Like Rwanda, this was another dish that tested me from a cultural perspective. By American cuisine standards, this dish is naked. I speak mostly of how the tuna steak and pepper is prepared. Most people think of tuna steaks like the Ahi as a sexy, high end dish; raw in the inside with its seared outer flesh bursting with flavor, undoubtedly with Asian influences. This was not sexy. This was not bursting with flavor. This dish was created under the guidelines of a completely different culture.
The entire tuna steak is boiled in hot, salted water. Add an onion and pepper of your choice to the water, curry leaves if you can find them (I didn’t), and voilà! Serve with a side of rice and top with flakes of coconut.
This is the recipe. Knowing that the dish would be under flavored by my taste bud standards, I researched what other spices Maldives traditionally uses (especially since I couldn’t find the recommended curry leaves). I found Turmeric was another popular spice, and added a dash to the boiling water. This is why the tuna steak has a yellow-orange hue.
And as you can tell by the map, Maldives is a country made of a series of very small islands. It is south of India and Sri Lanka, and it a vacation spot known for its beaches and reefs. If you look up pictures, it truly does look like paradise with its crystal blue waters and picturesque bungalows. To give you a better idea of how extensive the islands are, check out this map…
- Tuna steak
- Curry leaves
- Salt to taste
S: “The coconut made all the difference – I liked it. Lacked color.”
T: “Not memorable in flavor, but healthy. Wish I had found curry leaves!!”
- The capital of Maldives is Malé
- The official language is Maldivian (Dhivehi)
- It is comprised of 26 coral atolls that are made up of hundreds of islands
- It is the lowest country in the world, with an average of 4’11” ground above ocean level; naturally they are concerned about global warming and the rising sea levels that threaten the people who live there
- It gained independence from the United Kingdom in 1965
- It is the smallest country in Asia in land and population
- The islands cover an area of 35,000 sq. miles