• 2 small or 1 large red onion – finely chopped
  • 100ml oil
  • 500g finely minced beef
  • 4 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1L chopped tomatoes – blended
  • 2-3 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 4-5 tablespoon ground okra
  • 3-4 crushed garlic cloves
  • salt and pepper – to taste


Prepare red onion paste:

  1. Add oil to a frying pan on low-medium heat, fry a finely chopped red onion and allow the onion to caramelize into a deep burgundy colour and soften in texture.
  1. Transfer the cooked onions in a bowl and either lightly mash into a semi-paste with either a mashing utensil, pestle and mortar or equally lightly hand blend or food process. Try avoid making a smooth paste, instead the onion should be a semi-solid paste.
  1. Use 3 tablespoons to make red stew and/or store in the fridge for a later stage.



Red stew recipe:

  1. To a large oiled pot on medium heat, add the premade red onion paste and spread gently. Gradually add finely minced beef and mix into the onion until the meat cooks slightly.
  1. Add tomato paste or puree and mix into the barely cooked meat. Add tomato juice and bring to a gentle boil. If you feel the tomatoes are too thick, add approx. 100ml water to loosen the mixture.
  1. Reduce the heat, add ground coriander, season with salt and pepper and cover for 20mins or until the oils rise to surface and the stew thickens. In Sudanese cooking this is known as, al wish – the face.
  1. Gradually add ground okra while mixing to thicken the mullah. Add crushed garlic and stir well. Serve with gurasa, kisra, aseeda or bread.



Al wish, translated from Arabic as, the face, is a term used in Sudanese cooking to identify when a stews has cooked for long enough that the oils rise to the surface, thus reaching completion and is ready to serve. The metaphor of the face is used meaning you can see the dish for the first time, whereas before it was just a collection of ingredients. It represents the first time the dish becomes one.



  • 1-2 teaspoons sugar can be added to cancel out the acidity of the tomatoes
  • Seasoning: 1 stock cube, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Dried ground beef can also be used instead of raw minced, referred to in Sudan as sharmoot. Can be store bought in African or Middle Eastern food stores.
  • Onion powder can be used instead of premade onion paste, fry the onion powder in oil for less than a minute as it burns easily then add the ground beef, tomato puree, tomato juice and water.