paste aside. 
  5. Make deep cuts along both sides of the fish at a 45- degree angle. Score 1 inch apart along the both sides of the fish.
  6. Salt both sides of the fish with the remaining 1 teaspoon of salt.
  7. Squeeze the juice of 1 lemon all over the fish.
  8. With a spoon apply the paste along the deep cuts and all over the fish and the head and inside the belly of the fish. 
  9. Place the fish on the tray  with the juices poured over the fish.
  10. Wrap the foil and paper completely over the fish and fold the edges to seal. 
  11. Bake the fish for 45 minutes or until cooked.
  12. Serve with the rice and fish soup.

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