Tiyula Itum recipe: A spicy Tausug specialty of the Philippines


tiyula itum

Tiyula itum: Image that your dearly beloved is in the kitchen making you a delicious meal. She brings it to you in your comfy chair and to your horror, you find yourself gazing down at a bowl of dark black soup. 


Normally served at Muslim weddings and other special occasions, the  soup actually tastes a lot better than it looks.

I think you’ll love this dish and though many have never tried it, here’s the chance to step outside your culinary comfort zone and have a go at something very tasty and unique. 



* 1 cup of powdered burnt mature coconut meat 

* beef chunks – cleaned and trimmed of fat

* 1 piece of shallot – chopped 

* 3 cloves of garlic – minced

* 1 thumb-sized piece of ginger – peeled and chopped 

* 3 ripe tomatoes – deseeded and chopped

* 6 red chillies – chopped

* 1 stalk of lemongrass – tied

* 1 beef stock cube

* hot water, salt, pepper and oil


1. Prepare the powdered burnt coconut meat: A) Choose the mature fresh coconut, halve it and separate the meat from the shell. B) Grill directly over heat (like grilling a fish) but don’t let it catch fire. C) Refrain from turning it too often, let it burn but not charcoal burn E) Take off the grill and scrape any burnt surface off, let cool. F) Once cool, chop into pieces and pound heavily. Keep in airtight container until needed

2. First marinate the beef chunks – in a bowl mix 1/2 cup of the coconut meat and beef chunks – rubbing until fully coated. Marinate for 30 minutes. Cover and set aside

Tiyula Itum:

* In a pan, heat oil over low heat. Add onion and lightly fry until translucent

* Add garlic, ginger and tomatoes. Stir and add in beef stock cube. Fry thoroughly but don’t burn it

* Once content is browned, add lemongrass and chilli 

* Add just enough water to cover the beef. Season to taste with salt and pepper

* Add 1/4 cup of the coconut meat and stir well. Cover and let simmer until meat softens

* Served with rice – Enjoy!