If you’d ask me where my dream vacations would be, I would always say: tropical islands. The warmth, the sun and the beach. Lush greenery, tropical fruits, fresh coconuts and walking barefoot in the sand.
So Maldives, just like Bali, Thailand and Philippines have been on my bucket list for the longest time. Finally, our dream vacation happened this August. Staying in Velassaru Maldives was exactly that 🙂 a dream.
From the moment we were greeted at the airport and escorted to the luxury speed boat for a short 20 minute ride, to the moment the island and the villas of the resort appeared in the midst of its turquoise lagoon, until we were greeted on the dock by the whole Velassaru team. It all felt just right.
Once we stepped off the boat, we were introduced to Mayla who had put together an itinerary for our stay. She introduced us to the resort facilities and gave us a quick introduction of the island resort. And then it was time to check in to our water villa. There is little that could have prepared us for the jaw-dropping effect of stepping in to our new home of the following days. We did see it in the pictures, but the real thing was so much better.
We were blown away by the subtile luxury. Nothing was too much. It was spacious but still cosy. A beautiful tastefully decorated master bedroom with uninterrupted views of the ocean, an amazing bathroom with a huge central bath and a gorgeous terrace I instantly fell in love with – overlooking the turquoise waters of Indian Ocean, with the direct access to the lagoon and views of the coral reef. I could have contently lied on the sunbed for hours and just stared into the blue.
But we aren’t the type, so we enjoyed swimming and snorkeling on the beautifully preserved house reef, literally a 5 minute swim form our villa. We saw Nemo and Dori and the Professor: the whole Nemo bunch and more 😉 It was a normal routine bumping into schools of fishes small and huge ones swimming form our villa to the beach. Amazing!
This is one of the other things I truly love about Velassaru – they are so conscientious about the land and the ocean, and it’s apparent in everything they do. They ensure the land and beaches are kept clean and safe for the eco-system. The greenery is so lush and the animals are so timid and look so healthy and content. The coral reef is gorgeous and full of life.
You can see baby sharks (totally and utterly harmless!) every morning swimming in shallow water catching fish. Imagine that!!
Now, let’s talk food 😉
Guys, the food was amazing! Everything served was top notch quality starting from super rich breakfast: all the tropical fruits you can imagine, cakes, bread and yoghurt – all homemade.I even had sushi and rice paper rolls a few times, plus there was all the conventional food you can imagine. (You can also state your special dietary needs in advance so you’d be provided with everything you needed during the stay).
My usual breakfast was loads of fresh fruits (dragon fruit, watermelon and the delicious little nanas) and fresh fruit juices. And an occasional sushi 😉
And my favourite lunch or dinner was Maldivian Curry or Spring Rolls.
While at the resort, I even got an opportunity to attend a cooking masterclass where I learned to make a real Maldivian Curry. I’m happy to be able to share the recipe with you here 🙂
I never made a traditional curry before and I learned a few tricks, like frying spices for a deeper flavour and adding coconut milk at the very end of cooking instead at the beginig like I used to before.
Yields: 2 portions
1 large onion
2-3 cloves of fresh garlic
1 cup chopped tomato
1 sweet potato
1 small cauliflower
1 green chilli (optional)
1/2 tsp curry powder
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp chilli
1 cinnamon stick
1 tsp mustard seeds
curry leaves (optional)
1 cup coconut milk
2 tsp coconut oil
salt to taste
fresh coriander leaves and fried curry leaves for garnish
1. Heat coconut oil in a heavy based pan and add mustard seeds and cinnamon stick. Cook until they start popping
2. Add onion, garlic and curry leaves (if using) and saute 2-3 minutes until onion gets golden brown
3. Add curry, chilli and turmeric. Fry them shortly and then add tomatoes. Cook for another 5 minutes.
4. Next, add chopped veggies (be creative here and use the any veggies you like or are in season), saute for 5-6 minutes and then add just a bit of water to cover the veggies. Cook for 10-15 minutes until the vegetables are tender
5. Lastly, add coconut milk and cook for another 5 minutes.
6. I served the curry garnished with cilantro and fried moringa leaves (that I brought form Maldives), cooked wholegrain rice and toasted piadinas (a kind of oat flour tortillas). Originally, at the resort it was served with papadamus, red lentil dahl, mango chutney and steamed basmati rice.
It was amazing!