The Maldives – Traditional Gulha (Dumplings)

by Fariha Saeed

About the dish

Gulha is basically considered as dumplings because they are small in size and biteable. In the Maldives, they are called short eat or evening snack. This is made up of Tuna, coconut, spices, dough, and some vegetables. It is so appetizing that can make anyone drool. This is also called a specialty of the Maldives. This dish is named GULHA because this snack is small and the word is also small. These are actually shaped like balls, they are round. They are freshly baked to serve with tea. These are a little crispy, flakey from the outside but on the inside the dough is smooth and the mixture is also smooth and soft. Tuna is a significant part of every dish of the Maldives whether it is a snack, main course, or dessert. Tuna is very important in Maldivian cuisine. Coconut plays a vital role in making Maldivian cuisine. It adds freshness and earthy flavor to the dish. Coconut is added in different ways like coconut milk, coconut water, coconut oil, coconut cream, or raw coconut. But in most of the dishes coconut is added in raw form. You can always find this at street vendors they are always available. They are like a street snack. They have a light brown color. You can have this with any sauce like:

  • green sauce
  • mint sauce
  • yogurt dip
  • ketchup
  • mustard
  • appricot sauce

Some people like to eat it alone but some prefer with sauce. People wait for hours in lines to get this goodness. They are more famous in winter you can have it with a cup of coffee. This dish is also healthy because the dough is made up of whole wheat flour and tuna is rich in protein. Tuna also provides vitamin B3, vitamin D, and many more vitamins. Coconut is high in fiber.


Gulha was very famous in ancient times as well as now. This was considered a royal dish because at that time coconut was not a common ingredient and all the people can not afford it so it was known as a royal dish.


  • calories 126
  • protein 6 g
  • carbohydrated 213


  • All purpose flour 2 cup
  • water as needed
  • salt 1 tsp
  • tuna 1 can (shreaded)
  • coconut 1 cup (shreaded)
  • lemon juice 3 tbsp
  • black pepper 2 tbsp
  • red chili 1 tbsp
  • cabbage 1/2 cup (sliced)


Take a bowl and add the all-purpose flour, salt, and water as needed and make a smooth dough out of it. Now take another bowl and add the tuna, coconut, lemon juice, black pepper, red chili, and cabbage and mix them very well until all the things are fully combined.

Now take a small piece of dough and roll it out a little bit and place 2 tbsp of the tuna mixture on it and then close the dough and form it in a ball.

Now make balls out of the remaining dough and mixture and place them in an oven and bake until they are cooked and turns light brown.

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