Method how this Maldives Fish been done
- Every fish is gutted, skinned and cut following a traditional pattern. The gills and some of the innards are thrown away. The head and backbone are removed, and the belly piece is separated. Then the fish is divided into four longitudinal pieces called ari. These long pieces can be cut into smaller sections Pieces in case of Marketing. Next these pieces of tuna are processed by means of boiling, smoking and sun-drying until they acquire a wood-like appearance. Being dried in this manner
Maldives fish is the Sri Lankan equivalent of South East Asia’s dried shrimp, dried anchovies and shrimp paste and the Japanese Katsuobushi. It has a concentrated aroma and flavor of the sea, much like dried shrimp but leaning more towards that of fish.
- Maldives fish is dried and cured tuna fish traditionally produced in Maldives
- It’s not only used as a flavor enhancer but also as a thickening agent and in poorer parts, even as the protein in the family meal.
- Many of Sri Lanka’s famous dishes have Maldives fish in it, like the Sri Lankan Coconut Sambal, Pol Sambal.
- As you can see in the picture, it is sold in little pieces that resemble tiny wood chips.
- It is a staple of the Maldivian Kitchen, Sri Lankan kitchen, as well as the kitchen of the Southern Indian states and territories of Lakshadweep, Kerala and Tamil Nadu, and in the past it was one of the main exports from Maldives to Sri Lanka, where it is known as masikaruvadu (மாசி கருவடு ) umbalakaḍa (උම්බලකඩ)
- The fish can be kept indefinitely without refrigeration. This was important in the past, when there was no other way to preserve and store the fish for Maldivians.