How To Make Tyula Itum

 Burnt Coconut beef Spicy  Soup
Tyula or Tiyula Itum aka Black Soup is a dish from Tausug, Sulu in Mindanao and usually eaten at Muslim weddings and festivals. You could say this is close to the our Nilaga (Beef broth) or Tinula  (Chicken & green papaya soup) from the northern part of the Philippines. Some people say that this dish is an aphrodisiac and will definitely keep you warm!
I hope I don’t offend the Tausug community for featuring this dish as my Christmas countdown recipe. I welcome comments and suggestions. I made this dish at my past supperclubs and my guests absolutely loved it! The look doesn’t do justice to the taste of this dish. However I chose this dish as it’s perfect as a ‘winter warmer’ not because of the religious connotations behind it.
I haven’t seen many chef outside of the Philippines featuring regional dishes and I am proud that I can show you or teach you some of my countries regional food. I have to be honest I haven’t been to Sulu myself but from speaking to friends and researching online about this dish I managed to re-create it here in London as closely as possible to the traditional recipe. Can I just say how proud I am that I have been really good at posting everyday. I hope that there someone following my posts, I’ll be happy with one follower to be honest..haha!
Enough with the chat, let’s turn the heat up today London!

How To Make Tyula Itum

Print Recipe


  • 500g braising beef or ribs
  • 800ltr Water
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • Fresh red chilli (optional)
  • 3tbsp cooking oil
  • 2 cups of grated coconut
  • 4 stalks of lemon grass, bruised and chopped
  • 1tbsp garlic
  • 1tbsp ginger
  • 3tsp turmeric
  • 1tsp galangal powder
  • 1/2tsp dried ginger powder
  • 1/2tsp ground pepper
  • 5tbsp sambal ulek or Sriracha sauce (less if you want it less spicy or more for hot)
  • 1tsp sugar
  • 1tsp salt
  • 1 can coconut milk (optional)
  • spring onions for garnish, chopped



Burn the coconut shreds in a frying pan or work on medium to high heat until they are all dark brown or even black. The darker it is the better! (This is optional: you can ground the coconut shred using pestle and morter or using a coffee grinder)


Add the burnt coconut powder to the meat and set aside for later


In a deep pan with heated the oil then sauté the onion until translucent, add the garlic and ginger, cook them for 3 minutes on medium heat


Add the meat, turmeric and lemon grass, stir and cook until the meat for 5 minutes


Turn the heat to low add galangal powder, ginger powder, ground pepper, salt and sugar then add Sambal or Sriracha sauce, continually stir for 2 minutes making sure the spices don’t burn


Add water then turn the heat up and let it boil, once boiled turn the heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes with the lid on


Check if the meat is soft if not cook for another 15 minutes (you can add coconut at this point)


Taste the soup add more salt if desired and simmer for another 5 minutes


Once you are happy with the taste you can turn the heat off


Serve it in a bowl with chopped fresh chillies or spring onions on top with some white rice on the side..Enjoy!

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